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Container lines keep piling on multi-billion dollar profits

Photo: Port of New Orleans Port NOLA _ ONE Modern.jpeg
Container lines are continuing to rake in the billions this year as the supply remains disrupted and record high freight rates.

For the financial year ended 31 March 2022, Ocean Network Express (ONE), reported a record net profit of $16.76bn, and increase of $13.72bn over the previous year.

ONE said it had continued to see strong cargo demand through January – March this year despite the seasonal factor of Chinese New Year, the war in Ukraine, and latterly Chinese Covid lockdowns. It said, “turmoil still remains within the entire global supply chain”.

“As a result, the spot freight market in Q4 remained at a higher level than expected and significantly higher compared to the previous year,” ONE said.

ONE did not give a profit forecast for the financial year ended 31 March 2023 the major uncertainties around a prolonged conflict in Ukraine, Chinese Covid lockdowns, a possible US West Coast ports labour dispute, and rapid global inflation.

“Under these circumstances it is highly likely that the economic environment will continue to change dynamically in FY2022, it is therefore extremely difficult to announce a reasonable business forecast for the coming financial year and as such ONE’s forecasts for FY2022 are yet to be finalised,” the shipping line said.

Meanwhile alliance partner Hapag-Lloyd said it expects a Q1 2022 EBITDA of around $5.3bn. “The transport volume of around 3m teu was at the level of the previous year. At the same time, the average freight rate increased by approximately 80%,” the German liner company said.

Hapag-Lloyd also expects a strong second quarter exceeding expectations and raised its annual EBITDA forecast to $14.5 to 16.5bn for 2022.