JAPAN's "K" Line, the world's 15th biggest box carrier, narrowed its quarterly net loss for the three months ending June 30 to JYN700 billion (US$8.9 million) compared the JYN3.7 net loss it suffered last year - while at the same time posting an operating profit of JYN4.1 billion over last year's corresponding quarterly operating loss of JYN9.9 billion.
In "K" Line's container operations, the number of laden containers on North American routes increased 17 per cent from the first quarter of 2011. On European routes, the increase was a more modest nine per cent.
Intra Asian volume for "K" Line went up 15 per cent with the number of laden containers carried by company ships going up 11 per cent in the same period.
"Freight rates in the first quarter recovered on all routes and improved substantially compared to Q1 2011," said the company statement.
The company's reorganisatiuon also played a role. "Structural reforms implemented included the reorganisation of unprofitable trade routes, the introduction of large size energy efficient vessels and expansion of slow steaming. Financial performance in the first quarter showed improvement compared to the first quarter of 2011, the company said.
In the company's logistics segment, financial performance also showed improvement. "In the international logistics market, demand for emergency air cargo for the restoration of supply chains following the flooding Thailand showed a strong move and the domestic logistics market was steady overall," the company said.
Going forward, "K" Line said: "Containership business will enter its peak season in the summer, and we expected freight rate levels achieved in the spring to be maintained. Although negative effects from the economic stagnation in Europe heading into the winter season are anticipated, we expect financial results to improve compared to the previous fiscal year because of the effects of our structural reforms that include reorganisation of unprofitable trade routes, expansion of slow steaming and cost reductions by increasing operations of large size energy efficient vessels."