Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has reported a decline of more than 40% in revenue on its transpacific and Asia-Europe trades in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Revenue on trade between Asia and the US in the past three months of 2022 fell to $996m versus the $1.76bn seen 12 months earlier, while revenue on the routes to Europe fell to $795.3m.
The Cosco-owned container line said overall average revenue per teu declined by 30.9% compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.
OOCL said revenue for all services during the fourth quarter fell by a total of 34.8% to $3.2bn from the $4.9bn achieved 12 months earlier.
Transpacific volumes for the quarter were down 16.3% year on year to 401,740 teu, while those on the trade between Asia and Europe were only down by 8.3% to 383,249 teu.
Despite the weaker numbers in the fourth quarter, OOCL said revenue for the entire year was up 19.1% to $18.6bn, while total volumes were down just 6% to 7.1m teu.
The average revenue per teu for the 12 months increased by 26.7% compared with the same period last year, meanwhile loadable capacity decreased by 4.3%, while the overall load factor was 1.5% lower than the same period in 2021.
In interim results published in August, OOCL posted a first-half profit of $5.6bn, twice what it earned in the same period in 2021.
Late last month, Asian rival Ocean Network Express (ONE) sharply lowered its earnings forecast to the tune of morte than $500m on the back of the fast-falling freight market.
Jeremy Nixon, chief executive of the Japanese-owned shipowner, highlighted a particularly weak fourth quarter of 2022 for US West Coast arrivals.
He added that an expected surge in pre-Chinese New Year (CNY) orders did not materialise in December, partly due to the surge in Covid-19 cases.
In a further sign of weakening trade on the transpacific trades, the Port of Long Beach on Friday reported a near 30% year-on-year decline in volumes for January 2023.
“Softened consumer spending, increased prices driven by inflation and a shift in trade routes contributed to a dip in shipments moving through the Port of Long Beach in January,” the terminal operator said.
Some 573,77 teu were handled at the port last month, down 28.4% from January 2022, which was the port’s busiest January on record.
Imports decreased 32.3% to 263,394 teu and exports declined 14.2% to 105,623 teu. Empty containers moving through the port were down 29% to 204,755 teu.