Behrendt confident about Hapag-Lloyd’s future
Hapag-Lloyd chairman Michael Behrendt was tightlipped about a possible sale or flotation of the struggling container line by parent company TUI AG in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt.
“It’s not for me to say how our owner should shape its portfolio,” said Behrendt, who has faced pressure from major shareholders to sell the company since its results took a nosedive amid the industry-wide decline in freight rates that came soon after its purchase of CP Ships in late 2005.
The Hamburg-based carrier has also been widely tipped to be a takeover target of A.P. Moller-Maersk, something both have repeatedly denied.
Hapag-Lloyd posted a second quarter loss of 15 million euros ($20 million), but Behrendt is expecting to benefit from the recent upturn in rates in the second half with Hapag-Lloyd’s ships operating at 93 percent to 95 percent full.
“We’ve had similar situations in the last 20 years. Analysts forecast overcapacity and inadequate volumes and prices go into freefall, although ships on the main routes are full,” Behrendt said.
“There was and is no overcapacity. We’re having to leave goods lying around in Asia because the ships heading towards Europe are full.”
Hapag-Lloyd's U.S. headquarters is in Piscataway, N.J.