Average operating margins for the container industry fell for the second consecutive quarter in Q3, after the 10 leading carriers reported across-the-board declines.
The average margin of 51.9% for Q3, the lowest in 5 quarters, reflected a drop in revenues and rising costs.
Average earnings per TEU fell 3% for the ten carriers in Q3 versus Q2. However, the performance was not uniform, and four lines – Maersk (Ocean), COSCO, ONE & Hapag-Lloyd – increased average earnings per TEU, suggesting more lucrative contract rates secured.
Maersk, in particular, reported the 6th highest margin at 48.5%, while WanHai with a 39.5% margin represented the lowest among the top 10 carriers in Q3.
Apart from the top 4 carriers, average earnings per TEU fell 6.8% QoQ for the remaining 6 lines.