* Shipping volumes boosted by later peak season start
* Transport volumes were up 26.6 pct in Jan-Sept
* Sustained high bunker prices remain major worry (Recasts with quotes from interview with CEO)
German shipping group Hapag-Lloyd expects an increase in transport volumes to last for the remainder of 2018 after volume growth and a modest recovery in freight rates helped push operating profits 12 percent higher in the first nine months.
Shipping is only slowly recovering from an oversupply of vessels that plunged the sector into an almost decade-long slump, forcing some players out of business and others to combine forces to seek economies of scale.
“Looking ahead, transport volumes will remain favourable and the peak demand season is carrying on longer this year,” Chief Executive Officer Rolf Habben Jansen told Reuters in a telephone interview.
“We also expect further synergies from the merger with (Arab peer) UASC, better ship utilisation and lower unit costs,” he added.
Read more on Reuters.