Japanese carriers K Line, MOL and NYK all performed well in their half year reports ahead of their merger into Ocean Network Express (ONE) next April.
Of the three K Line reported the strongest growth in operating revenues, increasing by almost 18% year-on-year to ¥576bn (US$5.1bn).
MOL’s revenue grew by 14.8% to ¥819bn (US$7.2bn) while NYK’s reported a revenue increase of 14.6% with the figure hitting ¥1,064bn (US$9.3bn).
NYK will be the largest stakeholder in the ONE join-venture with a share of 38%, and the carrier recorded an operating profit of ¥12.7bn (US$105m).
MOL recorded a similar operating profit of ¥11.1bn (US$973,000) as it grew by 13%, with the carrier successfully recovering from its operating loss of ¥2bn (US$175,000) in the first six months of 2016.
Meanwhile K Line posted a figure of ¥6.2bn (US$543,000), a growth of 32.7% followings its own loss of ¥26.4bn (US$231m) from this time last year.
K Lines’ Asia-Europe services grew the most with volumes increasing by around 14%, followed closely by its intra-Asia services which grew by around 13%.
Elsewhere, MOL’s Asia-North America routes recorded their highest ever cargo volumes, which the carrier attributed to the ‘robust’ US economy.
Talking on its own regional trade, NYK said: “Shipping traffic was brisk along transpacific routes, but not enough to compensate for an increase in total shipping capacity for trades overall following the reorganization of alliances and commissioning of extra vessels by some shipping companies.
“Consequently, the upswing in spot freight rates largely came to a standstill. Meanwhile, robust demand for freight shipments along European shipping routes supported favourable conditions in the market.”