German container line Hapag-Lloyd has dismissed "absurd" conspiracy theories that liner operators are deliberately hiding scarce boxes to bolster record rates even further.

Niklas Ohling, senior director of container steering, told the company's in-house magazine that "not a single container" has been concealed.

"We are experiencing full capacity utilisation. Every box is being used," he said.

Ohling added that the vast majority of Hapag-Lloyd's containers are underway on ships, trains or trucks – and they are full of cargo.