Volume increases, particularly on the Transpacific trades boosted COSCO Shipping Holdings’ (CSH) revenues and profits in the face of the Covid-19 lockdown and the consequent global economic slump.
Shipping volumes on all routes increased 6.6% to 7.08 million TEU in the third quarter alone, which marked the traditional peak season for container shipping, with Transpacific volumes up 9% to 1.36 million TEU. Of this, 775,749TEU were shipped by COSCO and the rest, by OOCL. Domestically shipped containers also registered an increase, at 11.66% year-on-year in 3Q 2020, to 1.66 million TEU.
CSH's net profit for the first nine months of 2020 increased 57% year-on-year to CNY5.53 billion (US$811.06 million).
Revenue from the shipping operations rose 6.5% over the same period, to CNY113.84 million (US$16.69 million). Earnings from the Transpacific volumes, for which sky-high freight rates caused concern to authorities in China, the US and South Korea, rose 8% year-on-year to CNY32.8 million (US$4.8 million).
The Chinese state-owned COSCO group’s container shipping and ports arm said that cargo volumes, both in terms of transported containers and port throughput, were all up year-on-year. These included containers shipped by the Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Lines (OOCL), whose parent, Orient Overseas International Limited, was acquired by COSCO in 2017.
CSH’s earnings were also helped by higher throughput at COSCO Shipping Ports, which handled more containers despite the market uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.