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Inflation-Stoking Supply Crunch Set to Ease in Second Half

  • Maersk says ocean bottlenecks to ‘normalize’ around midyear
  • Shift will ease pressure on trade but erode shipping revenue
Updated on

A major player in global trade signaled disrupted supply chains rattling economies from Vietnam to Germany may return to normal within months, easing concerns of a more protracted period of shipping chaos that has helped fuel inflation, wreaked havoc on retailers and slowed factory production.

Ship backlogs that have persisted for most of the Covid-19 pandemic will begin to let up in the second half, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S said Wednesday. Such a shift will alleviate pressure on container capacity but will mean less revenue for the Danish shipping giant from the spot market, where freight rates on the busiest routes remain as much as 10 times higher than 2019 levels.