The unprecedented state of the supply chain and skyrocketing freight rates have maximised carriers’ operating incomes, with shipping lines doubling annual profits.
Research analyst Sea-Intelligence has published the combined operating profit (EBIT) of global carriers which came at $43.9 billion in Q1 2022.
This profit is not only higher than the combined Q1 EBIT of the last 12 years, but it is also higher than their Q3 2021 operating profit – which represented an exceptional peak season according to Sea-Intelligence.
All carriers have more than doubled their yearly operating profit and most of them have also doubled their EBIT compared to their respective combined figures since 2010.
Four carriers have recorded EBIT of over $5 billion in the first quarter of this year, with CMA CGM leading at $7.64 billion and closely followed by Maersk with with $7.07 billion.
COSCO has reported EBIT of $6.26 billion while ONE sat at $5.23 billion.
Apart from carriers ZIM and Hapag-Lloyd – who reported an increase in volumes of 5 and 0.4 per cent respectively –“This level of profitability is not driven by a volume growth; but is more so a reflection of the current freight rate environment,” commented Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence.
Freight rates have especially peaked in the summer months of 2021, reaching levels over four times higher than pre-pandemic rates.