Container freight rates increase to a record in a long time

Container freight rates increase to a record in a long time


All global ocean carriers saw strong revenue growth driven by record high freight rates, with year-on-year revenue growth from 83.9% for Maersk to 274.1% for Wan Hai, according to data from Sea-Intelligence.

In terms of earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), shipping lines posted a whopping $37.24 billion in operating profit in the third quarter of 2021 alone, according to Sea-Intelligence.

Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy said: “Combine this with the 2021 first half operating profit of 42.10 billion, and the carriers have made nearly US$80 billion in operating profit so far this year.”

This does not include MSC, the world's second largest shipping line today, whose business type is a private company that is not required to disclose its accounts.

"To put this into perspective, the combined 2010-2020 operating profit across all quarters was US$37.86 billion," added Murphy.

To sum up, the shipping industry's operating profit for the first three quarters of 2021 has doubled compared to the entire 10-year period from 2010-2020, showing an unprecedented level of profitability.


Container shipping lines record record profits in the third quarter of 2021

Container shipping lines recorded record profits in the third quarter of 2021 (Source:, Sunday Spotlight, No. 542)

Current supply/demand and freight market developments are evident in the figure above, with each carrier's Q3 2021 EBIT/TEU numbers being a stark departure from the "historical" figures.

The smallest EBIT/TEU recorded by Maersk was 818 USD/TEU, while the rest of the carriers recorded EBIT/TEU over 1,000 USD/TEU, ZIM recorded EBIT/TEU at 2,100 USD/TEU, according to Sea- Intelligence .

This further clarifies that the sharp increase in freight rates has resulted in extremely high EBIT performance for all shipping lines.


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Source: (According to ContainerNews) - Vietnam's First Global Logistics Marketplace

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