UASC raises profit, plans vessel orders
United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC) nearly doubled its profit to $79 million in the first nine months of the year, from $40 million in the same period of 2003.
“Major arterial container trades as well as trades to the Middle East have been growing at significant pace in recent years,” the Kuwait-based shipping line said.
UASC said it expects its annual profit to reach $100 million this year. The carrier has annual revenues of more than $750 million, but did not publish figures on its revenues for the first nine months of the year.
UASC said it is planning to expand, particularly in the Middle East trades. It will order eight ships of 6,000 to 7,000 TEUs to meet growing demand in the arterial and Middle East trades. The shipping line has requested bids from shipyards in Asia and Europe for the new ships.
UASC’s largest owned containerships today, a series of 3,800-TEU vessels built in 1998 and employed in the Europe/Middle East/Far East container trade, are much smaller than the 6,000 to 8,000-TEU megaships that are now common in the east/west trades from Asia.
UASC also operates a direct U.S. East Coast/Mediterranean/Middle East/Indian Subcontinent container service using vessels of about 2,200-TEU capacities, in cooperation with Hanjin Shipping.
The Middle East-based shipping company operates 27 containerships, as well as multipurpose vessels.
The largest ocean carrier of dry cargo to the Middle East, UASC is owned jointly by the states of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.