DHL records double-digit decline in airfreight volumes

DHL Global Forwarding suffered from a double-digit decline in airfreight volumes during the third quarter of the year as it turned away low margin business.
The forwarder’s third-quarter airfreight volumes slipped by 13.2% compared with a year ago to 896m tonnes. Air revenues for the period were down by 10.1% to €1.2bn.
“The main reason for this development, alongside the weak market environment, is the division’s selective market strategy,” it said.

“To counteract the decrease in margins, we withdrew from some major transactions and volumes dropped accordingly.”

The decline in airfreight volumes for the period is larger than that of its European rivals, although it maintains its position as market leader.

Kuehne + Nagel recorded a 5.1% increase in third quarter airfreight volumes, DSV saw a 9.6% jump, Panalpina netted a 2.8% decrease and CEVA noted a 4% decline.

The airfreight market is estimated to have remained flat or increased by up to 1% during the period.

The overall DHL forwarding business recorded a 5.7% decrease in third-quarter revenues to €3.6bn, while earnings before interest and tax slipped to a loss of €337m against a €71m profit last year because it wrote off €345m as it abandoned an IT project.

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