Despite the year-long decline in front-haul spot freight rates on mainline routes from China, which dropped from their peak in early 2022 to near pre-pandemic levels today, the past year proved to be a particularly lucrative one for liner shipping: Solid contract rates and a strong Transatlantic market helped carriers to remain profitable.
Many carriers made an effort to expand their fleets to take full advantage of the unusually strong market.
Our year-on-year comparison of the top-12 carriers nevertheless shows major discrepancies between the ‘gainers’ and ‘losers’.
After having increased its fleet capacity by a massive 411,000 teu slots (+10.7%) in 2021, MSC was once again the most expansionist among the big shipping lines last year, adding another 321,500 teu (+7.5%).
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