Container carriers’ average operating margin rose to a record 44.4% in Q2 2021, versus 38.2% in the previous quarter, as lines’ business output was boosted by another jump in rates.
As expected, all ten lines increased their #margins compared to the first quarter, with results for medium-sized Asian operators Yang Ming, Evergreen & HMM, which led the pack, exceeding 50% for the first time (58.4%, 53.2% and 50.5%).
Weak container volume growth which averaged 4% quarter-on-quarter, was offset by the large increase in rates.
The average dollar amount per teu of the 10 lines surveyed rose 15% compared to the previous quarter. The slight increase in bunker prices in the quarter had little impact.
Overall, small & medium-size carriers have profited the most from the current extraordinary market conditions, squeezing the highest rates from shippers.
By contrast, the four largest carriers, Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, COSCO & CMA CGM, have consistently reported margins at the lower end of the ranking.