Maersk expects a healthy recovery for container shipping in 2021. File Image / Pixabay
The container market, the largest consumer of bunker fuel among the shipping segments, may grow by as much as 7% this year, according to boxship giant AP Moller-Maersk.
Maersk has upgraded its container market growth forecast for 2021 to 5-7% from 2020's levels, it said in a trading update on its website on Monday, up from a previous forecast of 3-5%.
The upgrade was "primarily driven by the export volumes out of China to the US," the company said.
Maersk's own cargo volumes climbed by 5.7% from the previous year in the first quarter, according to preliminary figures in the trading update, while its average freight rates surged by 35%.
The company bought 2.5 million mt of bunker fuel in the first quarter of 2020, and took on 10.3 million mt overall last year.
Maersk is due to publish its first-quarter results on May 5.