GERMAN shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd posted a first quarter net profit of US$104.4 million, reversing out of 2018's $42.2 million quarterly net loss. This year's profit was drawn on revenues of $3.9 billion, which increased 8.6 per cent year on year.
Crediting higher volumes, freight rates and a stronger dollar, CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said the results were "slightly above expectations and got the year off to a very decent start".
Fuel costs were up 14 per cent from a year ago to $425 per tonne, to total $450 million for the quarter, or $161 per TEU.
Hapag-Lloyd said it will mostly use low-sulphur fuel to cope with the IMO 2020's new fuel rules effective January 1 though it will use scrubbers on 10 of its biggest ships and try LNG on one of them.
Atlantic rates were up 4.5 per cent to $1,351 per TEU. Transpacific rates were up seven per cent to $1,338 per TEU. Rate increases for Far East and Latin America trades were also positive for the quarter.
Overall box volume was up 2.4 per cent for the quarter to 2.92 million TEU for the quarter. The volume gains were led by the Atlantic and Far East trades both rising seven per cent year on year.