MAERSK’s revenue dropped 40% in the second quarter of 2023 and its EBITDA plunged 72%.

The company’s Q2 revenue of US$13 billion was down from the US$21.7 billion it posted in the second quarter of 2022.

Its EBITDA for the second quarter of 2023 came to US$2.9 billion, which was significantly lower than the US$10.3 billion it posted in the same period last year.

Maersk said ongoing market normalisation that continued though the quarter led to lower volumes and lower rates.

“The Q2 result contributed to a strong first half of the year, where we responded to sharp changes in market conditions prompted by destocking and subdued growth environment following the pandemic fuelled years,” Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc said.

“Our decisive actions on cost containment together with our contract portfolio cushioned some of the effects of this market normalisation.

“Cost focus will continue to play a central role in dealing with a subdued market outlook that we expect to continue until end year.”

Revenue for Maersk’s Ocean business fell 50% from US$17.4 billion in the second quarter of 2022 to US$8.7 billion for the same period this year.

Maersk attributed the numbers to tumbling freight rates and loaded volumes.

“While the volume and rate environment stabilised at a lower level during Q2, Ocean continued to be impacted by lower demand, driven by a significant inventory correction in particular in North America and Europe,” it said.

“A strong cost management allowed to partially offset the top line impact on financial performance in Ocean.”

The company said its Logistics & Services segment was also impacted by lower volumes (due to continued destocking and weaker consumer demand) and low rates.

Revenue for the logistics segment was US$3.4 billion, a slight decrease of 3% from the US$3.5 billion posted in the same period last year.

The Terminals business brought in a revenue of US$950 million in the second quarter of 2023, down 15% from US$1.1 billion reported in the same period last year.

“Revenue in Terminals … was influenced by the normalisation of storage revenue and lower volumes amid lower consumer demand and less congestion in North America,” Maersk said.

“Strong cost control contributed to a continued solid financial performance.”

And Maersk’s Towage & Maritime Services segment posted a revenue of US$504 million in the second quarter of 2023, down 13% from US$579 million posted at the same time last year.

Maersk has raised its financial outlook and now expects an underlying EBITDA of US$9.5 billion to US$11 billion (previously US$8 to US$11 billion) despite a weakened second half market outlook.

Based on continued destocking, Maersk now sees global container volume growth in the range of -4% to -1% compared to -2.5% to +0.5% previously. It expects the Ocean business to grow in-line with the market.