Dehired containers drive Chalmers loss

By: Andrew Hobbs

Chalmers first half fall of almost 700 per cent in 'significant deterioration'

Dehired containers drive Chalmers loss
Empty container parks in Brisbane and Melbourne experienced the biggest drops in revenue


A change in how empty containers are dehired and the loss of two Brisbane clients has contributed to transport and logistics company Chalmers making a net profit loss for the six months to December 31.

Chalmers recorded a loss of $806,619 after tax for the half, greater than the loss of the $101,969 it recorded in the first half of 2016-17, on the back of a fall in revenue ($31.6 million in 2017 compared to $32.7 million in 2016).

The company recorded a full-year net profit after tax of $481,000 in August last year.

In its announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today, Chalmers said the half-year result is was "a significant deterioration" compared to the previous year.

Chalmers’ empty container parks in Brisbane and Melbourne experienced the biggest drops in revenue, with turnover reducing by $3 million and operating profit down $2 million on the 2016 result.

Aside from the loss of the clients, the change in the way that shipping lines were having their containers de-hired had been the major contributor to the loss, the company said.

"This change has resulted in a high percentage of empty containers being de-hired at shipping terminals, causing reduction in handling and repair work being performed at the Chalmers empty container park in Yarraville," the company said.

The negative impact of this was slightly offset by the improved performance of Chalmers’ Queensland Tank Service and Queensland Freight Station during the half after the company subleased excess warehouse capacity and acquired new contracts last year.

Earlier this month, the Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) said a number of major foreign shipping lines were now regularly ordering shipping containers be returned directly to terminals, rather than being serviced via a third party.

Chalmers announced last year that it had engaged consultants to assess the options available for the Yarraville site into the future, noting that the overall precinct was changing due to increasing curfews on the Francis Street road link due to the construction of the Western Distributer project.

Despite this, Chalmers said it was expecting its Melbourne operations to perform better in the second half, with improved cost control and revenue yields in its transport and logistics division seeing profitability improve by $100,000 so far.


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