Orient Overseas (International) Limited made a loss attributable to equity holders of US$219.2 million in 2016, according to full-year results released by the company.


OOIL made a profit of US$283.9 million in 2015. Revenue for 2016 was US$5.3 billion, 11% lower than 2015.


Self Photos / Files - OOCL Shenzhen


“This past year has seen some of the most difficult markets in our industry’s history,” said C C Tung, chairman of OOIL. “A combination of steady but low growth in most regions and an overhang of excess supply built up in recent years led to extremely challenging conditions in many trade lanes for most of 2016. As fuel prices rose in the second half of the year, industry performance was badly affected by freight rates that frequently sank below the levels seen in 2009.”


OOCL transported 6.1 million TEUs in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 9.1%. Loadable capacity increased by 5.9%, and the load factor went up by 3 percentage points to 85%.


“In these turbulent times, with industry consolidation occurring at a pace that few, if any, had expected, OOCL continues to build its future on the twin pillars of alliance membership and the efficient operation of the most appropriate vessels for each trade lane,” Tung said. “We are delighted to be forming the Ocean Alliance with COSCO, CMA CGM and Evergreen. The Ocean Alliance will begin operations in April 2017. Working together with these sizeable and like-minded partners will enable us to continue to offer the highest standards in the most cost-effective manner. Moreover, the Ocean Alliance enables OOCL to grow its business in a considered and measured way.”


OOCL did not take delivery of or order any vessels during 2016, but will begin taking delivery of six 20,000 TEU vessels from May 2017.


“Our investment in these vessels demonstrates our commitment to growing our business intelligently, and allows us to gain economies of scale in all our major East-West trades,” said Tung. “At the same time, we will maintain our focus on continuous cost improvement and further efficiency gains. We continue to invest in IT, as a means of improving not only our internal processes, but also our customer interaction and engagement.”


The company expects a slight improvement in performance for 2017.


“While the outlook remains uncertain, we will continue with our long-established strategy,” Tung said. “Excellent customer service, operational efficiency, cost management, IT development and scale benefit achieved through alliance membership and careful deployment, all built on solid financial foundations. With this approach, and with a more consistent track record than most of the industry, we believe that we can continue to grow successfully, through these challenging times, and into the upturn to come.”