Germany's Hapag-Lloyd, the world's fifth-largest container line, saw a 94.4% slump in its profits in the third quarter amid the ongoing torpor in the container market.
The firm saw profit of $293 million in Q3, down from $5.2 billion in the same period a year earlier, Hapag-Lloyd said in an earnings release on Thursday.
Revenues dropped to $4.5 billion from $9.9 billion a year earlier. The firm's average freight rate sank to $1,312/TEU from $3,106/TEU a year earlier.
"Freight rates are below the prior-year level and, as expected, fell again in the third quarter – which is reflected in much lower earnings," Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, said in the statement.
"In response, we are working hard to reduce our expenses even more, such as by achieving savings on the procurement side and making adjustments to our service network.
"Nevertheless, if spot rates do not recover, we could face some challenging quarters in this subdued market environment."