London, UK – Despite a $16 million aggregate financial loss for ocean carriers in the first quarter, London-based maritime consultant Drewry is projecting a $1.5 million profit for the industry and may even upgrade that prediction going forward.
Drewry said in the latest edition of its Container Insight Weekly newsletter 13 shipping companies that report their financial results publicly had a combined operating loss of $16 million and a negative 0.1 percent margin in the first quarter of 2017.
That result “compares favorably against the same period in 2016 when the aggregate deficit was close to $500 million, but is hardly a start to the year to make pulses race,” Drewry said.
“While we were expecting better for the first three months, our profit forecast already built in that the market recovery would only really push on from the second quarter onwards when new contracts roll over,” the firm added. “Therefore, despite the disappointing start to 2017 we see no reason to downgrade our profit guidance and will most probably raise it for the next Container Forecaster.”
In its last Container Forecaster, a quarterly publication, Drewry predicted the container shipping industry would record an aggregate profit of $1.5 billion this year.
“Exceptionally strong demand growth in 1Q17 and far higher annual contract rates will create even more profitable conditions for the remainder of the year than we had envisioned,” Drewry said.