Bunker fuel prices dampen margins for Hapag-Lloyd


Preliminary results show Hapag-Lloyd’s revenues grew by 15% in 2018, thanks in large part to the merger with UASC. The deal helped lead to a 21% increase in transport volumes to 11.9m TEUs (On a pro forma basis, when compared to the combined business of Hapag-Lloyd and UASC for the full year 2017, volumes increased by 6%). Freight rate increases in the second half of the year also contributed to revenue growth. However, for the full year, its average freight rate of $1,044/TEU was below that of 2017 ($1,060/TEU). However, on a pro forma basis, average freight rates grew 2%.

EBITDA grew by 8% to €1.138m. The company claimed to find cost synergies due its merger with UASC. However, significantly higher average bunker fuel price increases (2018: $421/tonne, 2017: $318/tonne) partially offset the increase in earnings.

Source: Hapag-Lloyd