MAJOR port operator Cosco Shipping Ports posted a net profit of US$354.7 million in 2021,a slight increase of 2.1 per cent over the previous year.
Revenue surged 21 per cent to $1.21 billion with solid growth from most of its terminals,as global trade recovered from the pandemic's hit, while shipping fees surged on tight shipping capacity and port congestion.
Cosco said in a statement that the bottom-line growth was in part slowed down by lower disposal gains in 2021.Excluding one-off disposal profits' impact, profit rose 24 per cent.
In 2022,the company expects a slowdown in China's foreign trade, which has boosted its strong growth in the past year, as other countries resume local production.
In 2021, as pandemic-related supply disruptions lingered, many overseas countries increased imports from China, where manufacturing activities largely remained normal due to the country's "zero-infection" policy.
Total throughput of the Greater China region increased by 4.1 per cent year on year to 99,275,231 TEU in 2021(2020:95,380,835 TEU)and accounted for 76.8 per cent of the Group's total.
The Yangtze River Delta region volume increased by 4.5 per cent to 15,436,773 TEU in 2021(2020:14,768,442 TEU) and accounted for 11.9 per cent of the group's total. Shanghai Pudong International Container Terminals Limited and Shanghai Mingdong Container Terminals Limited secured some ad-hoc shipping calls, and the throughput increased by 6.4 per cent and 9.6 per cent to 2,600,511 TEU and 6,845,534 TEU respectively (2020:2,443,406 TEU and 6,246,932 TEU).
Southeast Coast region throughput increased by 12.9 per cent to 6,149,785 TEU in 2021 (2020:5,445,662 TEU)and accounted for 4.8 per cent of the group's total, while the Pearl River Delta throughput of the Pearl River Delta region increased by 3.4 per cent to 28,841,688 TEU in 2021 (2020:27,898,470 TEU) and accounted for 22.3 per cent the group's total. Driven by the increase in the US,EU and empty cargoes, the throughput of Yantian Terminals increased by 6.1 per cent 14,161,034 TEU (2020:13,348,546 TEU).
Total throughput of the Southwest Coast region increased by 11.7 per cent to 6.011.800 TEU in 2021(2020:5.383.701 TEU) and accounted for 4.6 per cent of the group's total,which was mainly benefited from the increased trade activities between China and Southeast Asia.
The total throughput of its overseas ports increased by 5.5 per cent to 30,011,144 TEU in 2021(2020:28.443.740 TEU) and accounted for 23.2 per cent of the group's total.
Due to the continuous congestion of major ports in northwest Europe,CSP Zeebrugge Terminal became an important buffer port for the region and, together with the addition of new routes, its throughput increased by 52.9 per cent to 931,447 TEU (2020:609,277 TEU).
As result of new routes and the significant increase in local cargoes due to the increased ability to connect to the cargo hinterland,the throughput of CSP Spain related companies increased by 6.9 per cent to 3,621,188 TEU (2020:3,387,820 TEU).
"Looking foward to 2022, despite the complex and uncertain global macro environment, the resilience of China's economic development, the strong domestic market, a sound supply system and the coming into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership ("RCEP") will provide support to China's economy and the long-term economic fundamentals will remain unchanged," the company said.
"With the penetration of vaccines and the gradual recovery of production capacity in developed countries,the growth rate of China's foreign trade is expected to slow down in 2022,and the demand for container transport will gradually return to normal,"