Shipping giant CMA CGN reports tenfold profit increase with freight rates still soaring

Tue 23 Nov 2021
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

LA harbour

French shipping company CMA CGM Group has reported a tenfold increase in Q3 profits to $5.6bn compared with $567m in the same period last year.

Revenue reached $15.3bn, an increase of 89.4%, with container shipping contributing $12.5bn, despite a 2.5% decrease in volumes.

Loadstar reports that the company moved 5.45m teu (twenty-foot equivalent units) with an average per teu revenue of $2,293 – more than double the average rate last year of $1,109.

Accelerated development

Chief executive Rodolphe Saadé said the results would enable the company to continue its development and accelerate its transformation, reports Lloyds Loading List.

“In an unprecedented context of strong tensions in global supply chains, our priority remains to support our customers with a complete range of solutions addressing their increased needs for shipping and logistics,” he said.


The company has added 49 ships to its fleet since January, including the delivery of 13 new build vessels this year, to take it above Chinese carrier Cosco as the third largest shipper in capacity terms (it carries 3.1 million teu).

Communicating the results, the shipping group said international trade was “still brisk”.


Other shipping companies have benefitted from the combination of a pandemic-related surge in demand and soaring ocean freight rates.

Maersk delivered record earnings in Q3 2021 with revenue up 68%. to $16.6bn. The Ocean container division saw revenue almost doubling to $13.1bn from $7.1bn.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is also likely to see annual group revenues in excess of the estimated $25bn it made before the pandemic, reports the FT.

After poaching new chief executive Soren Toft from rival Maersk last year, the privately owned company looks set to grow larger than its rival Maersk in capacity terms with the biggest order book for new tonnage.

China’s COSCO Ship Holding’s 2021 first half profits were up 21-fold year-on-year to $6.53bn, reports Container News.

Its container shipping business doubled profits to $7.21bn, with revenue up 88% to $21.2bn, while container shipping contributed $20.77bn.

Half year results for Hapag-Lloyd saw revenues increase by 51%, to $10.6 billion due to a 46% higher average freight rate of $1,612 teu.

Rates still rising

There is little hope that shipping rates will decline soon, according to TI’s Ocean Freight Rate Tracker for Q4.

It sought the views of 224 industry executives on their expectations for sea freight rates in three months’ time.

On three of the major trade lanes - Asia to North America West Coast, Asia to Europe North West, and Europe to US East Coast – they predicted that sea freight rates would increase significantly in the next three months.