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Sea-Intelligence reports US$15 billion drop in box lines 2022 last quarter earnings



Even though the shipping lines recorded 2022-FY Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) of US$138 billion, minus CMA CGM, PIL, and MSC, there were visible indications of a weakening market, according to Sea-Intelligence.


This was confirmed by the 2022-Q4 financial and volume data published by the ocean carriers.




Source:, Sunday Spotlight, issue 608"While all of the shipping lines have remained profitable in 2022-Q4, there was a significant disparity between the larger and smaller shipping lines, with none of them able to grow their EBIT," commented Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence.


In fact, five shipping lines recorded year to year EBIT decline of US$1-2 billion, and three carriers recorded an EBIT decline of over US$2 billion. In fact, year to year, the combined EBIT decline was a staggering -46%.


"This is also quite evident when we look at EBIT/TEU," added Murphy. While the largest carriers managed to maintain EBIT/TEU levels close to those of 2021-Q4, the smaller lines were not able to repeat the windfalls seen a year earlier.


On average, the carriers recorded EBIT/TEU of US$843/TEU in 2022-Q4, down 33% from 2021-Q4s US$1,252/TEU, but still vastly above the just US$17.6/TEU on average in 2010-2019.


To add to that, there has been a strong year-to-year volume decline on both Transpacific and Asia-Europe, whereas on a global level, apart from HMM, the remaining reporting carriers have all recorded varying degrees of volume contraction.


In the case of HMM, they have disrupted the market to some extent with an 8% growth in volume year to year.


Shenzhen Xunlaitong specializes in shipping export from Shenzhen to Australia & New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands and more business