Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) recorded a 6% growth in total volumes in the first half of the year, handling 3.27m teu.
The carrier’s parent company, Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL), remarked that East-West trade lanes had been particularly strong, especially on trans-Pacific routes where volumes grew by 11.3%, in its interim report.
However the company also warned of the potential threats of tariff wars on OOCL’s volumes.
The report said: “While it is true that global economies still appear reasonably robust, not least the USA, the uncertainty caused by the threat of looming so-called trade wars justifies a degree of caution. It may well be that the impact on containerised transport will be less than some fear, on the grounds that goods transported in containers often tend to be higher volume but lower value.
“However, it would be naïve to be too confident in offering any predictions about how the currently imminent trade wars will impact the industry. Restrictions on trade are clearly not a positive factor: we will need to wait to gauge what their negative influence might be.”
Volumes in the Asia-Europe trade grew by 16.7%, while those on trans-Atlantic routes remained relatively flat.
During the first six months the company took delivery of its sixth and final new-build mega-vessels, the 21,413 teu OOCL Indonesia.
On the financial side, OOIL’s container transportation and logistics segment posted a 10% growth in revenue, which rose to US$2.85bn, while revenue per teu increased by 3.5%.
The OOIL Group posted a loss after taxation of US$10.3m, down from a profit of US$53.6m during the same period last year.
On the sale of OOCL to COSCO, the company said the combined resources of the two liner businesses with COSCO’s terminal business would create an industry leader.