Friday, 4 April 2014

Why do Some Container Lines Make Money and Others Do Not?

Drewry Maritime Equity Research compared performances of OOIL and NOL, to help determine what contributes to the success of container shipping companies.

Drewry Maritime Equity Research recently compared the performances of Asian shipping companies Orient Overseas International Limited (OOIL), the parent company of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), and Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) for clues behind the varying results within the container shipping industry and to help determine the direction that the most successful shipping companies; are most likely to take in the future.

Looking at the facts and figures, NOL has been struggling for much of the past half-decade. On the other hand OOIL has managed to keep its financial health in much better condition, and succeeded in riding the international downturn; better than most. Drewry analysts suggest that the difference in costs between the two companies is the prime differentiator, and has resulted in higher yields for OOIL and poor returns for NOL. First and foremost, Drewry found that OOCL has a low cost base, which has helped it post industry leading margins over the previous years. In contrast, NOL’s liner division has had a rigid cost structure, in part the fault of the company’s parent company - APL, which repeatedly causes the company to post losses.The Drewry analysts predict that OOIL will continue to post favorable results in 2014.

Regarded as another notable consideration is the fact that OOIL operates fewer vessels than NOL. Perhaps as (or more) important than that, OOIL's fleet is evenly distributed between owned and chartered vessels, giving it incredible flexibility to better manage its shipping operations. Although NOL appears to be struggling when compared to one of its closest Asian shipping rivals (OOIL), analysts believe that the company is taking steps in the right direction, foremost by reducing its operating costs, improving efficiency and restructuring its fleet.

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