Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL) has announced a profit for 2017 of US$137.7M, compared to a loss of US$219.2M in 2016.
Chairman of OOIL, C C Tung said “The economic backdrop for 2017 was more robust than forecasters had expected. Following a decade of low growth, we saw healthier performance in both GDP and trade volumes across most of the world’s major economies. This was a welcome change after the industry’s low point of 2016.
“This synchronicity of growth, a rare phenomenon in recent memory, may bode well for the sustainability of the recovery,” noted Mr Tung.
“However, growth on the supply side continues across the trade lanes. Even if the ordering of new vessels remains muted in relative terms, upsizing of capacity continues in certain key routes. Ultra-large vessels ordered in the past few years are now being delivered and brought into operation. Furthermore, as trade growth improves, the industry continues to introduce additional services using cascaded or previously idled capacity,” said Mr Tung.
“This combination of better economic growth and continuing (if moderated) growth in supply, along with higher bunker prices, means that for OOIL and our peers, the environment remains merely one of gradual recovery, not the boom that some analysts expected when improved economic data first started to appear,” he added.
During the year, OOIL took delivery of five of a total of six Giga-class 21,413 TEU vessels ordered from the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard. The last vessel in the series was delivered in January 2018. No orders for newbuildings were placed during the year.
For the full year 2017, OOCL’s liftings were up 3.6% overall, with a 16.3% increase on the transpacific and 19.7% on Asia-Europe.
Mr Tung highlighted the importance of digital technology. “…we are also embracing the use of data analytics to enhance yield management and internal operating efficiencies. The OOIL group remains fully committed to continuing its quest to invest in the development of digital technology,” he said.
He noted that “2017 has been a year of considerable growth for the group”.