Panalpina breaks million tonnage mark for the first time in 2018

posted on 28th February 2019 by Justin Burns

International freight forwarding and logistics company Panalpina has reported that in 2018 for the first time it transported more than one million tonnes of air freight – which totalled 1,038,678 tonnes.

This was a four per cent increase on the 995,900 tonnes in 2017 for the freight forwarder. Yesterday, rival Kuehne + Nagel reported that its air freight volumes increased by 11 per cent in 2018 to 1.7 million tonnes.

Panalpina has been the subject of much speculations in recent weeks after Danish forwarder DSV increased its bid earlier this month, said from January to December, air freight tonnage increased with every quarter.

Compared to the same period last year, gross profit per ton of air freight increased seven per cent to CHF 685 (US$687) up on the 2017 figure of CHF 642), while overall gross profit increased to CHF 711.7 million (2017: CHF 639.4 million).

Reported EBIT in air freight decreased from CHF 110.3 million to CHF 108.2 million. The EBIT-to-gross-profit margin came in at 15.2 per cent compared to 17.3 per cent a year before.

Overall for the full year in 2018, Panalpina’s reported EBIT increased from CHF 103.3 million to CHF 118.4 million (+15 per cent) and reported consolidated profit rosen from CHF 57.5 million in 2017 to CHF 75.7 million (+32 per cent). Net forwarding revenue in 2018 was CHF 6,035 million, up on CHF 5,532 million in 2017.

Panalpina chief executive officer, Stefan Karlen said: “Panalpina performed strongly overall in 2018, which was another year with a very dynamic market environment. Air freight growth rates were strongest in the first quarter of the year, but markets slowed down in the following quarters.

“The softer than expected peak season meant that we could not pass on the higher procurement costs to our customers. For the first time in our history, we broke through the one-million ton barrier, further strengthening our position as one of the world’s top air freight providers.”

In 2019, Panalpina said it will continue its strong customer focus, push for accelerated growth and launch an industry-leading customer portal.

Karlen said: “We have put in place a scalable operational platform and organization, and are now eager to push for accelerated, substantial organic and external growth. In 2019, we will even further increase our customer focus.

“The highlight will be the launch of the new portal that fully digitalizes our customer offerings in a modern, engaging manner. In the long term, this portal will enable our customers to manage their supply chain needs proactively in a self-service mode, and facilitate an automated and fully integrated customer journey with personalized supply chain tools.”