DHL airfreight volumes edge up but revenues fly

By Damian Brett

DHL Global Forwarding saw its airfreight revenues jump in the first quarter of the year despite volumes increasing by a much lower amount.

The forwarder’s airfreight business saw revenues increase by 55.% year on year to €2.9bn. Gross profits improved by 10% to €488m but volumes were up by just 3% compared with last year to 509,000 tonnes.

K+N – the world’s largest air forwarderand DSV saw volumes increase at a faster rate on the back of acquisitions.

Improvements in revenues and profits came as the transport market remains very tight, with new disruptions driving up freight rates, Deutsche Post DHL said.

Volume growth mainly came on the trade lanes between the US and Europe (continues under dashboard).

The overall forwarding and freight division saw first-quarter revenues increase 54.9% compared with last year to €7.4bn and earnings before interest and tax (ebit) improved 178.2% to €601m.

“This was mainly due to further intensifying price and margin dynamics in the international transport markets and slightly higher volumes in air and ocean freight,” the company explained.

“As a market leader, the division was extremely successful in managing this volatile environment.”

In an update on the impact of the war in Ukraine and Shanghai’s Covid shutdown, the company said: “Direct exposure to the war region in eastern Europe is limited for us. Reduced business expectations in Russia have led to an aggregate €30m asset impairment, also reflecting that our direct net asset exposure is very limited.”

“Actually, the lockdown measures in China are currently having a bigger and more direct impact on our businesses.

“Given reduced economic activity in the provinces affected by the measures, we currently see reduced Express and DGFF volume on the associated trade lanes.

“Beyond this short-term impact, we would expect pent-up demand to support business performance if and when lockdowns will be scaled back again.”

The company is also keeping an out rising inflation and adjusting pricing accordingly.

At group level, revenues for the quarter improved by 15.9% on last year to €22.6bn, ebit was up 13% to €2.2bn and consolidated net profits improved by 14.3% to €1.4bn.

Global forwarding, freight and supply chain in particular, but also express, benefited from a solid development in global trade and stronger B2B business.

“The first quarter saw the expected normalisation in e-commerce,” said Frank Appel, chief executive of Deutsche Post DHL Group.

“However, we were able to overcompensate that development with strong results in our global logistics activities.

“Once again, our portfolio – balanced by region and sector – proved to be a strong and resilient foundation for our success.

“Overall, we had a good start into the year and further increased our earnings.

“Following the outbreak of war, global trade has so far proven resilient, yet we are closely monitoring the increasing challenges to global economic development.”

Profits continue to soar at Kuehne+Nagel in Q1

DSV gross profit grows 61% in Q1 2022 bolstered by air and sea freight

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