In announcing its half-year results, Hapag-Lloyd said that it does not expect the present volatility in the container shipping sector to ease until the first quarter of 2022, at the earliest.

Demand remains high in the current congested market environment, leading to a shortage of available weekly transportation capacity, said the carrier.

In the first half of this year, revenues at Hapag-Lloyd increased by approximately 51 percent compared to 2020 to USD10.6 billion, mainly because of a 46 percent higher average freight rate of USD1,612 per teu (in the first half of 2020, this stood at USD1,104 per teu).

Rolf Habben Jansen, ceo of Hapag-Lloyd, said: “In a market with very strong demand for container transports, we have benefitted from significantly improved freight rates and look back on a very good first half year.”

The freight rate development was the result of high demand combined with scarce transport capacities and severe infrastructural bottlenecks.

Habben Jansen added: “We are naturally pleased by this extraordinary financial result. But the bottlenecks in the supply chains continue to cause enormous strains and inefficiencies for all market participants and we have to do our utmost to resolve them jointly as soon as possible. Looking at the market environment today, we however do not believe that the situation will return to normal any time soon – despite all the efforts made and the additional container box capacity that is being injected. We currently expect the market situation only to ease in the first quarter of 2022 at the earliest.”