Cosco Shipping Holdings has turned in strong first quarter results aided by a recovering international container shipping market with higher freight years especially on the transpacific and Asia-Europe routes.
The Shanghai- and Hong Kong-listed group recorded a net profit attributable to shareholders of the company of RMB687.36m ($104m) in the first quarter, a stellar jump of 280% from RMB180.87m in the same period of last year.
First quarter revenue came up to RMB35.1bn, an increase of 60% from RMB 21.92bn in the previous corresponding period. The revenue for the container shipping business alone reached RMB33.45bn, up 62.4% year-on-year.
Cosco Shipping Holdings noted that between January to March this year, freight rates of transpacific and Asia-Europe routes were higher than the same period of last year. The average China Containerised Freight Index (CCFI) reached 852 points, representing a year-on-year increase of 4.5%.
In the first three months, Cosco Shipping Holdings handled a shipping volume of 5.88m teu, a hike of 42.6% year-on-year. Amongst the total, Cosco Shipping Lines handled volumes of 4.28m teu and OOCL handled volumes of 1.61m teu.
The group’s container terminal business segment registered a total throughput of 30.63m teu, a rise of 12.6% year-on-year.
“After the acquisition of Orient Overseas (International) Limited, the company adopted dual-brand strategy and has gradually achieved synergies. In addition, the company puts more efforts on the end-to-end product development, and continues to promote the construction of sea-rail intermodal network to further enhance the capacity of end-to-end logistics solution,” Cosco Shipping Holdings stated.
Cosco Shipping Holdings added that it is promoting the application of digital technology and artificial intelligence which could improve its level of marketing services and its operational efficiency to enhance customer experience.
“In the future, Cosco Shipping Holdings will continue to consolidate and develop its container shipping, terminal operation and related businesses, and improve the shipping value chain,” it said.
As at end-March, the group’s fleet stood at 478 containerships with a total capacity of 2.77m teu. It has nine ships on order with a combined capacity of 159,421 teu.