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Although revenue from its Road Logistics and European Logistics segments decreased, Food Logistics and Air&Sea pushed DACHSER’s overall 2020 results into the positive.

The German freight company’s financial report for 2020 shows a consolidated net revenue of EUR 5.61 billion, which is a slight decrease of 0.9% compared to the previous year.

Following a solid first quarter, the lockdowns in many European countries meant sometimes drastic declines in overland transport shipments. There was a clear improvement by June, however, with volumes remaining more or less consistently above 2019 levels,” – says DACHSER CEO Burkhard Eling.

Food Logistics on the up

In 2020, the consolidated net revenue of DACHSER’s Road Logistics business field dropped by 2.2% to approximately EUR 4.5 billion. Also, the European Logistics business line saw a decline of 3.2% to EUR 3.52 billion.

On the other hand, DACHSER Food Logistics upped its revenue to EUR 982 million, an increase of 1.9 percent. This business line faced a relatively turbulent 2020, marked by panic buying in supermarkets and the repeated closures in the catering, hospitality, and events industries in Germany.

Nonetheless, the company’s food logistics business managed to make up for the decline in shipments in these sectors by acquiring new accounts and obtaining larger volumes of business from food retailers. Over the course of the year, DACHSER Food Logistics increased the amount of tonnage transported by 1.6%.

Coronavirus pandemic boosts Air & Sea Logistics

Revenue generated by DACHSER’s Air & Sea Logistics business field in 2020 benefited from the shortages in air and sea freight capacity, and the corresponding rise in freight rates. Buoyed by its activities in Asia, revenue rose by 5.2% to a total of EUR 1.2 billion.

“We responded swiftly to the bottlenecks in air freight capacity by chartering aircraft to expand our own capacity, initially for medical supplies, later also transporting other goods for our customers. Overall, we operated around 150 charter flights between Europe, Asia, and the US during 2020,” Eling says.

The sea freight situation was influenced by scarce capacity and the acute lack of empty containers resulting in a volatile market and soaring freight rates. The LCL routes, known as “ocean groupage,” benefited in particular from this development.

“Given the great potential we see for this premium service, we aim to further enhance the frequency, capacity, and quality of our LCL routes and push ahead with connecting them seamlessly to our European groupage network,” Eling adds.

Investment during and after the pandemic

Eling emphasizes that DACHSER refused to let the coronavirus crisis dictate its actions. This applies both to the generational change on the Executive Board—prepared in 2020 and finalized on January 1, 2021—and to investment planning.

“Last year, we invested EUR 142.6 million in our global logistics network. This year, we are earmarking some EUR 190 million to create additional contract logistics capacity and forge ahead with digitalizing processes and business models” – reads the company’s announcement.

The newly created IT & Development executive unit headed by Chief Development Officer Stefan Hohm will figure prominently in this regard.

According to Eling, the high equity ratio of 61.6 percent and the shareholders’ clear allegiance to the family-owned company give DACHSER the support it needs to continue its tried-and-true policy of growth by drawing on its own resources.


Photo credit @ DACHSER

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