HMM posts “highest profit ever” in H1 2021

South Korean shipping major HMM reported “the highest ever” operating profit in the first half of 2021, going up to KRW 2408.2 billion ($2 billion).

The national flagship carrier revealed that the revenue rose 98.4% to KRW 5334.7 billion in H1 2021 from KRW 2688.3 billion in H1 2020.

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What is more, the net profit was KRW 364.6 billion in H1 2021 against a loss of KRW 37.5 billion in the same period last year.

Container handling volumes increased by 8.4% to 1.93 million TEU in H1 2021 compared to 1.78 million TEU in H1 2020.

HMM improved earnings in H1 2021, mainly led by higher freight rates, increased container handling volumes, and fleet operations including twelve 24,000 TEU containerships.

South Korean shipping heavyweight signed newbuilding contracts with compatriot builders Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in June this year.

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The spread of coronavirus variants and insufficient vaccination programs in some countries can have put consistent pressure on global trade, causing considerable uncertainty.

Since August last year, to handle an upsurge in cargo demand, HMM deployed a total of 38 extra-loader vessels.

Furthermore, HMM noted that it is acquiring newly-built containers, consisting of 120,000 TEU of dry units and 4,600 TEU of refrigerated units to alleviate the current shortage of equipment.

All dry and refrigerated containers will be added to HMM’s container fleet within this year.

“The highly elevated freight rates are expected to last through this year at the least. The global supply chain will remain strained, resulting from terminal congestions in major ports, the shortage of both vessel space and containers, and increased cargo demand,” the company concluded.