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Things can only get better, believes Maersk Asia-Pacific boss

Singapore: Out with the old, on with the new - which can only be good news for the maritime industry, according to  Maersk Line Asia-Pacific ceo Jesper Praestensgaard, who describes 2009 as 'the worst year for both the shipping industry and Maersk Line since World War II,' reports the Business Times of Singapore. 'This is evident from the fact that 2009 is the first time in our 100-year history that the AP Moller-Maersk Group has posted a half-yearly loss,' he says.

'Many shipping companies have postponed existing orders for new vessels, idled existing vessels and increased their scrapping programme all in an effort to take cost out and match capacity better to the prevailing demand,' continues Praestensgaard. 'I expect this to continue in 2010, and we therefore expect the current tight capacity situation to continue. This, in turn, will help us increase rates further.'

Business Times quotes Praestensgaard as predicting: 'We believe there is a positive momentum for growth, due to a pick up in demand and efforts to curb capacity increases. But it will be a modest growth rate compared with an industry yearly average of 10 per cent in the past 30 years. It will be a while more before traditional consumer markets like the US and Europe return to their former strength, and this contributes to the modest growth rates we must expect in the near future in container volumes.'  [01/01/10]

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