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Samudera Shipping makes clean sweep with winds in its favour

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 3 min read
Samudera Shipping makes clean sweep with winds in its favour
Chairman Masli Mulia, chairman of Samudera Shipping Line. The container shipper is the overall winner in this sector for making a clean sweep of all three categories / Photo: The Edge Singapore
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Founded in 1993, Samudera Shipping, the shipping and logistics firm that is majority owned by Samudera Indonesia, has established a track record of professionalism and competency.

Under the leadership of chairman Masli Mulia, the company has grown over the years through prudent management, a key trait for an industry that is known for its volatile cycles. The company operates container vessels, bulk carriers and tankers and its fleet ply trade routes connecting various ports in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, and the Middle East.

Leveraging its extensive network, Samudera’s container shipping business segment offers feeder services between its “hub” port in Singapore and other “spoke” ports in Asia, as well as inter-regional container shipping services to manufacturers, exporters and importers.

Over the past few years, Samudera has benefited from a global shipping boom as pentup demand for shipping services after the pandemic, higher commodity prices and a shortage of capacity all drove up shipping rates.

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“For Samudera, the timing was perfect,” says Masli in the company’s FY2022 ended Dec 31, 2022 annual report. “We had expected that the strong demand for container shipping services in FY2021 would be sustained through FY2022, and managed to secure the renewal of expiring charters well in advance to ensure vessel availability without service disruption.

“This enabled us to add new services and restructure existing ones to meet the needs of customers in high-demand areas. As a result, we were able to turn in a 28.5% increase in container volume handled over FY2021 at a reasonable cost,” he says.

In FY2022, Samudera Shipping reported a record revenue of US$990.6 million ($1.36 billion), up 88% y-o-y. Earnings increased by 150% y-o-y to US$322 million. To reward shareholders, the company declared a total FY2022 dividend of 32 cents, up from 14 cents in FY2021 and 1.05 cents in FY2020.

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However, the company is careful not to get carried away. “The past two financial years were exceptional for Samudera and our achievements affirm the soundness of our operational strategy and financial stability. Nonetheless, the shipping industry and operating environment are highly dynamic and volatile with geopolitical and economic headwinds already weighing down on trade activity by the end of 2022,” says Masli.

Meanwhile, bunker costs are seen to remain high because of ongoing geopolitical tensions. “We believe, however, that we are in a better position than ever to deal with the challenges that lie ahead. We will remain alert to changes in market and industry conditions and will respond with speed and flexibility as cargo demand begins to normalise towards pre-pandemic level,” he adds. 

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