June 21, 2021 – Container shipping will see an extended peak season this year, with no signs of a slowdown in demand, believes Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen, warning that if demand picked up in the traditional third-quarter peak season it would extend beyond the traditional Golden Week slowdown. “People will start to ship early and it will probably last longer than usual,” he said. “Inventories are low, which is why people are eager to get stuff shipped; but even once we are beyond the pandemic, it’s not unlikely that people will want more inventory.” He expects demand “will stay robust for an extended period of time,” exacerbating the current delays in the supply chain. “The theme remains congestion,” he notes. “The U.S. is improving a little bit, but there are still ships waiting and we have not made the progress we wanted to in the second quarter. We need to have a not-too-strong peak season there to get out of the difficulties, which is not what we foresee at the moment.”