NEWS & BLOG
Views: 30 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-08-22 Origin: Site
As shipping companies' second-quarter earnings season draws to a close, a survey this week by shipping consultancy Alphaliner shows that leading large shipping companies are far outpacing their peers in earnings growth and fleet capacity.
In addition, the agency noted that a "two-tier market" may be forming between shipping companies that focus on contracts and those that use the spot market to enhance value.
Currently, MSC, which ranks first in the world in terms of capacity, has a total fleet capacity of 4.48 million TEU, while the 20th-ranked SM Line has a total capacity of 93,410 TEU. The gap between them is 4.38 million TEU. In 2017, Maersk ranked first in capacity, with a capacity gap of 3.2 million TEU between it and the 20th-ranked shipping company.
The figures show that large shipping companies have expanded their fleets as revenues have soared over the past two years. The latest data shows that the total capacity of the top 10 shipping companies is 21.8 million TEU, while the total capacity of the next 20 shipping companies ranked 11th to 30th is only 2.5 million TEU.
Alphaliner said: “With the extensive consolidation/acquisition of the top-ranked shipping companies, it has caught the attention of politicians and regulators. There is currently a huge gap between the leading shipping companies and the rest of the industry.”
Data from Alphaliner also shows that larger shipping companies have also experienced higher revenue growth during the pandemic. Between 2019 and 2021, the profits of the top 10 shipping companies increased by 1,000% to nearly 6,000%, compared with 100% to 700% for other shipping companies.
In addition, global shipping alliances are also facing scrutiny. Three major shipping alliances account for more than 90% of all container traffic on the main east-west trade routes.
Despite the differences in fleet size, Alphaliner observed that companies offering trans-Pacific routes enjoyed significantly better returns than those focused on domestic or intra-regional trade routes. U.S.-listed Matson Lines and South Korea's SM Line have been key winners in operating profit growth since 2019. 94% of SM Line's capacity operates on trans-Pacific routes, the highest percentage among the top 20 carriers.
Alphaliner said: "Yang Ming and Wan Hai have become the latest two shipping companies with declining profits and net profits in the second quarter." The profits of these two shipping companies in the second quarter of this year were both lower than the previous quarter. It also reported a decline for the first time after posting earnings growth in the previous quarter.
"This result is in stark contrast to Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, Evergreen and ONE, which all posted higher earnings in the second quarter compared to the first three months of the year," Alphaliner said.
In conclusion, Alphaliner said its findings suggest that "a two-tier market may be forming between carriers that focus on long-term contracts and those that rely more on the spot market".