Maersk CEO discusses company's record 5 billion dollar profit (2)

20:25, February 25, 2011      

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"The turn-around in the world trade came quite quickly and unexpectedly, so customers had not ordered enough space," Andersen said.

"We didn't have enough space available in the industry as a whole, and we did not have enough containers to service the market. So it was a good environment for getting good prices."

The container-shipping business as a whole, is sensitive to changes in global demand and trade in goods, and is regarded as a industry whose fortunes fluctuate from year to year.

According to the World Trade Organization, global trade volumes fell by 12 percent in 2009, owing to the negative effects of the global financial crisis, resulting in depressed figures for the container-shipping industry in that year.

By contrast, "2010 was a very strong year, because payment for container transport was on a very high level," said Martin Jes Iversen, an associate professor at Copenhagen Business School. "The rates were very high and that is not likely to continue."

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