(Bloomberg) --

A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S expects shipping markets to remain tight at least into the first quarter of next year as global container trade demand grows faster than previously expected. 

The world’s largest shipping line said global ocean-based freight demand will grow between 7% and 9% this year, up from a previous prediction of 6%-8% expansion, according to a statement on Tuesday. Global container demand is projected to increase by 2%-4% in 2022, Maersk said.

Supply chains around the world have been thrown into chaos as shipping capacity has been unable to cope with a surge in demand for consumer goods, coupled with port disruptions caused by Covid outbreaks. Container lines like Maersk have been the big winners as freight rates jumped to record levels with companies desperate to secure shipments.

The Copenhagen-based company kept its own financial outlook and said it will grow less than the market in 2021.

Maersk, which had published some preliminary third-quarter earnings and raised its 2021 guidance on Sept 16., provided the following details on Tuesday:

  • Revenue was $16.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with $16.08 billion seen by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
  • Earnings before interest and taxes was $5.86 billion compared with an estimated $4.97 billion.
  • Maersk kept its 2021 financial guidance of an underlying Ebit of $18 billion to $19 billion and an underlying Ebitda of $22 billion to $23 billion.
  • Maersk said its Ebitda in the first quarter of 2022 will be “in line with” fourth-quarter results.
  • Maersk will increase it current share buy-back program by an additional $5 billion over the years 2024 and 2025.
  • Maersk also announced the acquisition of German air-based freight carrier Senator International without disclosing financial details

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