Profitability throughout the entire economic cycle
We intend to grow profitably throughout the entire economic cycle. This is reflected in an adequate return on invested capital (ROIC) that is at least equal to our weighted average cost of capital. Thanks to our extraordinarily strong earnings position in the 2022 financial year, we clearly exceeded this target with a ROIC of 111.6%.

Growth in attractive markets and safeguarding of our position as a global player
We want to grow in attractive growth markets and consolidate our position as a global player with a market share of around 10% worldwide. To achieve this, we are investing in our vessel and container fleet and are simultaneously expanding our global presence with new office locations. By acquiring regional service providers, we are also able to quickly tap into new markets. 

Differentiation by focusing on quality and customer satisfaction
Our ambition is nothing less than to become the number one for quality in our industry, because we firmly believe that service quality, reliability and adherence to schedules are decisive competitive factors. We want to further increase customer satisfaction by offering more added value and creating market-driven solutions for booking, monitoring and processing shipments. 

Making climate-neutral shipping a reality – together
Climate change, diversity and social engagement are more important than ever before. We have thus expanded our Strategy 2023 by adding a fourth pillar: sustainability. In the coming years, we will gradually strengthen our sustainability contribution and make continuous improvements. The decarbonisation of our fleet by 2045 is one of our core objectives; we are working towards achieving it together with our customers, partners and competitors.

Strategic priorities up to 2023
Given the very challenging market environment due to the pandemic, the rapidly increasing importance of sustainability factors and increasing digitalisation, we carried out a detailed review of our corporate strategy in the 2021 financial year. As a result, we intensified our focus on the area of quality and embedded “sustainability” as the fourth pillar of our “Strategy 2023”. In doing so, we are guided by three key areas of action whereby we will “simplify”, “strengthen” and “invest”.  

  • Simplify: Improve the customer experience and reduce complexity
  • Strengthen: Double our efforts to become the number one for quality
  • Invest: Invest in our team, sustainable assets and long-term competitiveness

Development of a new medium-term strategy
The implementation of Strategy 2023 will be complete by the end of 2023. We therefore plan to develop a new medium-term strategy in the current financial year in addition to the measures outlined under Simplify, Strengthen and Invest.  

Further information regarding our Strategy 2023 can be found in our Digital Annual Report 2022.


Hapag-Lloyd recorded very strong business performance in 2022, primarily due to the exceptional market environment. The underlying market conditions at the beginning of 2023 are completely different. With the onset of the decline in demand in the second half of 2022 and the simultaneous lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in relevant import regions, port congestion had largely dissipated by the end of the year. This has significantly improved turnaround times for vessels and containers and led to an increase in available transport capacity. In this environment, spot freight rates on the major trades from Asia to the Americas and Europe have dropped significantly and are currently approaching pre-COVID-19 levels. At the same time, costs remain at an elevated level, essentially due to inflation.

In light of this, the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG expects a gradual normalisation of the earnings trend in the current 2023 financial year. Group EBITDA is expected to be in the range of EUR 4.0 to 6.0 billion (previous year: EUR 19.4 billion) and EBIT in the range of EUR 2.0 to 4.0 billion (previous year: EUR 17.5 billion). In US dollars, this corresponds to an expected Group EBITDA in the range of USD 4.3 to 6.5 billion (previous year: USD 20.5 billion) and EBIT in the range of USD 2.1 to 4.3 billion (previous year: USD 18.5 billion).

The earnings expectation for the 2023 financial year is based in particular on the assumptions that transport volumes can be increased slightly, while the average freight rate is expected to fall significantly. The recovery of supply chains as well as the implementation of cost reduction measures should simultaneously lead to a decrease in transport expenses. The development in this direction should also be supported by a significantly lower bunker consumption price. However, higher expenses due to inflation are expected to weaken the cost recovery. The earnings forecast is based on the assumption of an average exchange rate of USD 1.09 / EUR. (2022 financial year: USD 1.05 / EUR).

The earnings forecast does not take into account 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 2023 outlook Actual 2022 Forecast 2023
Global economic growth (IMF, July 2023) 3.5% 3.0%
Increase in global trade (IMF, July 2023)
5.2% 2.0%
Increase in global container transport volume
(CTS, July 2023, Accenture Cargo, June 2023)
-4.1% -1.6%
Transport volume, Hapag-Lloyd
TEU 11.8 million Increasing slightly
Average bunker consumption, Hapag-Lloyd USD 753/t
Decreasing clearly
Average freight rate, Hapag-Lloyd USD 2,863/TEU Decreasing clearly  
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), Hapag-Lloyd EUR 19.4 billion
EUR 4.0 - 6.0 billion
EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes), Hapag-Lloyd EUR 17.5 billion
EUR 2.0 - 4.0 billion
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