Hapag-Lloyd Says Q2 Freight Rates, Revenues Hit by Asia Competition

By MarEx 2013-08-07 08:31:00

Germany's Hapag-Lloyd , the unlisted container shipping group, said on Wednesday that intense competition on the Asia to Europe route, one of the world's busiest, had depressed second-quarter revenues and profits.

Container prices averaged $622 per tonne in the period, down more than 10 percent from last year's $694, still more than three times the level in 2009 at the height of the global economic downturn.

The average freight rate fell 6 percent to $1,499 per TEU, a measure of container ship capacity, down from $1,594 in the same period last year. Freight rates for standard 20-foot (6-metre) containers on theAsia-Europe route have plunged by about 60 percent since mid-March.

Hapag-Lloyd said second-quarter sales fell 5 percent to $1.706 billion from $1.794 billion, on a comparable basis.

Michael Behrendt, Chairman of Hapag-Lloyd's executive board said the group had managed to implement small increases in July and intended to further increase rates.

Analysts said in May a further drop in freight rates may force Maersk Line, the world's No. 1 container shipping operator and a unit of Danish shipping and oil giant A.P. Moller-Maersk , to cut its full-year outlook when it publishes second-quarter earnings on Friday, Aug. 16. [ID: nL6N0E32GP]

Hapag-Lloyd is part-owned by German travel group TUI AG , which reports second-quarter results on Thursday.

Reporting by Natalia Drozdiak; Editing by Louise Ireland (C) Reuters 2013.

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