Soren Skou, chief executive of AP Moller-Maersk, the world’s second-biggest container shipping group, said globalization had not reversed, but the era of dwindling trade barriers was over.
Skou said he saw little sign of U.S. or European manufacturers moving production back home, instead seeing them looking for more suppliers in Asia, the Financial Times reported.
Skou contrasts sharply with the perception of many corporate executives who believe globalization is under attack, especially from populist forces.
Maersk expects container traffic to fall in the first half of the year as global economic growth stalls, but the shipping company expects a record full-year profit amid record freight rates, port congestion and supply chain disruptions.
Container shipping could soon be hit hard, Skou said, reversing the boom in container shipping after the first wave of the pandemic ended. He said there could be a “bullwhip effect” where demand decreases but supply increases.
“When that happens, it’s pretty quick,” he said, but the odds of it being early in the second half of the year are low, possibly in August or later.