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Japanese liner Ocean Network Express (ONE), the world’s seventh largest ocean carrier, has reported a massive $5.5 billion profit in its latest quarter, driven by higher freight rates that offset a “sudden decline” in demand in the latter two months of the quarter.
ONE’s latest quarterly earnings show freight market conditions remained firm in the July-September period (technically its Q2 as its fiscal year ends March 31), with the company reporting a 31% quarterly profit jump compared to the same period last year. Quarterly revenues were up 24% year on year to $9.3 billion.
“Freight market conditions remained firm despite some softening in supply and demand,” the company said in its report. While “steady cargo movements” continued in July, a “sudden decline” in transport demand occurred in August and September.
“On the supply side, port congestion improved in some areas, but supply chain disruptions continued across the world with port congestion in US East Coast and Europe continuing,” ONE’s report said. “Despite the ongoing deterioration in market conditions, freight rates remained higher throughout the second quarter (ending in September 2022) than the same period last year, supporting profit figures.”
Looking at ONE’s first half (April-September), profits have surged 63% compared to 2021, to a little over $11 billion.
ONE’s earnings report mirrors Hong Kong-based OOCL’s third quarter results, confirming shipping lines have benefited from yet another turbo-charged quarter despite a collapse in container shipping demand taking place later in the quarter.
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