Hapag-Lloyd posts record profit for 2022


In its 175th year of operation, global container shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd saw EBITDA rocket by 79% y-o-y to €19.43bn. The extraordinary profits were on 55% revenue growth in the 12 months to €34.54bn.

The shipping giant is the 5th largest company in the sector, carrying 7% of the world’s containers by sea. Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG said, “Overall, we look back on a very successful 2022 with exceptionally strong results. This has enabled us to strengthen our financial resilience and asset structure once again.”

Amongst highlights of the year for the container carrier, it saw its Latin America revenues grow by 68% to €7.57bn and revenue from its Trans Pacific operations up by 54% to €6.35bn.

Demand for containerised transport outstripped available supply in 2022, allowing the carrier to push up its rates. In 2022 on its Atlantic route for example, these were up 63% y-o-y to $2948.00. There are signs of a settling back already with the company reporting that towards the end of 2022, “The freight rate had significantly decreased due to easing congestion in ports and lower demand.”

The carrier saw record profit growth brought about by a perfect storm of post-pandemic economic revival and a shortage of available cargo space on the global containership fleet. This is set to ease significantly in 2023, with Jansen adding, “the economy has cooled and a significant decrease in earnings remains inevitable. So, we will continue to act flexibly in the market and keep a close eye on our costs.”

The very high times of the post pandemic recovery have passed for most in the global transport sector, and Hapag Lloyd is no exception in expecting leaner times ahead. It is renewing much of its fleet, and even with the surge in demand had one fewer ship sailing in 2022 compared to the previous year. It remains to be seen whether that number will drop even further in the coming 12 months. Looking forward, the CEO said: In addition, we will be working very intensively on formulating the strategic course that we will pursue until 2030.”

Source: Ti Insights

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