U.S. and European debt crises are paralyzing consumer demand for goods exported from China and putting downward pressure on some shipping rates, said Nils Andersen, chief executive of Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk.
The shipping industry has a history of cutting rates to gain market share during hard times. But Maersk is not taking that route today, partly because its rates are not covering costs on the Asia-to-Europe traffic, Andersen said in an interview last week at Maersk Line’s U.S. headquarters.
Andersen said industry rates are stable in most regions but slipping slightly from Asia to Europe. Maersk expects to hike rates, and aims to maintain rather than increase market share.
“It may be a little new to industrial thinking, but we just can’t afford to go into a price war because the general market is going down,” he said.