The chief executive of Hapag-Lloyd HLAG.DE, the world’s number five container line, on Thursday said the company has cut services on key global routes in order to rein in costs amid a decline in freight rates that weighed on its nine-month profits.
“We are taking measures to reduce capacities in order to control our costs,” said CEO Rolf Habben Jansen in an interview with Reuters.
“We have cut one of five (South East Asia) sailings to North Europe and have taken out one of six services to East Coast United States,” he said, adding that cuts in staff numbers, as announced recently by competitor Maersk MAERSKb.CO, were not currently on the agenda.
Company to insist on higher early 2024 freight rates
Contract freight rates to be concluded by early next year will have to be negotiated at levels above today’s spot rates, the chief executive of the world’s number five container shipping operator, the company also said yesterday.
“We see expectations out there for contract rates that are unrealistic and at those levels we will not close,” CEO Rolf Habben Jansen told analysts in a call after presenting sharply lower nine-month results in a shipping downturn.
“I would expect that those contracts that will be closed at the beginning of the (2024) year will be above the spot levels we see today,” he added.