ContainersFinance and Insurance

Records tumble for listed liners

Listed global carriers recorded a combined $16.2bn in operating profits in the first quarter this year, with seven of the 10 carriers recording EBIT of over $1bn in the three-month period, data from Sea-Intelligence shows.

Underscoring the record highs container shipping has been enjoying of late, the tallied results mark the the first time that all reporting carriers recorded a positive first quarter EBIT, a period that normally tends to be the slowest for liners.

In the first quarter, the smallest EBIT among the 10 carriers was $618m. To put this figure into perspective, from 2010 to 2020, only twice did any carrier record a positive EBIT of over $500m.

Cosco reported the highest Q1 EBIT of $2.87bn, followed by Maersk on $2.7bn, and CMA CGM with an EBIT of $2.46bn.

South Korea’s HMM recorded the highest EBIT per teu of $970.8 per teu, which means that HMM had an operating profit of nearly $1,000 for every teu shipped.

Q2 results are widely tipped to be even higher. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), a global reference point for spot box rates, leapt again to new highs on Friday, climbing another 91 points to 3,704 points, 247% up year-on-year.

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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