Ocean Liners Record “Very Strong” US$43.9b Q1 Operating Profit

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Shipping lines have carried over its strong performance from 2021, recording a “very strong” operating profit in the first quarter of the year, reports Asia Cargo News.

“Very Strong” operating profit in Q1

Sea-Intelligence (Sea-Intel) said in a new report that the combined operating profit of the global carriers (those that provide financial information) reached US$43.9 billion in the January to March period of 2022.

Putting it into perspective, this Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) is not only higher than the combined Q1 EBIT of the last 12 years, but it is also higher than the 2021-Q3 EBIT, which in itself was a bumper peak season,” Sea-Intel said.

Furthermore, the maritime analyst said all of the carriers have more than doubled their EBIT year/year, and most of the carriers have doubled their EBIT compared to their respective combined EBITs since 2010.

Unprecedented nature of the current supply/demand situation

Four carriers recorded EBIT in 2022-Q1 of over US$5 billion, with CMA CGM recording the largest EBIT of US$7.64 billion, followed by Maersk with an EBIT of US$7.07 billion, COSCO with an EBIT of US$6.26 billion, and ONE Line with an EBIT of US$5.23 billion.

To see the magnitude of the carrier profitability in 2022-Q1, figure 1 shows the EBIT/TEU of the carriers that report on both their EBIT and their global volumes,” said Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence.

Self Photos / Files - 046c9bbfece54f0ca828edf03ef6b704.png

The unprecedented nature of the current supply/demand situation and the freight rate environment is clearly evident, with the 2022-Q1 EBIT/TEU figure of each of these shipping lines dwarfing each of the previous years,” Murphy added.

This level of profitability is not driven by volume growth, as apart from ZIM (+5.0%), all other carriers that report global volumes either recorded sharp year/year declines or in the case of Hapag-Lloyd, a marginal 0.4% increase. This level of profitability is more so a reflection of the current freight rate environment,” the Sea-Intel chief further explained.

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Source: Asia Cargo News

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