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A lucrative H1 2021 for Asian shipowners

Like their counterparts in Europe, Asian shipowners raked in billions first half of the year

Asian shipowners reported stellar performance for the first 6 months this year. Needless to say, port congestions, capacity shortages and accompanying loadings were the revenue generators.

By the billions
There were “enough” work to go around, supplemented by cargo owners having to pay surcharges and ships to divert and warrant loadings. Hong Kong conglomerate Orient Overseas (International) Ltd (OOIL), parent company of OOCL, reported a net profit of $2.81 billion in H1 2021. This is a colossal increase compared to $155 million H1 2020. With earnings before interests and tax (EBIT) at $2.85 billion, it translates to a 40.8 per cent margin. Revenues also more than doubled in H1 2021 to $6.99 billion compared to $3.43 billion in 2020.

A representative of OOCL said supply chains suffered intense imbalance despite efforts to boost capacity, and negotiate operational challenges. The company noted, “These market forces have put upward pressure on rates for most trade lanes. It is these market forces, in addition to our usual careful attention to cost control, that have driven the strong profitability achieved during the period.”

Thai shipowner, Regional Container Lines (RCL) reported Q2 2021 profits at THB 3.2 billion ($96.12 million) a 14-fold hike compared to Q2 2020. Profits for H1 2021 was a recorded THB 6.1 billion compared to THB 228 million in the same period in 2020. The listed carrier said rates in Q2 had risen by an “astonishing” 78 per cent. As a result, its Q2 2021 revenues doubled year-on-year to THB 7.9 billion.

Many shipowners have achieved astronomical margins, albeit at the expense of cargo owners. The only question is, how many cargo owners are near or have reached the point of needing to “share” the costs with consumers?


Marine Online News Team
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