Market environment
Strong demand for container transports
The coronavirus pandemic caused demand for export goods from the Asian region to reach exceptionally high levels in the 2021 financial year. The associated sharp increase in container transports placed further pressure on global supply chains. Restrictions in ports and hinterland transport as a result of the pandemic led to significant bottlenecks in available transport capacities. Container vessels were backed up off many coasts, in some cases with waiting times running into weeks, which had a substantial impact on liner shipping companies’ adherence to schedules and service quality. In order to address these challenges, we adjusted networks and routes and increased investments in personnel, IT capacity, digital solutions for our customers, and the continued expansion of our fleet.
Investments to expand and modernise our fleet
With 253 modern container vessels and a transport capacity of 1.8 million TEU, as well as containers with a capacity of 3.1 million TEU, we are there for our customers worldwide. We continued to invest in our fleet in the reporting year and ordered six more modern dual-fuel large container vessels, each with a capacity of 23,500+ TEU. We will take delivery of a total of twelve of these highly efficient vessels in 2023 and 2024, contributing to the modernisation of our fleet. Concurrently, we have ordered ten more 13,000 TEU vessels to grow our order book to a capacity of over 400 TTEU. We also continued to build up our container capacity and purchased or leased approximately 300 TTEU of additional capacity in the 2021 financial year to meet our customers’ demand. We also invested in attractive niche markets such as refrigerated and special containers.
Outstanding commitment from our employees worldwide
The pandemic again placed enormous demands on the private and professional lives of our 14,100 employees in 2021. While some of them worked more from home, others were separated from their homes and families for longer periods of time due to increased difficulties regarding crew changes; in both cases this entailed additional hardship. Whether on land or at sea, our colleagues have always worked to keep our customers’ supply chains as intact as possible.

At the same time and in the spirit of its corporate value “we care”, Hapag-Lloyd left no stone unturned to support them – for example by changing crews and offering vaccinations under difficult conditions. Despite all the challenges created by the pandemic, we had an exceptionally good year – not just thanks to the continued strong demand for our services, but in particular thanks to the outstanding commitment from all our employees worldwide.