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Hapag-Lloyd Cartegena Express2HAMBURG: February 28, 2017. Hapag-Lloyd has reported preliminary earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in 2016 of €126 million on revenue of €7.7 billion.

The result was a significant reduction on the previous year that saw an EBIT of €366.4 million on revenue of €8.8 billion.

However the company's Q4 produced an EBIT of €100 million compared to €17.8 million year-on-year, due in part to the Hanjin collapse and a subsequent capacity reduction on Asia-Europe and Asia-Pacific trades.

The box carrier, which includes CSAV's container business, saw "a significantly lower" average freight rate in 2016 of US$1,036 per TEU compared to US$1,225 per TEU the previous year, as volume rose 2.7 percent to 7.6 million TEUs over the period.

Transport costs fell 12.3 percent to €6.4 billion mainly driven by a lower average bunker consumption price of US$210 per tonne, as well cost savings and synergies from the integration of CSAV's container shipping business.

As at December 2016, Hapag-Lloyd reported €5.1 billion in equity and a liquidity reserve of €760 million - down from €962 million the previous year - as net debt rose from €3.3 billion to €3.6 billion during the 12 months.

Last month the company took delivery of its third 10,500 TEU vessel for use in Europe-South America trades. The 'Cartagena Express', joins 'Valparaíso Express' and 'Callao Express' offering weekly connections between North Europe, the Caribbean and West Coast South America.

Hapag-lloyd has ordered five vessels of the type - each include over 2,000 reefer plugs for perishables exports from South America.

The naming ceremony for the 'Cartagena Express' was held at the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries shipyard in Samho, South Korea. Vessel patron is Wen Qian Lou (in pink coat). She is the wife of Sam Zhang, CEO of the Delfin Group, a Chinese ocean forwarder specializing in Asia-South America markets.

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