DHL airfreight volumes continue to fall

Melanie Kreis, DHL Group chief financial officer. Photo: DHL

DHL Group’s second quarter airfreight volumes reflect what the company called a “less dynamic market environment”, having declined by 13% year on year to 415,000 tons – while revenue plummeted 46.8% to €1.48bn.

Looking at airfreight performance during the first half of the year, volumes were down by 15.9%, revenues down 43.2% and gross profit down 38.3%.

Overall, the group’s Global Forwarding, Freight division also saw revenue drop dramatically during the second quarter of 2023 – down by 40.7% year on year at €4.84bn– as volumes fell and freight rates normalised. In both air and ocean freight, the decline in volumes was particularly noticeable on trade routes from China.

Melanie Kreis, DHL Group chief financial officer, said: “As expected, the general normalisation of the transport markets was most noticeable in the Global Forwarding, Freight division. Air and ocean freight capacity is available again while demand has declined – hence volumes and freight rates are falling.

“The divisional EBIT margin remains stable at eight percent and is the second highest of all divisions. Although economic conditions are not optimal, revenue and EBIT remain above pre-pandemic levels”, she added.

Kreis noted that DHL Supply Chain achieved increased revenue across all regions and sectors in the second quarter. The expanding e-commerce business, contract renewals and strong new business – especially in the retail and technology sectors – had a positive impact, she said, highlighting the division’s double-digit EBIT growth of 11.5% and its strong EBIT margin of 6.4%.

E-commerce business also rose slightly, with B2C Europe volumes up four percent for the second quarter and revenue holding steady at €1.5bn. Kreis said: “The e-commerce megatrend remains intact, and we are continuously working to expand our presence in strategically relevant markets.”

DHL airfreight volumes nosedive as market ‘normalises’

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