Maersk CEO Robbert Jan van Trooijen tells LBC what to expect from shipping this year.
Sea freight rates between Latin American and U.S. ports will not change much this year. That’s the view of Robbert Jan van Trooijen, chief executive for Latin America and the Caribbean, at Maersk Line. “Freight rate levels have fluctuated less in these markets than in the more agile transpacific and transatlantic trades, and we don’t foresee major changes in the short run,” he said.
What´s Maersk's share in the maritime container traffic in Latin America?
Maersk Line is creating the new brand to capture a larger share of what it sees as one of the faster-growing global markets. The intra-America market is growing faster than mature markets. We expect container volumes in the intra-Americas trades to grow by 6-plus percent year-over-year this year, following 4.3 percent growth last year. Maersk Line estimates total intra-Americas trade volume at 3.2 million 40-foot-equivalent units, of which it has a 6 percent share, or under 200,000 FEUs. That share is below the global Maersk Line market share which is closer to 14 percent.
What will happen to maritime freight rates between Latin America and U.S. ports in 2014?
Trade between the U.S. and Latin America continues to grow at a 5-6 percent pace, and there’s still ample room for improvement and collaboration between economies across the region. The four Pacific Alliance members (Chile, Colombia, Perú and México) will continue to shine this year and for years to come. Freight rate levels have fluctuated less in these markets than in the more agile transpacific and transatlantic trades, and we don’t foresee major changes in the short run.
At the moment we are concerned about the direction the trade between Asia and Latin America is taking, due to the ongoing rate volatility and the additional capacity that is being deployed in the region
What environmental regulations will have the largest impact on the company's operating costs this year?
A large part of our global company profit for 2013 was achieved through reductions in our bunker consumption, saving 12.1 percent of our consumption compared to the previous year. While this is not part of regulations itself, we have proved that the environmental initiatives we take have a positive effect on the bottom line. Retrofitting vessels, a more even navigation speed, slow steaming and efficient engines will continue to be important areas to drive cost savings for our company
Is overcapacity a problem for shipping companies in the Latin American market?
Overcapacity is not a Latin Americanproblem,it’s an industry problem due to the incentive to continue buying larger, more efficient vessels that ultimately drive unit costs down. It will continue to be an industry wide issue through 2015 and beyond. Collaboration between shipping lines (through alliances like P3, CKHYE and G6) can be a future way of dealing with overcapacity through joint deployment.