SeaIntel: Q2 Results Paint a Better Picture for Container Carriers

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Now that the results for the second quarter of 2017 have settled in, it can be deduced that the container shipping market has entered fairer winds when compared to the horrendous second quarter of 2016.

Ten carriers posted black figures, while only two have reported losses for the quarter, those being Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), which booked a loss of USD 81.8 million, resuming its losing streak from the six of the past eight second quarters, and Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL), which recorded a loss of USD 55.1 million. MOL reported red figures for the past seven second quarters, intelligence provider SeaIntel Maritime Analysis said.

“On the other hand, despite the revenue and volume loss from the cyber-security incident, we see an outstanding financial result from Maersk Line in 2017-Q2, recording EBIT of USD 376 million, more than three times the segment profit of second-best performing COSCO at USD 122 million. The remaining eight carriers all had 2017-Q2 operating profits of less than USD 100 million,” SeaIntel added.

“All 12 carriers have improved their Q2 profits/loss situation in 2017 over 2016. Maersk Line again sees the greatest net improvement, turning a USD -123 million loss to a USD 376 million EBIT profit. COSCO has seen the second-best profit improvement over 2016-Q2, at USD 381 million. The remaining carriers have all seen an improvement of less than USD 200 million. Interestingly, Wan Hai, the only carrier to consistently have made a profit in every second quarter for the past six years, is the carrier that has seen the smallest improvement, of just USD 18 million, in 2017- Q2.”

With respect to revenue, COSCO showed the strongest revenue growth, with a 47.3% Y/Y revenue increase in 2017-Q2. However, this revenue growth is partly due to the integration of CSCL in 2016-Q1.

Evergreen and HMM follow with the second and third-largest Y/Y revenue increases, of 30.3% and 30.1%, respectively. Maersk Line, Hapag-Lloyd, OOCL, Yang Ming, and ZIM all saw their revenues grow 20-25% Y/Y in the second quarter, and much of this revenue growth is likely to be a consequence of the Hanjin bankruptcy, as the Korean carrier was still in operation in 2016-Q2. The remaining four carriers, Wan Hai and the three Japanese carriers, all saw much lower revenue growth of around 10% Y/Y, data from SeaIntel shows.

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