K+N records first airfreight volume increase in two years

By Damian Brett

Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) saw quarterly air cargo volumes increase for the first time in more than two years, while revenues and operating profits were also on the up.

The Switzerland-headquartered freight forwarder recorded a 16% year-on-year increase in first-quarter airfreight volumes to 433,000 tonnes as the market bounced back from a pandemic-related drop off last year.

Its air logistics division saw first-quarter revenues increase 51.2% year on year to Sfr1.7bn thanks to the volumes improvement and also higher rates. Gross profit for the period was up 30.9% to Sfr402m.

“Air Logistics saw a return to trade volume growth in the first quarter of 2021, the first time in more than two years,” the forwarder said. “This was contrasted by limited global freight capacities. K+N’s expertise in dealing with this bottleneck was particularly crucial for the transport of pharma and essential goods.”

It added: “Further progress was made in the digitalisation and automation of Air Logistics processes (eTouch).

“This development was particularly advanced in the booking processes, invoicing and documentation.”

The overall company saw revenues for the first quarter increase by 22.8% year on year Sfr6bn, earnings before interest and tax were up 134.2% to Sfr431m and earnings were up 128.8% to Sfr318m.

“K+N’s start to the 2021 business year was marked by a strong demand in transport services, especially for pharma and e-commerce fulfilment,” the company said.

Detlef Trefzger, chief executive of K+N International, added: “Exactly one year ago, when we were still at the beginning of the pandemic, we decided to commit to our proven strategy.

“Upon reflection, we are assured that we chose the correct path: in the first quarter of 2021, we were well-prepared to serve our customers’ robust demand for high quality logistics services despite the tense market environment. We expect this environment to remain challenging for the remainder of another atypical year.”


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