K Line announced growth in container traffic and finances in its quarterly report, while Japan’s two other major carriers also performed well financially.
K Line registered a 14% rise in container handled, with particularly good performances in its Asia-Europe and intra-Asia services, where volumes grew by 14% and 10% respectively.
However, its Asia-North America and North-South services struggled. They registered a growth of 1% and a loss of 3% correspondingly.
The carrier’s container business recorded a profit of ¥7bn (US$62m) over the nine month period ending December 31, 2017, up from a ¥34bn (US$310m) loss in the same period the previous year.
Year-on-year operating revenues for the whole company were up by 16.2%, from ¥761bn (US$7bn) to ¥884bn (US$8bn).
The company highlighted that freight rates had recovered from a historic low in the previous fiscal year but warned that “the business environment is expected to remain harsh” due to the anticipated effect from rising fuel prices.
K Line also cautioned that “a careful watch should be kept on economic conditions, as a rise in geopolitical tensions or the rollback of monetary easing in various countries could cause the economy to slow down by inducing risk-aversion.”
Revenues at NYK Line’s container business rose by 22.5% to ¥527bn (US$4bn) and it posted a recurring profit of ¥17.2bn (US$157m) after a loss of ¥11.3bn (US$103m)last year.
At MOL, revenue rose by 26.8% to ¥567bn (US$5bn) as the carrier posted a loss of around ¥300m (US$3m), up from a loss of ¥26bn (US$240m) the previous year.
Unlike K Line both NYK Line and MOL reported healthy Asia-North America volumes, especially at MOL where cargo volumes from Asia reached a record high.