Japan’s big three container lines turned their fortunes around in the first half of the 2012 fiscal year, headlined by a $48.7 million operating profit for “K” Line.
Collectively, the three lines (MOL, NYK Line and “K” Line) made around $20 million in the period from April 1 through Sept. 30 this year, although that number was somewhat dragged down by MOL’s $33.3 million operating loss on the liner side.
However, MOL vastly reduced its operating loss
, from $136.3 million in the corresponding period in 2011. MOL’s first half liner revenue grew 7.4 percent year-on-year to nearly $3.9 billion.
NYK, meanwhile, had an operating profit from its liner division of $5.1 million in the first half
, after it lost $201.2 million in the same period in 2011. NYK’s liner revenue grew 3.9 percent year-on-year to $2.9 billion.
But that was trumped by “K” Line, the smallest of the three container lines by fleet size, which posted a $48.7 million operating profit after losing $218.1 million in the same period in 2011
. “K” Line’s liner revenue grew 9.9 percent, to $3.5 billion.
On the group side, “K” Line’s revenue also grew 9.9 percent to $7 billion. Operating profit was $156.6 million, after the carrier lost $238.7 million in the first half of 2011. Net losses were $14.5 million, a drop of nearly 94 percent.
NYK Line had group revenue of $11.8 billion, a 3.6 percent increase year-on-year, resulting in a first half operating profit of $224.2 million, after it lost $125.4 million in the corresponding period in 2011. Net first half losses were $52 million, a drop of 65.6 percent.
Finally, MOL on a group level saw revenue rise 5.5 percent to $9.7 billion. Operating losses fell from $130.5 million in 2011 to $30.7 million. Net losses were $168.6 million, down from $216 million in the first half of the 2011 fiscal year.
“Freight rate restorations penetrated the market, particularly on European and Latin America routes,” NYK said in its financial statement. “The main factor was the improvement in the supply-demand balance, as shipping companies furthered efforts to restructure routes and consolidate fleets to cope with sluggish shipping demand caused by economic slowdown in Europe and other regions, along with a rise in newbuilt tonnage of large-sized container vessels.
“Asian routes were expanded to meet growing demand, while European route restructuring continued under the G6 Alliance. On other routes, NYK optimized its fleet structure to meet the characteristics of each route and took other rationalization measures designed to reduce costs and build a service network responsive to customer needs. The company continued to promote efficient vessel operations throughout the fleet by optimizing route planning through the use of weather forecast data and optimizing vessel management through the use of vessel operational data in detail in order to reduce fuel cost.” - Eric Johnson