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Profits for Wan Hai, loss for Evergreen

Taiwanese carriers Wan Hai Lines and Evergreen Marine Corporation had different results for the first quarter of 2020, which saw liner operators hit by falling volumes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wan Hai, primarily an intra-Asia carrier, reported a pre-tax profit of TW$96.81 million (US$3.2 million), on revenue of TW$18 billion (US$595.28 million). Post-tax earnings were not disclosed, but the pre-tax profit was significantly lower than the TW$1.42 billion (US$45.94 million) in Q1 2019.

Evergreen incurred a TW$617.64 million (US$20.42 million) loss on revenue of TW$43.48 billion (US$1.44 billion), reversing a pre-tax profit of TW$708.53 million (US$22.97 million) in Q1 2019.

Volume figures were not disclosed by the carriers.

Despite headwinds caused by the pandemic, Wan Hai’s management remains optimistic about demand for intra-Asia shipments.

The company has launched a number of new services this year, such as a joint China-Southeast Asia service with Japanese carrier Interasia Lines. Both companies have also launched a China-Thailand-Vietnam service with Maersk Sealand.

In contrast, with Europe badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, mainline operators have slashed capacity in response to weakened demand. At the time of writing, the Ocean Alliance, which Evergreen is part of, has cancelled 28 sailings on Asia-North Europe comprising 437,031TEU, and 16 sailings on Asia-Med, withdrawing 152,460TEU.

Ship brokers Clarksons predicts that Covid-19 will see global container shipments drop 11% in 2020, surpassing the 9% decline during the 2009 global financial crisis.

Clarksons says demand will be seriously affected by lockdowns in Europe and the US, affecting Asia-Europe container shipments. However, the impact is expected to be less severe in Asia. As China resumed economic activity, exports recovered in April, and volumes on intra-Asian routes also recovered rapidly.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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