According to analysts at SeaIntelligence Consulting, container shipping lines had a combined profit of $ 2.7 billion in the second quarter (Q2) of this year, even though each line recorded a decline in revenue and volumes when compared to the same period of last year.
Alan Murphy, Executive Director of SeaIntelligence Consulting, stated: "This has to be the result of a combination of cost reduction and higher freight rates; almost all carriers had a higher freight rate compared to Q2 2019."
The second quarter of 2020 was the first since 2010 in which the ten lines that publish the financial results registered a positive EBIT per TEU. Hapag-Lloyd posted the highest profitability, at $146.40 per TEU, South Korean line HMM's EBIT per TEU stood at $ 129.10, and Maersk achieved $ 129.30 per TEU. The least profitable line was Yang Ming with $ 18.60 per TEU, just below OOCL with $ 45.10 per TEU, and the latter's parent company, Cosco, with $ 58.30 per TEU.
"This is a very positive development for shipping lines, as the pandemic did not affect container shipping to the extent that was initially feared," said Mr. Murphy. "The focus of the industry will probably now be on the third quarter, which is peak cargo season."
Following a dramatic drop in fuel prices, shipping companies have begun to recall surcharges on low-sulfur fuel, which were introduced earlier in the year to cover the new IMO regulation, but that have become disconnected from the distribution of costs between traditional low-sulfur heavy fuel oil since the start of the pandemic, The Loadstar reported.
The question remains, to what extent was the EBIT per TEU was affected by the application of surcharges, which today are once again subject to criticism from the UK's British International Freight Association (BIFA).
Source: MasContainers / simfruit.cl