DHL’s airfreight volumes take off in Q2

By Damian Brett

DHL Global Forwarding saw its airfreight volumes improve by double-digit percentage levels in the second quarter on the back of tight capacity and improved demand.

The Deutsche Post (DP) DHL-owned forwarder reported a 9% year-on-year increase in second quarter airfreight revenues to €2bn on the back of a 35.7% improvement in volumes to 517,000 tonnes.

The company said that this year it has benefited from the “resumption of trade in some regions”. The highest growth rates were in Asia and the US.

“At the same time, available market capacity remained at a low level on account of the limitations on passenger flights, which led to significantly increased freight rates,” DP DHL said.

In the first half, DHL’s air volumes were up by 26.5% at just over 1m tonnes.

For comparison, DB Schenker saw its first-half airfreight volumes increase by 43.8% year on year, Kuehne+Nagel said that its airfreight volumes improved by 44% in the first half while last week DSV noted an improvement of 5.9%.

However, DHL’s airfreight gross profits for the period were down by 4.1% to €325m as a result of the PPE crisis and collapse of airfreight capacity in the same period last year.

The company pointed out that compared with pre-crisis 2019 levels, gross profit in the second quarter was up by 37%.

“The ongoing recovery in global GDP has,as expected ,continued to drive further growth in B2B volumes across the full DHL logistics spectrum,” DP DHL said.

The overall forwarding division registered a 26.5% increase in second-quarter revenues to €5.2bn and earnings before interest and tax (ebit) is up 52.2% to €271m.

Meanwhile, the business as a whole saw revenues for the quarter increase by 22.2% against a year earlier to €19.5bn, ebit increased 128.4% to €2.1bn and consolidated net profit stood at €1.4bn, up 140.2%.

Express saw second-quarter revenues increase 31.8% to €6bn, ebit was up 108.3% to €1.2bn and international daily volumes increased by 20.2%.

“After the global economy had experienced an unprecedented downturn last year, all of our divisions now make a pivotal contribution to accelerate the recovery of global trade,” said DP DHL chief executive Frank Appel.

Chief financial officer Melanie Kreis added: “After more than a year into the Covid pandemic, e-commerce has seen structural growth and shipment volumes reached a substantially higher level. At the same time, our business is benefitting from a resurgence in business customer activities.

“Based on significantly elevated demand for logistics solutions, all divisions are able to utilise their networks more efficiently than ever before. Thus, we have an excellent position to grow further profitably in the future with targeted investments in our core business and digitalisation.”

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