New "Strategy 2030"

With the development of “Strategy 2030”, we have further refined our strategic targets and adapted them to the changed market conditions. We are remaining true to our core business of liner shipping in this regard, while also enhancing and strengthening it as part of our “Pure Play Plus” model.

The establishment of our new Terminal & Infrastructure segment will enable us to further expand our activities in terminal operations and hinterland connections in the coming years. Within our core business, we want to continue growing and to consolidate our position among the world’s top five liner shipping companies, in particular by consistently focusing on quality.

We will further increase our customer focus, improve our service quality and, in particular, enhance the quality of our operating performance in order to become the undisputed “number one for quality”. This will enable us to offer our customers transport solutions that are even more convenient and reliable while also providing us with access to key markets.

To ensure that we remain one of the world’s most profitable and efficient container liner shipping companies, we will prioritise strict cost controls, a strong team and modern IT infrastructure. At the same time, we will intensify our efforts to decarbonise our fleet by 2045 and have ourselves measured by the internationally recognised 1.5 degree target.

Further information regarding our Strategy 2030 can be found in our Digital Annual Report 2023.


As expected, Hapag-Lloyd recorded a significant decline in earnings in 2023, which was primarily due to a sharp fall in freight rates. Due to the precarious security situation in the Red Sea, there was another significant increase in spot freight rates in many trade lanes at the end of 2023, as the rerouting of ships around the Cape of Good Hope led to a reduction of shipping capacity and rising transport costs. At the time the forecast was prepared, it was unclear when the Red Sea passage would be safe again. Regardless of the outcome of the conflict, the high number of ship deliveries in the current financial year will lead to a gradual increase in transport capacity which is likely to have a negative impact on freight rate development.

Against this backdrop, the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG expects Group EBITDA for the current 2024 financial year to be in the range of EUR 1.0 to 3.0 billion (previous year: EUR 4.5 billion) and Group EBIT in the range of EUR -1.0 to 1.0 billion (previous year: EUR 2.5 billion). In US dollars, this corresponds to an expected Group EBITDA in the range of USD 1.1 to 3.3 billion (previous year: USD 4.8 billion) and a Group EBIT in the range of USD -1.1 to 1.1 billion (previous year: USD 2.7 billion). Based on the expected normalisation of freight rates during 2024, it is assumed that a large part of the projected result will be generated in the first half of the year.

The earnings expectation for the 2024 financial year is based in particular on the assumptions that transport volumes can be increased slightly while the average freight rate is likely to fall signifi-cantly. Increased transport expenses in connection with longer voyage times around the Cape of Good Hope and the first-time inclusion of shipping in the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) are expected to more than offset the planned cost-cutting measures. The bunker consump-tion price is expected to remain at the previous year's level. The earnings forecast is also based on the assumption of an average exchange rate of USD 1.11/EUR (financial year 2023: USD 1.08/EUR).

In view of the highly volatile development of freight rates and major geopolitical challenges, the forecast is subject to a high degree of uncertainty. The earnings forecast does not take into ac-count impairments on goodwill, other intangible assets and property, plant and equipment in the course of the 2023 financial year, which are currently not expected but cannot be ruled out.

Key benchmark figures for the 2024 outlook Actual 2023 Forecast 2024
Global economic growth (IMF, January 2024) 3.1% 3.1%
Increase in global trade (IMF, January 2024)
0.4% 3.3%
Increase in global container transport volume
(CTS, February 2024, Accenture Cargo, December 2023)
0.2% 3.8%
Transport volume, Hapag-Lloyd
TEU 11.9 million Increasing slightly
Average bunker consumption, Hapag-Lloyd USD 614/t
At previous year's level
Average freight rate, Hapag-Lloyd USD 1,500/TEU Decreasing clearly  
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), Hapag-Lloyd EUR 4.5 billion
EUR 1.0 to 3.0 billion
EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes), Hapag-Lloyd EUR 2.5 billion
EUR -1.0 to 1.0 billion
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