Thursday, February 11, 2010

NOL Posts Massive Losses For Last Year

Container Operations Cause of Loss
Shipping News Feature

SINGAPORE – Shipping line Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) is the latest, though surely not the last, of the major freight groups to post a net financial loss for their operations last year of some $741 million.

NOL reports that the group’s revenues for 2009 were down by 30% to $6.5 billion and the group’s chairman, Cheng Wai Keung, said that: “2009 was a most demanding year. We witnessed a worldwide economic downturn of unprecedented scale and, as a consequence, experienced a major slowdown in global trade.”

The losses were predominently sustained by NOL’s container shipping arm, APL, which in line with other companies in that industry has suffered heavily from weak demand and low rates due to the economic crash. Last week Korean carrier Hanjin reported heavy losses.

However, NOL was able to report that their terminal operations and dedicated logistics services were returned positive results despite substantially reduced revenues in these divisions.

In addition, NOL reports that in early 2010 they have seen improvements in volumes in their principal markets and freight rates stabilising upwards, prompting the company to state that: “If these conditions continue better business performance is possible.”