Full steam ahead
According to maritime intelligence provider Sea-Intelligence, the carriers continued to generate a "very strong operating profit" in Q1/2022. CEO Alan Murphy summarised: "The combined operating profit of the global carriers (those that provide financial information) was USD 43.9 billion in Q1/2022."
Putting it into perspective, these earnings before interest and tax (ebit) are not only higher than the combined Q1/ebit of the last 12 years, but also exceed the ebit levels achieved in Q3/2021 - last year's peak season.
Four carriers recorded an ebit in Q1/2022 of over USD 5 billion, with CMA CGM taking the lead with USD 7.64 billion, followed by Maersk with an ebit of USD 7.07 billion, Cosco with USD 6.26 billion, and ONE Express Line with USD 5.23 billion. MSC, for example, does not provide this financial information.
This level of profitability is not driven by volume growth, as apart from ZIM (+5%), all other carriers that report global volumes either saw clear declines in volumes or moved sidewards like Hapag-Lloyd (+0.4%). Murphy: "This level of profitability is more a reflection of the current freight rate environment." (sh)