Ocean Network Express (ONE) saw its profits increase to $944 million in Q3 of 2020 from $939 million in the same period 2019 and said it expects seasonal factors and the resumption of trade to affect volumes and performance in Q4.
The carrier said it observed a steady recovery in global cargo volume trend. In Asia-North America trade, the cargo volume increased by approximately 25% and Asia-Europe trade also increased in Q3.
Trade was affected by severe shoreside and inland congestion as volumes increased sharply. This was caused largely by retailers restocking inventory ahead of the seasonal holiday season in North America and Europe.
The resurgence of COVID-19 and reintroduction of border restrictions added to the congestion as vessels had to wait to call at port – this also meant greater volumes in the hinterland.
With current cargo volumes, ONE expects to make a net profit of US$ 900 mil after tax. From the later half of 2020, the entire global supply chain experienced serious disruption due to a surge in cargo volume and operational restrictions caused by COVID-19.
ONE is the latest container shipping line to see profits increase amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Other carriers, such as A.P. Moller-Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM have all benefitted form higher freight rates and lower bunkering prices.
The carrier said it had taken a number of measures to increase its competitiveness in the industry. These include the signing of a Letter of Intent for six 24,000 TEU ultra large container vessels and new services within the framework of THE Alliance.