Expeditors International recorded a strong end to the year, with an 18% surge in revenue, pushing full-year figures to show similar growth.

The 3PL saw more than $8bn in income over the course of 2018, generating some $796m in operating profit,14% up on 2017.

Chief executive Jeffrey Musser praised the performance of the Expeditors’ workforce: “Air and ocean markets have continued to be highly unpredictable, with shifts in the balance of supply and demand requiring extra attention to address customer needs.

“These are the conditions when our people really prove themselves, as they did in Q4 and throughout the year. I commend them for continuing to grow volumes in ocean and air, with a determined focus on profitability.”

With the exception of Latin America – which recorded an 11% drop in profits, despite a near 50% increase in revenue – profits were up across all the regions Expeditors is active in. The US and North Asia saw the biggest increases in turnover.

“Throughout 2018, we did a terrific job of growing net revenues ahead of headcount and related costs,” Mr Musser said. “We also generated improved efficiencies, while establishing a selective mix of business partners who value an elevated level of customer service.”

Despite volumes being down 2% in November, fourth-quarter air freight volumes closed 2% up, year on year, thanks in part to a 7% spike in October.

Similarly, October provided a 21% year-on-year increase in ocean freight volumes, with growth of 6% in November and 4% in December, leaving Q4 sea freight volumes up 10%.

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