Maritime trade picking up again unexpectedly strong – Hapag-Lloyd
Shipping company Hapag-Lloyd says a recovery of international maritime trade after the slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic is helping the company to regain its strength quicker than expected. The German ocean carrier's CEO, Rolf Habben Jansen, told journalists at an online conference that the industry's business is expected to contract by about four percent this year, far less than the roughly 10.5 percent anticipated in April, manager magazine reports. In 2021, an increase in business volumes of almost six percent could be expected, Habben Jansen said. "Nobody expected demand to pick up again so quickly," he said, arguing that lower expenses for services like concerts, restaurants or cinemas might have prompted consumers to shop and order more products. In some areas, there would now be even more cargo ships operating than one year ago, Habben Jansen said. The CEO added that low fuel prices had helped the company improve its business confidence, which allows it to pursue its aims of reducing CO2 emissions and complete construction of a large container vessel powered with liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Maritime freight emissions are a major source of greenhouse gases and the world's ocean carrier fleet combined emits almost as much CO2 as a major industrialised country like Germany. The German government has launched an initiative to improve the climate impact of the EU member states' fleet in the context of its European Council presidency.