Tuesday, May 31, 2011

NOL Sees Volumes Rise, Rates Drop

Singapore-based ocean carrier Neptune Orient Lines and its container shipping arm APL posted higher cargo volumes in its most recently reported four weeks period, while simultaneously reporting declining revenue per box moved.

In the four week April 9 to May 6 period, NOL carried 231,100 FEUs, up from 212,000 FEUs in the same period last year.

At the same time, the average revenue per FEU during the four-week period fell 4 percent to $2,549 per FEU, down from the $2,669 per FEU reported during the same period last year.

"The increase in volume was mainly due to higher volumes carried on the Intra-Asia and Asia-Europe trade lanes while the decline in average revenue per FEU was mainly due to lower rates in the Asia-Europe trade lane," said NOL in a statement.

Earlier in May, NOL released its first quarter 2011 results, posting a total net loss of $10 million compared to net loss of $98 million in first quarter 2010.

NOL subsidiary shipping arm APL reported first quarter 2011 revenue of $2.1 billion, a 15 percent increase over the same period a year ago. APL also posted $8 million in core EBIT loss compared to a $89 million core EBIT loss in the first quarter of 2010.

APL volume increased 764,000 FEUs during the first quarter, a 9 percent increase compared to the year-ago period.

While average APL revenue per FEU increased to $2,598 during the January to March first quarter 2011 – a 3 percent increase – the per FEU numbers remain well below the $2,669 per FEU reported during the April 9 to May 6 period last year.

“We lifted higher container volumes in the Asia-Europe and Intra-Asia trade lanes during the first quarter, and freight rates improved in the transpacific,” APL President Eng Aik Meng said in early May regarding the first quarter numbers. “But our emphasis must remain on operating efficiency, as well as slow-steaming our ships to conserve fuel and counteract the effect of rising fuel prices, which were 28 percent higher per metric ton in the first quarter of 2011 than they were in 2010.”