The downturn in imports headed for the U.S. has yet to be seen in the numbers for January due to shippers moving large volumes of goods in preparation for Chinese New Year, Skou said. Many factories in China shut down every year to allow their workers to celebrate the holiday, which falls on Feb. 5 this year.
But he expects a downturn in the coming months: "At some point that will be seen in the numbers," Skou told Bloomberg.
NRF's projections, released earlier this month, forecast 1.75 million TEUs to be imported for January and 1.67 million TEUs in February. This is down from 1.81 million TEUs in November and an estimated 1.79 million in December.
The trade war between China and the U.S. helped spur these high numbers at the end of the year as companies wanted to import goods before higher tariffs were in place.
Besides, Maersk expects little impact on its company if there is a no-deal Brexit because it doesn't do much business transporting goods between the U.K. and mainland Europe. Much of this is done by another Danish company, DFDS, Skou said.