K+N profits surge with capacity constraints set to persist

Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) saw profits and air volumes soar in the third quarter thanks to higher rates in air and ocean and its investment in Apex Logistics.

The forwarder saw third-quarter revenues increase 70.3% year on year to SFr8.6bn, earnings before interest and tax (ebit) was up 112.6% to SFr789m and net profit reached SFr578m, up 117.3% on 2020.

The company said that current challenges in air and ocean required extra support from staff, while it also benefited from the inclusion of Apex Logistics’ figures.

Results were also buoyed by increasing demand and higher transportation prices. The challenging market conditions are expected to continue into next year.

K+N chief executive Detlef Trefzger said: “In the current situation with supply chains that are difficult to plan, our Kuehne+Nagel experts are working tirelessly to implement the best possible logistics solutions for our customers.

“We are on track and were again able to achieve an excellent business result in the third quarter. In the coming months, we do not expect any significant change in the constrained market situation.”

Private consumption and demand for goods will remain strong in the fourth quarter, the forwarder said, adding that the current market situation and capacity constraints are “expected to persist beyond Lunar New Year 2022”.

Sky high airfreight

K+N saw its airfreight revenues for the third quarter increase by 101.1% to SFr2.8bn, ebit improved by 41.4% to SFr239m and volumes  were up by 65% on last year to 584,000 tonnes.

The company said that airfreight volumes in the first nine months of 2021 were around 50% higher than in the same period of the previous year at 1.6m tonnes, of which around 20% is attributable to the acquisition of the Chinese airfreight forwarder Apex.

“With strong volume growth, Air Logistics once again posted market share gains in the third quarter of 2021,” K+N said. “Globally limited cargo capacities required tailor-made customer solutions. Services for pharma and essential goods as well as e-commerce continued to be in high demand.”


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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]