Shell, BP, luxury brand Hermes and the prancing horse that is Ferrari have all been left in the tracks of a certain German liner in a new survey measuring the most successful European Union companies by profit per employee.
Remarkably, Hamburg’s Hapag-Lloyd made more than £1m ($1.25m) per employee last year in a new survey carried out by Search Intelligence in partnership with global fintech group Plus500. The survey looked at the top 100 companies in Europe by market cap, looking at profit in 2022 – a year of stellar record financial figures for liner shipping – and dividing by the number of employees that work within the company.
Rolf Habben Jensen-led Hapag-Lloyd earned £1,058,898.94 per employee last year, which is almost triple that of energy giant Shell in second place.
Maersk made it into sixth spot in this unique European survey, scoring £233,163 per employee.
Sea-Intelligence experts have estimated the liner sector as a whole made earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $208bn last year, outpacing the stars of the internet such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google who collectively are known by the acronym FANG.
The sensational results saw many carriers lavish previously unheard-of bonuses to their staff. In Taiwan, for instance, the three carriers – Evergreen, Yang Ming and Wan Hai – dished out bonuses that ranged from 12 to 60 months of average salaries.
While the peak of the market is now well passed, experts still believe container shipping will post solid results this year.
John McCown, whose Blue Alpha Capital quarterly liner profit reports have become essential reading during box shipping’s record earnings run since 2020, has forecast liner shipping will make a combined net income this year of $43.2bn.
Hapag-Lloyd reported a net profit of $1.1bn for the second quarter, a 78% drop from a year ago. Operating profits slipped below $1bn for the first time since Q1 2020, at $888m.
“Weaker demand and lower freight rates are having a very noticeable impact on our earnings,” said Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, at the company’s interims last month.