Evergreen is leaning into the post-Covid downturn with what appears to be an aggressive growth strategy – a stark contrast to its domestic compatriots – and acquired a 20% stake in Rotterdam’s Euromax terminal.
Aggressive Growth Strategy
Of Taiwan’s three carriers, Wan Hai and Yang Ming have both joined Israel’s Zim in the loss-making club, but, although 95% short of its 2022 results, the country’s largest box operator, Evergreen, has kept itself in the black, reporting net profits of TWD5.1bn ($160m). One source told The Loadstar: “This acquisition points towards an aggressive growth strategy in marked contrast to the conservatism being seen from the likes of Yang Ming.
According to the latest Alphaliner data, the Taiwanese Stock Exchange was told Singapore-registered Evergreen Marine Corp (EMC) had bought the shares in Europe’s largest container port for €72.5m ($109m), valuing the terminal at €362.5m. The reported suggested the carrier acquired its stake from Hutchison, although this could not be confirmed, but the source said wherever it came from, it was a “massive” development, adding: “Like Hapag-Lloyd, Evergreen has decided to invest some of its windfall earnings in terminals, which is in contrast to Maersk and CMA CGM which are targeting investments in the logistics space.”
Meanwhile, for Wan Hai,Q2 marked a second consecutive quarter of operating losses, recording a TWD1.7bn ($53m) deficit for the April-June period. And its difficulties have been compounded by its rash of pandemic-era ordering, with new orders comparable to 39% of its existing fleet.
Alphaliner noted: “The collapse in rates on its routes has severely affected revenues, which are now some 65% lower than they were this time a year ago.” And like Wan Hai, Yang Ming found itself struggling as it recorded its first net deficit (TWD13m) since Covid’s influence began waning. Quarterly revenue for Taiwan’s number-two box line was TWD 35bn, some 68% down year on year, but unlike Wan Hai, it managed to maintain and operating profit, of TWD 1.6bn, with one analyst noting that Yang Ming had a strong war-chest with which to fend off possible suitors.
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