A glimmer of hope Wednesday (August 19) for global growth.
The world’s top cargo shipping line says it expects demand to return to pre-crisis levels in the first half of next year.
Maersk handles one in five of all containers shipped by sea worldwide.
On Wednesday it reported second-quarter results ahead of expectations.
Though the volume of goods shipped did fall sharply, that was offset by higher freight rates and lower fuel prices.
The company’s key measure of earnings jumped 25% to 1.7 billion dollars as a result.
One analyst told Reuters the numbers were ‘extraordinarily good’.
Maersk still expects a decline in freight volumes this year though.
In the third quarter it expects container demand to be down as much as 6% on the year.
But that is better than the 20% slump at the height of the crisis in April.
Wednesday also saw Maersk find the confidence to offer a financial outlook.
Earlier in the year, like many firms, it suspended guidance, saying it was all too uncertain.
But the Danish company now says it expects full-year core earnings of up to 7 billion dollars before costs.
That’s up on the 5.5 billion it forecast at the start of the year.
Maersk shares jumped following the numbers.
By early afternoon they were up around 4 percent.