Global shipping liners achieved an incredible operational profit of over US$110 billion in 2021, according to Sea Intelligence’s analysis of their financial and volume performance.
“We are likely looking at an additional US$10-15 billion when we account for the carriers that have yet to disclose their results (HMM and OOCL),” the Danish data analysts stated.
“To put this into context, the total operational profit from 2010 to 2020 was US$37.54 billion over all years. In other words, compared to the previous decade, the industry’s operating profit has tripled in 2021-FY. This is before MSC (privately held) and PIL (irregular updates) are factored in “Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence, said.
“Just looking at the figure, we can see the ludicrous nature of the supply/demand situation and the freight rate environment of 2021, which dwarfs each of the prior years in terms of EBIT/TEU,” Sea-Intelligence analysts remarked.
According to Sea-Intelligence, preceding years are hardly significant in the context of the current year’s outsized EBIT/TEU ratios. Maersk had the lowest EBIT/TEU of US$686/TEU in 2021-FY, while ZIM had the highest EBIT/TEU of US$1,671/TEU. These six shipping lines made an average operating profit of US$861/TEU. To put things in context, the highest average EBIT/TEU of these worldwide shipping lines in the recent decade was US$155/TEU, and that was in 2010.