Average core EBIT margins for the big global container lines reached another record high of 57.4% in the first quarter of this year.
At this level of profitability, carriers are still keen to make the most of the liner shipping boom by expanding their fleets.
The capacity of the world cellular container fleet however only grew a meager 1.7% in the first half of the year to 25.4 Mteu.
Four carriers succeeded in realizing a much faster growth. CMA CGM was lucky to take delivery of nine 15,000 teu newbuildings and Evergreen’s newbuilding program has also proved to be well-timed, despite the fact that these ships were already ordered in 2018 and 2019.
ZIM recorded the strongest growth percentagewise (+16.8%) by chartering many classic panamax vessels at elevated rates for periods of up to five years.
The growth champion in our Top 10 is MSC, which took over the #1 position from Maersk in the first week of January.
The company continued its raid on the second hand market and has acquired already 220 secondhand ships since August 2020.