A sputtering global economy and this year's sharp drop in the price of oil are undercutting the business of at least one shipping and oil conglomerate. On Friday, AP Moller-Maersk reported a near halving of its profits.
The company blamed weaker container freight rates and lower oil prices for the 48 percent slide in its third-quarter profits, which came in at $778 million (714.9 million euros).
"It is a world of slow growth, no question about that," said Nils Andersen, Moller-Maersk's chief executive.
Average rates for containers were at historic lows, he added. Compared to last year, those rates have fallen by nearly one-fifth while oil prices have plunged 51 percent.
To reduce operating costs, the company's shipping unit, Maersk Lines,announced on Wednesday
that it would lay off 4,000 employees by the end of 2017 and wait to upgrade its fleet.
News of the planned job culls came a week after Maersk's oil business said it also intended to shrink its global headcount by 1,250 jobs due to the collapse of oil prices.
cjc/tko (AP, AFP)