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Top 20 box lines lost an average of $16 per teu from 2008-12

Top 20 box lines lost an average of $16 per teu from 2008-12
The world’s top 20 container lines on average made a net loss of $16 for every teu they carried over the five year period covering 2008 - 2012, according to a report from consultants Dynamar.

The report into the world’s top 25 container lines, produced five year financial averages of the top 20 largest lines showing sustained average annual net losses amounting to $1.3bn over the period from 2008 – 2012.

As an average over the five-year period the top 20 lines moved 122m teu annually generating with an average total revenue of $148bn per year, and an average total annual operating profit of $2.7bn. However, at net profit level the average total annual net loss was $1.3bn, equating to an average loss of $16 per teu.

Over the five years from 2008 – 2012 the top 20 lines only made an average net profit per teu in two years. In 2008 they generated an average net profit of $65 per and in 2010 $165 per teu. However, in 2009, 2011 and 2012 average net losses per teu were $170, $87 and $50 respectively.

As overall average over the five years operating margin for the top 20 lines remained positive at 1.8% according to Dynamar.

“Although their operating margin (operating profit as a percentage of revenue) was only negative in annus horribilis 2009, what other industry would accept it to be so consistently low?” Dynamar asked.

Where financial data was not available estimates were used. The consultants noted that 16 out of the top 25 liner operators were either publicly-listed or part of publicly-listed group and accounted for 61% of operated capacity.

The top 20 lines, on an alphabetical basis were, APL, China Shipping, CMA CGM, Cosco, CSAV, Evergreen Line, Hamburg Süd, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, K Line, Maersk Line, MOL, MSC, NYK, OOCL, PIL, UASC, Yang Ming and ZIM.