Major German container carrier Hapag-Lloyd had a tough 2016, where the result was negative, while the tough times will continue into 2017.

That is how CEO Ralf Habben Jansen puts it in the just-published annual report from the carrier, which in 2016 began with the integration of Dubai carrier UASC into its business.

"We had a very challenging market environment in the first six months of 2016, but were able to improve revenue and results significantly in the second half of the year. Even though we performed relatively well in the industry in 2016, the bottom line is still that this result is not satisfactory," says the CEO.

Although the second half of 2016 was better than the first, there are still huge challenges, noted by the carrier at the beginning of this year.

"Due to long term contracts we have not yet been able to fully capture the recent positive rate development in the spot market while bunker price has increased significantly. We will continue to work hard to make Hapag-Lloyd even more competitive and to build on our strong position. Our efforts will be supported by the expected synergies and the further diversification of our product portfolio due to the merger with UASC," explained Habben Jansen.

Hapag-Lloyd's operating result landed at EUR 607.4 million, a decline from EUR 831 million in 2015. The net result was negative with a loss of EUR 93.1 for 2016, while in 2015 the carrier booked a profit of EUR 113.9 million.

English Edit: Lena Rutkowski

Hapag-Lloyd and UASC push merger to late May

CMA CGM appoints new Chief Operating Officer

Hapag-Lloyd's operating profit down in 2016