Trade war sparks more capacity cuts on transpacific container trades
Container shipping lines on the transpacific trade this week continued to announce capacity cuts in ...
Renewed demand on the Asia-Europe and transpacific trades was in further evidence today after Hong Kong-based shipping line OOCL released its 2017 fourth-quarter operational update, showing double-digit growth on the east-west deepsea trades.
The carrier also reported that full-year Asia-Europe volumes vaulted past the 1m teu mark, to end 2017 at just under 1.14m teu – growth of 19.7% on 2016.
And despite a normal fourth-quarter slowdown, the carrier’s volumes in the period were 11% up, to a shade under 300,000 teu.
Similarly, the transpacific trade saw full-year growth of 16.3%, to 1.8m teu, and fourth-quarter year-on-year growth of 7.5%, to 472,000 teu.
Revenue on both routes jumped dramatically on the back of stronger demand that led tighter supply, despite the carrier offering 5.1% greater capacity across its network.
Asia-Europe revenue was up 43.9%, to US$1,1bn from $766m in 2016, and on the transpacific, it increased 19.9% to just over $2bn, from $1.7bn the year before.
However, this growth was offset by a marked decline in OOCL’s intra-Asia volumes, which includes those to Australasia.
Fourth-quarter volumes on intra-Asia declined 14.2% to just under 737,000teu, below the 860,000 teu in the corresponding period in 2016, while full-year volumes declined 8.1%, to finish the year at 2.9m teu compared with 3.2m teu in 2016.
Given that intra-Asia represents about half of OOCL’s business, this had the effect of dragging down the total volumes across its network by 3.3% in the fourth quarter, to 1.12m teu. Total full-year volumes grew, however, to reach just under 6.3m teu and the net result was a double-digit increase in sales.
The line said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange: “For the full year of 2017, total volumes increased by 3.6% over the same period last year and total revenues recorded a 15.4% growth.
“Loadable capacity increased by 5.1%. The overall load factor was 1.2% lower than the same period in 2016. Overall average revenue per teu increased by 11.4% compared with the same period last year,” .