The carrier enjoyed a good third quarter during the peak season, but analysts said that it was likely that its profitability would weaken towards year-end on general market weakness in deepsea trade.
“We expect that profitability has already peaked in the third quarter and look for a sequential downturn from this point,” Barclays said in a research note.
“Weakness in Asia-Europe freight rates and end-consumer demand will put downward pressure on transpacific freight rates and profitability, in our view.”
According to a company report, OOCL recorded revenues of $540.1 million on transpacific routes in July-September, up 4.6% on quarter and 11.2% on year.
The result came despite OOCL’s liftings on transpacific routes falling 0.2% to 324,947teu, suggesting a hike in freight rates last quarter.
Also, the company’s revenues on Asia-Europe routes rose 25.3% on year to almost $341 million last quarter, also higher than the second-quarter level of $326.9 million. Volumes in this trade were up 8.4% on quarter at 242,351teu.
OOCL lifted 691,497teu of containers in intra-Asia trade in July-September, slightly higher than the quarter-ago level of 687,996teu.
Its intra-Asia revenues reached $551.5 million in the three months, 0.5% higher on quarter and 8.6% higher on year.
On transatlantic routes, OOCL’s volumes fell from the quarter-ago level of 105,153teu to 102,075teu, also down 1.3% on year.
Transatlantic revenues were $164.7 million last quarter, down 2.2% on quarter and 6% on year.
For the first nine months of this year, OOCL’s liftings increased 5.1% on year to 3.9 million teu while revenues rose 7% to $4.5 billion.
As its loadable capacity increased by 8.2% in the nine months, overall load factor was 2.2% lower than the year-ago period, OOCL said.