Shipping carriers lose $1.44 billion EBIT in Q4 2023

Shipping carriers lose $1.44 billion EBIT in Q4 2023

According to Sea-Intelligence, the shipping companies lost $1.44 billion in combined EBIT in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Sea Intelligence noted EBIT loses for the following carriers: Maersk (-$920 million), Hapag-Lloyd (-$252 million), ONE (-$248 million), Yang Ming (-$109 million), ZIM (-$54 million), and Wan Hai (-$41 million) all reported EBIT losses in 2023-Q4.

Comparing over the same group of shipping lines (excluding ONE owing to a lack of historical reference points, and including Evergreen and HMM, both of which had operational profits in 2023-Q4), this was the greatest total Q4 EBIT loss in 2012-2023, with the previous high of -$455 million recorded in 2015-Q4.

To examine profitability (or lack thereof) per TEU shipped, Figure 1 depicts the EBIT/TEU for 2010-2023 and the unprecedented levels of the 2021-2022 pandemic era, whereas Figure 2 cuts off the y-axis at +/- 300 USD/TEU to show 2023 trends.

© Sea-Intelligence

READ: Evolution of vessel size on the Asia-Europe route

So far, we have EBIT/TEU data for five shipping lines, with COSCO absent from the list of companies that consistently report on both EBIT and worldwide volume.

Maersk’s EBIT/TEU of -148 USD/TEU is their highest negative EBIT/TEU during the study period.

Hapag-Lloyd’s EBIT/TEU loss of -84 USD/TEU is less than their previous negative EBIT/TEU loss of -239 USD/TEU in the fourth quarter of 2014.

For ONE, the negative 2023-Q4 EBIT/TEU of -80 USD/TEU is the first. HMM, on the other hand, reported a positive EBIT/TEU of 34 USD/TEU in 2023 Q4.

Recently, Sea-Intelligence reported that all shipping lines’ revenues fell sharply year-on-year (YoY) in 2023, ranging from 46.6 per cent to 62.6 per cent.

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