180417 DACHSER Growth 2017 Tail Wind

Strong sea and air freight rates last year helped German road freight and logistics operator Dachser post annual revenues above €6bn for the first time.

The company said its Air & Sea Logistics (ASL) division benefited from increased volumes and higher freight rates – especially air – and saw gross revenue grow by 15.7% to €1.79bn.

All three of its main regional units “saw double-digit percentage increases in revenue, with the Asia business achieving the largest revenue growth, of over 20%”, although chief executive Bernhard Simon also explained that forwarding trends remained mercurial.

“Air and sea freight is a volatile business with revenue as ever swinging between extremes

“We are, however, focused on ensuring sustainably profitable growth. So we are increasingly dovetailing our two business fields and are pushing forward with system integration,” he said.

Edoardo Podestá, MD Air & Sea Logistics Asia Pacific, added: “Our focus on multinational customers led to excellent growth rates which overtook market growth not only in terms of turnover but also in terms of volumes.”

Asia-Pacific air freight tonnage was up 21.4% to 118,200 tonnes and its ocean freight volumes in the region increased 12.5% to 222,500 teu.

However, it was its European overland transport operations that brought the largest contribution to group full-year revenues of €6.12bn.  Road Logistics, comprising the transport and storage of industrial goods (European Logistics) and food (Food Logistics), posted gross revenue of €4.44bn, 3.1% growth. European Logistics benefited from a focus on growing intra-European exports.

“Germany remains the backbone of our operation, but France is well on its way to becoming a second pace-setter for cross-border overland transport business. We’ve been systematically setting up this strategic logistics axis over the past few years,” Mr Simon explained.

The food logistics division, established five years ago, saw revenues grow 7.3% to €871m.

But Mr Simon warned that structural challenges, such as “capacity bottlenecks and the growing shortage of drivers”, continued and “could potentially limit future growth”.

Dachser’s investment in network locations, fleets, technology, and IT systems increased by 5% last year to €136m, while this year it has earmarked a further €188m for investment, focusing on industrial goods.

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