Hanjin loses $177 million in first quarter
Korean ocean carrier Hanjin Shipping lost $177 million in the first quarter of 2009, the company said Thursday.
The losses can largely be blamed on a 25.8 percent drop in container volume, to 628,599 TEUs. However, Hanjin said it expects to fare better in the second quarter due to better 'optimization of container services.'
The line's results include both its container and bulk divisions, and while both slumped, the container division saw the worse numbers, its operating profit drop from $39 million in the first quarter of 2008 to a loss of $142 million in the same period this year. Container revenue dropped 37.5 percent to $977 million.
Hanjin's bulk division fared only slightly better, with a $35 million loss, a 29.1 percent drop in volume and a 44.3 percent drop in revenue.
But the carrier said it expects container and bulk volume to pick up in the second and third quarters of the year.
The first quarter of 2009 'was the toughest quarter we have experienced so far due to the rapid fall in cargo transport volume and in freight rates for Asia/Europe services as well as the deteriorated bulk market,' the carrier said in a statement. 'In addition to our optimistic forecast on the shipping industry later this year, we are making various efforts to overcome this crisis.
'We are trying our best to cut down on all possible costs. We are planning on saving up to $300 million by the end of the year. The majority of the cost reduction will be done in chartering rates, logistics expenses and manning.'
Hanjin said it has reduced its workforce by 8.2 percent through the shuttering of its German subsidiary, Senator Lines, as well as other personnel reorganization.
'Also, we have been closely cooperating with our shipbuilders in order to have some of our new vessels delivered later than scheduled,' the carrier said. 'And we have been successful in delaying some deliveries so far.'