Thanks in part to a 5 percent growth in tonnage in its air cargo business, Kuehne + Nagel (KN), the world’s largest freight forwarder, reported an 8.2 percent increase in earnings (EBIT) for the first nine months of 2014.
“The situation in the international airfreight market stabilized, with volumes growing between 3 and 4 percent,” said a Kuehne + Nagel statement. The company handled 877,000 tonnes of air cargo during the nine-month period, which was 40,000 tonnes more than it did during the same period in 2013. EBIT-to-gross profit margin for airfreight improved from 25.1 percent to 27.5 percent, year-over-year.
Much of this increased air cargo volume was attributable to the European export business and “strong growth of specific services for customers from the automotive, pharmaceutical and aviation industries,” the Swiss company said. “The perishables business grew, especially in the South American trade lanes.”
The seafreight numbers were even more impressive for KN. The firm said it handled 2.88 million 20-foot equivalent units (teu) of seafreight during the nine-month period, which was 211,000 teu more than the amount handled in the same period in 2013, representing an 8 percent year-over-year increase.
The seafreight numbers for the first nine months grew at twice the rate of market growth, the company said. While volume was down in South America, KN said it “gained additional market shares particularly in the European and North American import business.”
“Part of our organic growth strategy is to concentrate on internationally operating customer groups, profitable growth and selective market share expansion,” said KN CEO Detlef Trefzger. “Additional key success factors include our strict cost control and the continuous enhancement of innovative solutions.”