Expeditors reports Q2 growth in airfreight sector

Seattle-based freight forwarder Expeditors International of Washington today reported a stong performance in its airfreight services in its the second quarter of 2018, but said oceanfreight struggled due to pricing issues.

“We continued to add profitable growth from new and existing customers during the quarter, particularly in air and some of our differentiated, best-in-class services, such as brokerage, Transcon, and order management,” said Jeffrey S. Musser, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Similar to the first quarter of this year, we remained disciplined on pricing in this strong economy.”

During the quarter, airfreight tonnage volume increased 4 percent, Expeditors said, while ocean container volume increased just 1 percent.

Expeditors also said its net revenues in Q2 2018 increased by 14 percent, year-over-year, to US$643 million, while “net earnings attributable to shareholders” rose by  29 percent to $141 million, compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, operating income increased 9 percent to $184 million, y-o-y, and overall revenues increased 17 percent to $2 billion.

At the same time, Expeditors said its seafreight business suffered a bit in Q2 as net revenues were down 5 percent, y-o-y, with a 1 percent increase in volumes, as carriers took steps to mitigate the impact of volatile pricing, excess capacity, and higher fuel costs. However, Musser added, the company saw a “strong performance” in its ocean forwarding and order management businesses. “We are continuing to invest in people and assets in the development and support of profitable revenue growth, most notably during Q2 in Europe and North America,” he added.

Musser also brought up the unease that many transportation logistics companies have felt this year regarding the wave of protectionist measures that have recently been implemented, but said it is too tell how much of an impact they will have.  “While we have yet to see changes to supply chains as a result of possible trade wars, we are confident in the capabilities of our people throughout our global network to help our customers navigate the potential impact of new tariffs,” he said.

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