GERMAN shipping line Hapag-Lloyd reported huge profits for the first nine months of this year.

For the period from 1 January to 30 September, the company made a profit of US$6.7 billion. Its EBITDA was US$8.2 billion and its EBIT was US$6.9 billion.

These profits were on the back of a 70% increase in revenue to US$17.9 billion. The company attributed this rise primarily to an average freight rate for the period of US$1818 per TEU. This was up from US$1097 per TEU in the first nine months of 2020.

The company said the increase is mainly the result of persistently high demand for container transport with scarce capacity at the same time.

Transport expenses climbed 16% in the nine-month period to US$8.9 billion. This was due in part to higher costs for container handling and an increased average bunker consumption price, which stood at US$452 per tonne in the first nine months (this was up from US$402 per tonne in the first nine months of 2020.

Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said, “Despite all the operational challenges, we achieved an extraordinary strong nine-month result.

“However, global supply chains are under enormous pressure, which further intensified during the peak season in the third quarter. This unfortunately also creates additional operational burdens for carriers, ports and terminals – but, most importantly, for customers worldwide,” Mfr Jansen said.

“We will do everything in our power to help with suitable offers and to do our part to resolve the situation through targeted investments and flexible capacity management.”

Looking ahead, Hapag-Lloyd expects earnings momentum will also remain at a high level for the rest of the year.

The earnings forecast for the entire year was accordingly adjusted upwards on 29 October:

For the 2021 financial year, an EBITDA in the range of €10.1 to 10.9 billion (previously: €7.6 to 9.3 billion) and an EBIT in the range of €8.7 to 9.5 billion (previously: €6.2 to 7.9 billion) are now expected.