Like its fellow Swiss-based rival Panalpina, freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel ended up with a tidy profit at the end of 2015, in spite of a stagnant cargo market. But unlike Panalpina, which saw a 2.5 percent decline in air cargo volume, K+N’s success came largely from a 4.7 percent increase in airfreight demand top 1.2 million tonnes.
Profitability improved thanks to the “effectiveness of our efficiency program,” K+N said, causing net earnings to rise by 5.4 percent to $684 million, compared to 2014. The year-end results, the company said, “reaffirmed its position” as the second largest global airfreight forwarder.
“A key factor in the good performance was the focus on industry-specific airfreight solutions, which led to significant business wins in the pharmaceutical, aerospace and perishables sectors,” the company said.
Not everything went smoothly for K+N, however, as revenues fell by 4.4 percent in 2015 to US$20.5 billion, which were affected by a strong Swiss franc, the company said. “We are proud that in a challenging environment we were able to further increase profitability and once again achieve a new record result,” said K+N CEO Detlef Trefzger.
K+N added that its FreightNet online booking portal, which provides cargo tracking and instant quotes for airfreight services, also proved to be “an effective new sales channel.”