Asia-U.S. Shipper Readies Huge Fleet Expansion After Reporting 37% Higher Volumes

Neptune Orient Lines, owner of the formerly U.S.-owned APL container shipping company, just reported a sharp 37% jump in container trade volume for February, crediting strength in both Intra-Asia and U.S. – Asia (Transpacific) demand. (Note that higher volume can come from APL taking share, total trade growth will be lower.) The charts below are from NOL’s release.


At the same time, their average rate per 40-foot container (FEU) rose 8% year over year as well.


Moreover, it’s reasonable to bet that the company believes the current global trade recovery has legs. They just set up a new company to spend at least $150 million buying new ships, last week CEO Ron Widdows said he’s willing to lease-in up to 10 ships in order to meet near-term demand, and they plan to bring up to 10 idled ships back into service. They are clearly getting aggressive.

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