Seaport companies expect high profit in Q3 from rising freight rates

Thursday, Nov 04, 2021 08:47

A container ship docked at Germalink port for loading and unloading goods. — VNA/VNS Photo

Rising freight rates have helped logistics companies, of which, seaport services have benefited significantly.

On October 14, Hai An Transport and Stevedoring (HAH) announced a new tariff schedule, to be applied from the beginning of November, with a sharp increase in price.

For example, the rate for transporting a 20-foot container from Cai Mep to Da Nang is VND8 million (US$351.99) per container, double the rate of January 1.

For the Hai Phong to HCM City route, the rate for a 20-foot container surged by 17.6 per cent, while for 40-foot containers it jumped 20 per cent. Meanwhile, from HCM City to Hai Phong, the rate for a 40-foot container has climbed from VND5.6 million at the beginning of the year to VND10 million in November.

In only half a month, the company has adjusted the rates up to two times. Previously, on September 28, Hai An announced the freight rate schedule for the third quarter with an average increase of 46 per cent, applied from October 13.

This reflects the strong demand for containers in the fourth quarter as production and business activities gradually recovered and trade resumed. The rise in freight rates took place on a large scale, especially on the South - North route, with each route increasing by 70 - 160 per cent in price compared to the beginning of the year.

Domestic container supply is scarce due to a lack of ships, and many domestic container vessels have been leased to the international market this year.

The increase in rates will help Hai An offset the sharp rise in fuel costs in recent years, and at the same time improve its profit margin.

Hai An has added two ships and built two new ships since September. From the fourth quarter of 2021, the number of chartered ships will rise from two to three, while the number of self-operated vessels will decrease from six to five, helping the company to reduce risks related to the volatility of fuel prices.

The change in fleet structure also improves profit margins as leasing ships is more efficient.

On the other hand, the volume of goods passing through Gemadept port of Gemadept Corporation (GMD) fell in the third quarter due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing orders applied in the southern provinces. However, Gemadept’s ports are running at full capacity in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Cai Mep reported positive growth in the third quarter and the volume of goods through Gemalink port increased as planned. Hai Phong Port also provides new services, helping to offset the decrease in some ports in the south.

Positive business results

Sea freight rates and service fees at ports have ticked higher in recent years, helping shipping businesses and seaport enterprises record impressive profits in the first nine months of the year.

Hai An has not yet released its third-quarter business results, but a report from SSI Securities Corporation (SSI) estimated that the company’s profit will reach VND80 billion during the period, up 250 per cent over the same period last year.

With profit of more than VND173 billion in the first half of the year, it is estimated that its profit will reach VND253 billion in the first nine months of 2021.

The company's fourth quarter profit is expected to extend strong growth thanks to the increase in freight rates applied from October and new lease contracts with higher charter rates.

SSI forecasted that Hai An will achieve a profit of VND330 billion in 2021, up 139 per cent over last year.

Gemadept is also expected to achieve profit growth of 46 per cent this year. Gemadept has its own factors to attract investors.

Gemalink deep-water port has been granted an official operation license with the capacity to simultaneously receive two mother ships with tonnage of up to 200,000 DWT. The port meets the mooring needs of major shipping lines and the trend of shifting goods to Cai Mep port. Therefore, the company still has more room to grow in the future.

In 2021, Gemadept sets a target of consolidated revenue of VND2.8 trillion, with profit before tax of VND700 billion, up 7 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively, compared to last year.

Analysts from SSI said that Gemadept will benefit from the economic recovery in the fourth quarter, forecasting whole year profit before tax of VND762 billion, up 49 per cent. Gemadept is in the group of shipping enterprises benefiting from higher demand in the shipping market.

Located in a pandemic hotspot, Dong Nai Port (PDN) has just experienced a decrease in quarterly results. Of which, its net revenue fell 3.9 per cent to VND210.1 billion in the third quarter, while profit after tax dropped 21.9 per cent over the same period last year to VND38 billion.

Dong Nai Port said that as many localities implemented social distancing, businesses in pandemic-affected areas had to operate the 'three-on-site' model, resulting in reduced capacity and causing a sharp fall in the volume of containers arriving at the port.

However, with the shortage of empty containers, some customers switched to bulk ships, increasing market demand for general cargo. In addition, given that traditional customers stabilised, the general cargo industry increased by 6.48 per cent.

In the first nine months, the company’s net revenue reached VND678.4 billion, up 21 per cent year-on-year, with profit after tax up 11.2 per cent to VND129.7 billion.

As the pandemic is gradually brought under control, businesses are gradually restoring production, Dong Nai Port expects to have a more promising fourth quarter in terms of business.

On the stock market, both companies are listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE).

Although there was a correction in the past week after strong rallies, HAH shares were traded at VND70,500 per share in Wednesday's trade, up 14 per cent compared to last month.

PDN shares were traded at VND99,700 per share yesterday morning, up 5.6 per cent over last month. Similarly, GMD shares rose 4.3 per cent to VND51,100 per share. — VNS

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