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OOCL keeps moving boxes in 2015, but makes less

OOCL keeps moving boxes in 2015, but makes less
The reality of the disaster 2015 has been for the container shipping industry is starting to hit home, with Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), normally very good at riding out downturns, reporting total revenue for the fourth quarter declining by 15.6% to $1.18bn from $1.40bn previously. Meanwhile revenue for the full-year fell 10.1% to $5.22bn from $5.81bn previously.

Fourth quarter total volumes rose 2.0% to 1.39m teu from 1.36m teu in the previous corresponding period, as loadable capacity also increased by 6.0%. The overall load factor however was inevitably impacted and was 2.8% lower than the same period in 2014.  Overall average revenue per teu also decreased by 17.3% compared to the previous corresponding period.
For 2015, however, total volumes decreased by 0.2% to 5.58m teu from 5.59m teu in the same period of 2014 and overall load factor was 4.4% lower on the 6% increase in loadable capacity. Overall average revenue per teu decreased by 10.0% year-on-year.

The hardest hit segment unsurprisingly was Asia-Europe, where volumes fell 16.4% to 206,600 teu in the fourth quarter and revenue plunged by more than a third to $$177.1m from $275.2m previously.

A premonition of the next trouble spots can be seen in the anaemic 5.6% growth in Ttansatlantic volumes in the fourth quarter and the overall 5.0% drop in volumes for that route for the whole year.

As far as making money is concerned, the outlook is even bleaker. Total revenue has fallen in the fourth quarter for all segments, ranging from the huge 35.6% fall in Asia-Europe to the 15.3% drop in Intra-Asia to milder 7.9% and 4.0% declines in transpacific and transatlantic revenues respectively. For the full-year, revenues also fell across the board, from a somewhat buffered 3.3% drop in transpacific to the 24.7% fall in the beleaguered Asia-Europe.