Expeditors International has reported that in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 that its air freight tonnage volumes fell by four per cent and one of the reasons for the fall was that customers reduced exports volumes out of North Asia.
The US-headquartered freight forwarder also reported that net earnings increase by three per cent to $140 million while revenues rose nine per cent to $2.02 billion.
In January and March, air freight tonnage declined by two per cent and in February it fell by four per cent,
President and chief executive officer, Jeffrey S. Musser said: “We are pleased with our results in Q1 2019, especially when we look at the comparison period last year that produced so many records and set an extremely high bar.
“Customs brokerage and import services led the way this quarter on increased volumes and on-boarding new customers. Transcon, warehouse and distribution also posted solid gains on expanded business with current customers, as well as by winning new business.
“We increased the volume of ocean freight containers shipped by 6%, while also improving net revenue per container, particularly from exports out of North and South Asia.
“The air market was the only area that was challenged, particularly as customers reduced export volumes out of North Asia. I credit our air group for their efforts in a volatile pricing environment, and I thank everyone throughout our global network for their ongoing effort to handle the increase in volumes and business activity.”
Senior vice president and chief financial officer, Bradley S. Powell added: “Operating efficiency (operating income as a percentage of net revenue) dipped below 30% this quarter, due largely to lower air net revenues, as well as our continuing investments in people at the district level to handle the increase in volumes, and investments in technology and facilities.
“Our effective tax rate declined from 31.1% in the first quarter of 2018 to 28.3% in 2019, largely due to the benefit from share-based compensation deductions, higher foreign tax credits and deductions for foreign derived investment income.”