DHL airfreight volumes drop but high rates help it achieve positive results

By Rebecca Jeffrey

DHL B777. Source: DHL Express

Deutsche Post DHL Group saw a drop in airfreight volumes in the second quarter of 2022, but managed to achieve positive financial results thanks to high market rates and charter demand.

Group airfreight revenue for the second quarter of 2022 was €2.8bn, up 40% on the second quarter of 2021, airfreight tonnages were down 7.7% over the same quarter in 2021 to 477,000 tonnes and airfreight gross profits were up 67.4% year on year to €544m.

Revenues and gross profits were up on higher freighter rates while volumes were hit by pandemic-related restrictions and a shift back to ocean.

DHL said: “We registered a 2.5% decline in airfreight volumes in the first half of 2022, primarily on trade routes to and from China due to the lockdown in Shanghai during the second quarter. At the same time, freight rates remained at a very high level, resulting in revenue from airfreight exceeding the prior-year figure by 47.3%.

“[First half] gross profit improved by 68.6% due to the increasing demand for charter flights amongst other factors.”

Earnings before interest and tax (ebit) for the global forwarding, freight (GFF) division in the second quarter of 2022 more than doubled year on year to €746m compared to €312m in the second quarter of 2021.

The division saw revenue increase 55.8% to €8.2bn over the second quarter of 2021 due to “sustained price and margin dynamics”, said DHL.

“Global Forwarding, Freight achieved an exceptionally large jump in revenue and ebit based on a dynamic price and margin development in the air and ocean freight business,” said DHL.

However, the company pointed out that: “Airfreight volumes decreased moderately, in part due to modal shifts back towards ocean freight products, as customers recognised the again improved schedule reliability in ocean freight.”

Ebit for the express division dropped slightly year on year at €1.1bn, compared to €1.2bn for the corresponding quarter in the previous year. The result was impacted by the temporary lockdowns in China, said DHL.

For the e-commerce solutions division there was a decline in shipment volumes but price adjustments meant that ebit was €109m, down slightly on the €116m achieved in the second quarter of 2021.

Deutsche Post DHL Group said it achieved overall record ebit of €2.3bn in the second quarter of 2022, compared to €2.1bn in the second quarter of 2021. The Group increased revenue by 23.4% year on year to €24bn.

Frank Appel, chief executive of Deutsche Post DHL Group said: “Based on our strong international footprint coupled with the most modern infrastructure, we are able to offer reliable solutions in an increasingly complex environment across all sectors. We remain solid as a rock in uncertain times.”

DSV and Kuehne and Nagal both reported positive results for the second quarter of 2022, despite challenging market conditions.

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

DSV second quarter income resilient against weakened demand

Kuehne+Nagel records strong Q2 airfreight results

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