Hapag-Lloyd has started 2021 positively with a resulting $1.5bn net profit for the first quarter.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to roughly $1.5 billion. The line’s net result improved to around $1.5 billion.
Revenues increased in the 1Q 2021 by around 33% compared to the year prior, particularly due to a higher average freight rate, which increased around 38% to reach $1,509 per TEU.
The German container line, announcing its Q1 results on 12 May, expects the strong start to continue into the second quarter of 2021. However, it noted that a “gradual normalisation” is currently expected in the second half of the year.
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, said, “On the back of the high demand for container transports, we have benefited from better freight rates, especially in the spot market.
“On top of that, bunker prices have been lower than in 2020. As a result, we concluded the first quarter with a very positive financial result and look back overall on a solid start to the year.”
Due to the demand-related congestion of ports and hinterland terminals, as well as a shortage of ships and containers, the line’s transport volume was down compared to the year prior – coming in at nearly 3 million TEU compared to 3.1 million TEU in 2020.
The firm’s 2H 2021 forecast remains subject to considerable uncertainty due to factors including volatility of freight rates, operational challenges, and the continued economic uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jansen said, “While we remain optimistic for 2021 as a whole, the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the congested supply chains continue to present a huge challenge to all market participants.
“We will do everything in our power to help normalise this difficult market environment as quickly as possible and make as much capacity available as possible.”
In April 2021 Hapag-Lloyd ordered 150,000 TEU of standard and reefer containers to meet rising demand for goods.