Maersk has a front-row seat to global supply chains. It says more trouble is ahead.
The supply chain issues that have walloped the global economy and spurred inflation during the coronavirus pandemic are not getting much better, Maersk CEO Søren Skou told CNN Business on Wednesday.
“Right now the situation does not appear to be getting significantly better,” Skou told Alison Kosik on First Move. “I wish I could say that things are getting better, but right now there’s nothing in the numbers to suggest so.”
Demand for goods remains strong and “global trade is actually constrained by the shipping capacity that’s available,” said the CEO of the world’s largest container shipping company.
A shortage of labor is causing problems at ports including on the West Coast of the United States. There are not enough crane operators to unload ships and not enough truckers and warehouse workers to move goods, he said.
“We still see this long queue in the US, particularly in Los Angeles, not really moving, only very slowly,” said Skou.
The CEO expressed hope that conditions could improve as Covid restrictions are lifted and fewer people become sick, saying there could be a recovery in the “next few quarters.”
Supply chain issues have pushed the cost of some goods higher, contributing to inflation that is now forcing central banks around the world to roll back stimulus measures and hike interest rates.
In “unprecedented” financial results released on Wednesday, Maersk said that its shipping business would have a strong first half of 2022, with a “normalization” expected in the second half of the year.
The company said that revenue increased by more than 50% to $61.8 billion in 2021. Profits surged by $15.5 billion to $19.7 billion.