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OOCL reports record Q3 earnings despite decrease in container liftings

Orient Overseas Container Line lifted 1,810,142 containers during the third quarter, down 7.2% from Q3 2020, the Hong Kong-based shipping company said Oct. 8.

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In trans-Pacific trade, OOCL's largest lane, 489,935 twenty-foot equivalent units were moved, down 16.4% on year, the shipper said in its preliminary Q3 financial report. But for the nine months through Sept. 30, just over 1.59 million TEU were moved, up 4.3% on year.

Notwithstanding fewer liftings for the quarter, revenues increased by 125.3% to $4.3 billion against Q3 2020 on higher earnings per TEU, OOCL said. This was also helped by a marginally higher vessel utilization rate of 0.4% during the quarter, it added.

"This record result was achieved despite severe congestion around the network, which drove down liftings by 7.2% and loadable capacity by 7.6%," OOCL said.

Average revenue per TEU during the quarter surged by 142.7% as freight rates rose on congestion and global supply chain issues, it said.

The Platts Container Index, a weighted average of Platts' key container assessments, settled to $7,481/FEU on Oct 8, up from $1,733/FEU on the year-ago date.

The Asia-Europe trade alone saw 234% growth in revenues for OOCL during the quarter on record high rates, it said.

Platts Container Rate 1 – North Asia-to-North Continent – was assessed Oct. 8 at $17,250/FEU, up over 750% from the same date a year earlier when the cost of freight was $2,000/FEU.