Washington D.C. – New earnings data released by Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. reveals that the company reported $184.9 million in 2021 net income and declared a dividend share equal to 30% of its income generated in the quarter — reaffirming recent reporting that the shipping industry has “never been more profitable” despite “massive shortages“. While the industry is reaping over nine times what it made in 2020 thanks to the record-breaking fees it has been charging, the shipping industry continues to resist efforts to crack down on abusive fees. A recent report from Accountable.US found World Shipping Council, the trade group for the largest shipping companies is lobbying the Senate against bipartisan legislation to rein in supply chain crisis profiteering despite enjoying record-level profits. Leading economists have warned that these exorbitant fees are “stoking inflation.”
Accountable.US reviewed recent earnings reports from some of the shipping companies that would benefit from this lobbying effort including Matson Inc. — the largest U.S. shipping company and the tenth-largest in the world as of 2020. The company recently announced that its FY 2021 net income grew 380% to over $927 million and spent over $244 million on stock buybacks and dividends while its CEO acknowledged the company saw “unprecedented levels of demand” in Pacific shipping lanes – despite raising rates for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in January.
“Based on the record high freight fees they’ve imposed, you might think the shipping industry has been struggling during the pandemic. In reality, big shipping companies have done extremely well, so much so their shareholders are enjoying millions in new payouts while their excessive fees get passed onto everyday consumers. The industry also found plenty of money to lobby Congress in defense of overcharging. Senators should instead side with families shouldering unnecessary higher costs by reining in these abusive fees.”