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Feb 16, 2021

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPD) today announced fourth quarter 2020 financial results including the following highlights compared to the same quarter of 2019:

– Diluted Net Earnings Attributable to Shareholders per share (EPS1) increased 47% to $1.16

– Net Earnings Attributable to Shareholders increased 45% to $199 million

– Operating Income increased 56% to $282 million

– Revenues increased 55% to $3.2

– Airfreight tonnage volume increased 10% and ocean container volume increased 19%

“We moved more freight in the fourth quarter of 2020 than in any other quarter in our history,” said Jeffrey S. Musser, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We set Company bests in airfreight tonnage and ocean containers shipped, as well as in revenue, operating income and net earnings. All 17,500 people in our international network performed at levels we have never experienced before and in one of the most challenging operating environments in our 40-year history. I cannot thank our people enough and am tremendously proud to be part of an organization capable of performing at these levels while facing so many disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I credit our strong knowledge-based culture and our ability to collectively work as one team as primary factors in our success.

“Air buy and sell rates were elevated and volatile during the quarter, and supply and demand remained severely out of alignment, as demand for certain goods, particularly from North Asia, drove record high air tonnage. Air capacity remained extremely tight, as passenger flights have not returned to anywhere near their pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. We anticipate that air supply/demand and pricing conditions are likely to remain unsettled well into 2021.

“Our ocean services business also experienced significant marketplace imbalance during the quarter, as demand soared and volumes increased, particularly on exports from North and South Asia, which drove higher average buy and sell rates. In addition, port congestion from labor and equipment shortages have significantly disrupted sailing schedules. We expect the pressure on buy rates to remain elevated until those conditions subside.

“In addition to our diverse workforce and our inclusive culture, our solid performance was largely based on the strength of our carrier relationships – both in air and ocean. Here, too, I applaud the extra focus and dedication of our people to keep those relationships strong and to secure available space for our customers in such unpredictable conditions. The marketplace remains very fluid. Despite some signs of improved COVID-19 conditions in certain parts of the world, supply chains continue to be disrupted. We remain focused on keeping our people safe, first and foremost, while continuing to serve our customers at the very highest level.”

Bradley S. Powell, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, added, “We also experienced strong growth in Customs Brokerage, Order Management, Transcon and Distribution, as our customers’ businesses improved and we on-boarded new customers. These latest results are particularly striking in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2019, when average sell rates had declined faster than our average buy rates, and both air and ocean volumes fell as slowing trade to and from China impacted overall freight movement around the globe just as the earliest effects of COVID-19 were being felt. While we are unable to predict how ongoing disruptions related to COVID-19 will affect our future operations or financial results going forward, we do not expect these unprecedented operating conditions to persist long-term. We will continue to make important investments in people, processes and technology, as well as to invest in our strategic efforts to explore new areas for profitable growth.”

The full release is here.

Now read this: “Expeditors EPS beats by $0.07, beats on revenue“.

Stock up 1.4% on Tuesday in pre-market trade to $97.9 – 52-week high: $98.37.

Closing price: $93.45, down 3.2%; Dow and S&P 500 little changed.

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