Two of Asia’s biggest shipping lines announced major losses for the June-September quarter in a further sign of the unprecedented severity of the crisis battering the industry.
Hong Kong-listed China Cosco, the world’s second-biggest dry bulk shipowner and number eight container line, announced third-quarter losses of RMB691m ($101m) on revenues down 52.4 per cent on the same quarter last year.
Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines, which operates the world’s fifth-largest container ship fleet announced $139m net losses for the three months to September 30.
Container shipping is by far the worst hit of any major shipping segment by the economic downturn, with volumes of the manufactured goods it ships slumping.
Several lines — including France’s CMA CGM, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, Israel’s Zim and Chile’s CSAV and CCNI — are all either in the course of negotiating restructurings to avoid collapse or have already had bail-outs.
The Financial Times reported that Cosco, which is controlled by the Chinese state, said volumes in its container shipping division had fallen 6.5% year on year but revenue had tumbled 39.5% to RMB6.25 billion.