It has become harder for terminal operator EUROGATE to create sustained, positive earnings and defend its market position, the group’s management board chair said regarding disappointing 2017 year-end results which saw the company’s container-handling volumes down 1.4%.
Container-handling volumes for the group as a whole decreased from 14,610,609 teu in 2016 to 14,413,182 teu in 2017.
Volumes for Germany and Italy decreased by 5.5% and 7.5% year-on-year respectively, with the figure for the Ust-Luga terminal in Russia down 9.8%.
Within Germany, there was a 25.6% drop in the container-handling volume at Hamburg year-on-year, with EUROGATE stating that the restructuring of alliances and the consequent loss of customers, plus the bankruptcy of long-standing customer Hanjin had “had a negative impact”.
However, volumes at EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven increased 15.1%. EUROGATE said that a new alliance structure helped monthly handling volumes double from May onwards.
Container handling volumes at the company’s Lisboa (in Portugal) and Tangier (in Morocco) terminals increased by 25.9% and 22.9% year-on-year respectively, with Bremerhaven (in Germany) up 0.9%.
Additionally, total intermodal-handling volumes for the company in 2017 were up 5.2% year-on-year.
The company said that despite the ongoing rearrangements of several shipping consortia in the last financial year, it had once again been able to keep container handling volumes stable.
“On balance, the results generated by the container terminals will be improved in comparison to the previous year, which, in light of the slight downturn that the overall trend in container turnover is facing, is pleasant,” said management board chair Michael Blach.
“Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven certainly benefited from the realignment of the shipping alliances.
“Although 2017 was a good year, the year-end results have shown that it has become generally more difficult to generate sustained positive earnings and defend our market position.”
Source: PortStrategy, 1 February 2018