Likely Story

Fox Business News issued this exciting report yesterday:

“A.P. Moller-Maersk Terminals Unit Chief Sees Annual Global Container Business to Grow 5%-6% a Year”

Because Fox News rarely deals with the truth, they threw another curve ball. “International container traffic is likely to continue growing between 5% and 6% over the next few years, but bottlenecks in several parts of the world continue to clog world-wide trade, Kim Fejfer, the chief executive of the container terminals units of A.P. Moeller-Maersk said Wednesday,” the report began.

“Governments in Africa, Latin America and India need to take steps to make ports more efficient and build capacity, Mr. Fejfer, who leads APM Terminals, told reporters.

“The shipping industry must adjust to slower growth in Asia-Europe trade, he said, although there are huge opportunities in intra-Asian trade and between Asia and other regions such as Africa and South America.” –

Sound familiar? This is the same spinnage Maersk puts out every year about this time, and they always use a different spokesman to mouth the words so that fingers won’t be pointed at the last one who strung us along. Obviously, officials at Maersk, the largest of the world’s container lines – as well as hucksters at Fox – are convinced that the rest of us are completely in the dark about the maritime industry. Some are, some are not.

Just two days, Cargo Business News revealed that: “The global idle containership fleet of vessels more than 500 TEU has increased by 96,000 TEU over the last two weeks to hit 762,000 TEU, an increase of 4.7 per cent compared to the idle fleet as at November 5, according to Alphaliner data.

“Maersk leads with the most idle ships – 14, ranging in size from 4,000 to 9,500 TEU with a combined capacity of 94,000 TEU. Six of the ships were displaced from the Asia-Europe trades owing to service suspension.

“It noted that the impact of winter season service suspensions is taking a heavy toll on demand for larger containerships, with a further 150,000 to 250,000 TEU forecast to be laid up by the end of the year. It said that 24 vessels of above 5,000 TEU are idle, compared to only two in early September. There are 67 idle ships of between 3,000 and 5,000 TEU, 14 more ships than two months ago.” –

Could it be that the Maersk officials are the ones that are completely in the dark? There’s little chance of that. Note the clever choice of words provided to Mr. Fejfer for the Fox report: “… likely to continue growing …”. There has been no growth. Maersk knows it and the published report of Maersk’s idle ship numbers by Alphaliner confirms this. And where do you suppose Alphaliner got all this “data” about Maersk’s layups? You guessed it – right from the horse’s mouth.