Shipping Firms ‘Act Like Cartels’: Maersk Predicts £25bn Profits Despite Supply Chain Crisis

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  • Shipping giant Maersk is predicting annual profits £10billion above predictions
  • Cost of a container has gone from £2,000 per trip to up to £20,000 in pandemic
  • It hit UK importers and exporters – and consumers are paying more for products
  • Items have also run short – or not been available at all – due to increasing costs
  • Dockworkers have voted for strike at Felixstowe – UK’s biggest container port

Global shipping giant Maersk is predicting annual profits of £25billion – up £10billion from its first forecast – as critics accused the industry of ‘profiteering’ and contributing further to the crippling cost of living crisis, reports Daily Mail.

Inflation and price rises due to cost pressures

The Danish firm moves 12million containers around the globe each year and it has seen the price can charge rise from around £2,000 per container before the pandemic to between £16,000 and £20,000 today.

This has contributed to inflation and price rises due to cost pressures from rising transport costs including fuel, higher energy prices and ongoing labour shortages.

Shippers act like cartel 

Nick Glynn, from the Buy it Direct Group, believes shipping firms are profiteering and acting like a cartel, and said that the extraordinary costs for a single container is directly hitting businesses and consumers.

He said: ‘If you go back to 2019, the price of moving a 40ft container was less than £2,000. During Covid this went up 1000% percent, reaching £20,000 at its peak. This has a significant impact on the cost of goods.’

The price increases are though to have started during the pandemic as thousands of shipping containers were left stranded in China and in locked down ports, creating fierce demand for those that were able to move.

These prices have continued to rise after the end of the pandemic as a lack of manpower at docks and on ships means goods move slower, further increasing the price and demand for space.

Mind-bending profits 

Amid ‘mind-bending’ profits for shipping firms, the so-called ‘kingpin’ of the UK’s shipbroking industry now earns more than bosses of Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s combined.

Andi Case, chief executive of Clarksons, is paid £6.8million-a-year, more than most FTSE chief executives. Copenhagen based CEO of Maersk, Soren Skou, is paid around £4.5million-a-year.

Data from Blue Alpha Capital has shown that in recent years many shipping firms were struggling to make big money. This year the industry is set to rake in close to $60billion in profits.

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Source: Daily Mail

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