Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Hapag-Lloyd Q3 profits plunge, warns of challenging quarters ahead

Photo: Marcus Hand Name plate at Hapag-Lloyd HQ in Hamburg
Hapag-Lloyd’s Q3 2023 profit dropped to an EBIT of EUR204 million container freight rates continued to decline.

While unlike some its competitors Hapag-Lloyd remained in the black its third quarter figures showed a huge drop off from the boom times of the same period in 2022 when it reported a third quarter EBIT of EUR5.56 billion.

Revenues in Q3 2023 were less than half those reported a year earlier standing at EUR4.1 billion compared to EUR9.74 billion in Q2 2022 reflecting a sharp plunge in freight rates.

The German container line and terminal operator noted that container freight rates dropped even further in Q3 this year to an average $1,312 per teu compared to $3,106 per teu in the same three month period in 2022.

“Thanks to an increase in transport volumes in the third quarter, volumes are roughly flat for the nine-month period compared to 2022,” commented Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

“However, freight rates are below the prior-year level and, as expected, fell again in the third quarter – which is reflected in much lower earnings. In response, we are working hard to reduce our expenses even more, such as by achieving savings on the procurement side and making adjustments to our service network. Nevertheless, if spot rates do not recover, we could face some challenging quarters in this subdued market environment.”

Hapag-Lloyd is now forecasting a full year EBIT in the range of EUR2.2 – EUR3.1 billion implying the company could be in red in Q4 this year based on an EBIT of EUR2.8 billion reported for the first nine months of 2023