Ocean carriers enjoyed their best quarter in container shipping history in the final three months of 2020 and are expected to have significantly topped that record in the first quarter of this year.
According to Blue Alpha Capital, fourth-quarter net earnings for the 11 carriers that report their financials came in at $5.8 billion. Assuming that the non-reporting operators achieved similar results, based on the average for those 11 lines, the consultancy estimated the cumulative net profit for the period was a staggering $9 billion.
For context, earnings for 2020 are projected to be more than double the total profit ocean carriers produced in the previous five years, with several carriers having recorded year-on-year losses during that period.
Moreover, the 2020 result is a complete reversal of the outlook for the industry before the pandemic.
“The final result for 2020 is a far cry from some of the doomsday predictions made mid-year, with fears the industry might post a collective net loss of up to $10 billion,” said Alphaliner.
Source: The Loadster