HAPAG-Lloyd has posted declines in revenue, freight rates and volumes for the first quarter of 2023.

The company concluded the first quarter with an EBITDA of US$2.4 billion, down 55% from the same period in 2022 (US$5.3 billion).

Revenue for the first quarter was US$6 billion, a 33% decrease from almost US$9 billion posted a year earlier.

Transport volumes fell 4.9% to 2842 TTEU, down from 2987 TTEU in the first quarter of 2022. Hapag-Lloyd attributed the decrease to local destocking and weaker overall demand.

And freight rates were down almost 28% in the first quarter of 2023, from an average of US$2774 per TEU last year to US$1999 per TEU in 2023.

Hapag-Lloyd said the lower average freight rates contributed to the decline in revenue.

“Despite declining results, we have made a robust start to the current financial year,” Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said.

“The market environment has normalised, with corresponding declines in demand and freight rates,” he said.

This will undoubtedly have an impact on our earnings over the course of the year, so we will be keeping a very close eye on our costs.

“In addition, we are pressing ahead on further developing our group’s Strategy 2030, which will focus on quality and sustainability.”

Looking ahead, for the 2023 full year, Hapag-Lloyd expects EBITDA to be in the range of US$4.3 billion to US$6.5 billion (between $6.4 billion and $9.7 billion).

However, the company said the ongoing war in Ukraine and other geopolitical uncertainties and persistent inflationary pressures are creating risks that could negatively impact the forecast.