DHL orders more B777s while forwarding loses top spot in air cargo

By Rebecca Jeffrey

B777 freighter. Photo: DHL

DHL Express has placed an order for six additional 777 freighters from Boeing as Deutsche Post DHL Group closed 2021 with record earnings.

The purchase takes DHL Express’ order book total to 28 777 freighters since it placed its first direct order in 2018. The express giant has taken delivery of 15 777 freighters to date. DHL Express last ordered eight of the freighter type in January.

“With the order of six new, large widebody freighter aircraft, we continue to invest in our future and further enhance the capability and reach of our global air network,” said Geoff Kehr, senior vice president, global air fleet management, DHL Express.

“The Boeing 777 Freighter is the most fuel-efficient aircraft in its class and will connect DHL’s global hubs in Cincinnati, Leipzig and Hong Kong as well as serving other key markets.”

Results round up

Meanwhile, Deutsche Post DHL Group  published its annual results today, with Group revenue up 22.5% year on year to a record €81.7bn in 2021.

However, the results confirmed DHL Global Forwarding had lost its position as the world’s largest airfreight forwarder in terms of volumes.

The company saw its air cargo volumes increase 25.7% to 2.1m tonnes but this wasn’t enough to cling onto the leading spot.

Kuehne+Nagel last year registered a 59.4% increase in air cargo volumes to 2.2m tonnes as it benefited from the acquisition of Apex Logistics, which accounted for around half its growth.

The company said at the time of the acquisition that Apex handled around 750,000 tonnes of air cargo per year.

Apex’s results began being added to Kuehne+Nagel’s figures in May last year, meaning that the gap between the two is likely to increase further this year.

Despite the loss of top spot in air cargo, the postal and logistics giant was happy with its business performance as all five business units contributed to the record numbers.

EBIT for the global forwarding, freight (GFF) division more than doubled to €1.3bn (2020: €0.6bn), while revenue increased sharply to €22.8bn (2020: €15.8bn).

Oceanfreight volumes improved by 8.7%. Road freight shipment volumes also grew by 7.8%. The division’s EBIT margin improved to 5.7% (2020: 3.7%).

“Transport capacities remained sharply reduced, while demand was significantly higher in 2021, driven by the recovery of global trade. This led to a corresponding price and margin trend fuelled by the competition for available transport capacity,” said Deutsche Post DHL Group.

EBIT for the express division increased by 53.4% to €4.2bn. Revenue was €24.2bn, up from €19.1bn in 2020.

EBIT came in at €417m for the e-commerce solutions division, compared to €158m in 2020. This was driven by the rapid pace of growth for shipment volumes in e-commerce.

DHL swoops on more B777 freighters as e-commerce demand takes off

DHL Express adds B777F capacity between Asia Pacific, the US and Europe

DHL’s airfreight volumes take off in Q2

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