HMM continues to stand out as box shipping’s biggest loser

The main container carriers’ average operating margin improved to 3.6% in the third quarter of 2019, largely due to lower bunker costs, Alphaliner reports in its latest weekly report. However, there is one carrier that stands apart, still mired in red ink.

Among the main carriers surveyed by Alphaliner, South Korea’s HMM was the only shipping line that posted a negative operating margin in the third quarter, extending its negative earnings streak to 18 consecutive quarters.

HMM’s operating margin of -5.7% was an improvement over Q2’s -8.1%.

HMM was one of just two carriers, among those who publicly reveal their quarterlies, to record a negative EBIT in Q3. Yang Ming was the other liner to be in negative territory. HMM will shortly join Yang Ming as a new member of THE Alliance.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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