OOCL revenue up in turbulent times

During the turbulent times of the coronavirus pandemic, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) managed to increase its year-over-year first-quarter revenue by 5.5%.

Parent company Orient Overseas (International) Ltd. (OOIL) reported that OOCL had Q1 revenue of $1.54 billion, compared to $1.46 billion in 2019.

While revenue for the trans-Pacific trade was flat at $558.4 million, intra-Asia/Australasia was up 10.8% to $505.4 million and the trans-Atlantic trade up 6% to $149 million.

OOCL’s Q1 volumes in total were down only 0.4% year-over-year, from 1,605,564 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to 1,598,422. The largest volume gain was in the trans-Atlantic, up 8.7%, while the biggest decline was in intra-Asia/Australasia, down 4.5%.

The two-page operational update said loadable capacity decreased by 1.7% during Q1; the overall load factor was 1.1% higher year-over-year; and average revenue per TEU increased 6% from the same period last year.

OOIL typically releases bare-bones quarterly reports ahead of most container carriers’ financials. OOCL traditionally has outperformed much of the liner industry.

Last month Hong Kong-based OOCL announced it had signed contracts for five 23,000-TEU container ships, each costing $155.6 million. Delivery is expected to begin in 2023.

China’s COSCO Shipping Holdings acquired a 75% stake in OOIL in 2018. OOCL, COSCO, CMA CGM and Evergreen are members of the Ocean Alliance, one of the space-sharing agreements among container liner companies.

OOIL said in March it realized a $1.15 billion profit from the sale of the Long Beach Container Terminal and that its full-year gross profit increased from $712 million to $809 million.

“It is a tribute to the professionalism and the ‘we take it personally’ spirit of our staff that we managed to navigate these challenging times so smoothly,” OOIL said.