Maersk, CMA CGM in driving seat for highest earning carriers in 2021

merchant container ship

Resulting from record demand and supply chain capacity challenges, container lines saw record earnings in 2021. A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) and CMA CGM are amongst the top performers.

Maersk saw the largest yearly intake, as its ocean revenue increased substantially last year, surging to $48.2 billion, up from $29.2 billion in 2020. This was partially driven by strong volumes and storage income.

“Exceptional market conditions led to record-high growth and profitability in Maersk, however it also led to supply chain disruptions and severe challenges for our customers,” said Søren Skou, CEO of Maersk.

CMA CGM also saw its shipping revenue rise by 88.5 per cent compared to the previous year, reaching $45.3 billion.

The success of its shipping activities was the main driver in the group’s overall revenue of $56 billion.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is also believed to have been amongst the top earners of the year. However, as the business is private, the company’s financial information is not accessible.

COSCO Shipping, a subsidiary of the COSCO Group, reported revenue of $34 billion in 2021. This led to a net profit of $9.5 billion.

Ocean Network Express (ONE) is the only major carrier yet to publish its financial results for Calendar Year (CY) 2021. In its recent Q3 Financial Year 2021 report, it projected its revenue to amount to $29 billion in FY2021.

The company said that seasonal factors, such as Chinese New Year and blank sailings due to supply chain disruptions will have a large impact on its performance in Q4 FY2021.

German shipping line Hapag-Lloyd published its “extraordinarily strong” financial figures in March. The company’s overall revenue surged to $26.4 billion in 2021, up from just $11.8 billion the previous year. These positive results were mainly driven by high freight rates, introduced due to very strong demand for goods exported from Asia.

Lastly, finalising our list of the top earning carriers in 2021 is Evergreen Marine Corporation.

Eric Hsieh, President of Evergreen, announced the company’s financial results for the year at a press conference last month.

The carrier’s revenue was 236 per cent higher than it was in 2020, coming in at $17.6 billion. Transpacific volumes accounted for 60 to 70 per cent of its income, while Asia-Europe cargoes contribute the remaining 30 per cent.

Despite global shipping lines making an astounding combined operating profit of over $110 billion in 2021, vessel reliability was considerably low throughout the year.

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