Schenker denies future of US ops in doubt

RUMOURS are flying that DB Schenker will decide within the next two months whether or not to close, or even sell, its US operations, but, the German logistics firm denies the news.

Following the purchase of BAX Global by the parent company Deutsche Bahn in 2006, the two companyies US operations have been merged since 2009. However, BAX brought a fleet of DC-8, 727-200 and 747 freighters with it and these became a millstone around DB Schenker’s neck during the global economic crisis and as fuel costs escalated. Even though it has slashed that fleet down from 40 to 20, the combined US operations only made revenues of US$330 million last year.

“In addition to the reduction of aircraft from 40 to the current 20 over the past several years, we are exploring ways to additionally adapt this part of the business to further address the market realities,” admitted Heiner Murmann, chief executive officer of DB Schenker, in New York (US).

“We have a number of alternatives available including improving and restructuring the operation and/or partnering with other providers. We are currently studying the best option and will define the optimal path forward in the next two months.”

A spokesperson confirmed there had been problems but said that any solutions did not include pulling out of the US. “There is no talk at all about withdrawing from the US market,” they insisted, adding that the US operations were “significantly profitable” last year. “However, the economic crisis and escalating fuel costs have created challenges to the dedicated air fleet. This segment represents approximately 10 per cent of our business. DB Schenker Logistics continues to be dedicated to providing comprehensive logistics solutions in the Americas and the United States.”

“We are confident in our people, our capabilities, and our performance,” added Murmann.

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