GLOBAL FORWARDING, FREIGHT Division
Excerpts from Deutsche Post AG's 2013 Group Annual Report.
The air, ocean and road freight forwarder
The Global Forwarding and Freight business units are responsible within the Group for air, ocean and road freight transport. Our freight forwarding services not only include standardised transports but also multimodal and sector-specific solutions as well as individualised industrial projects.
Our business model is very asset-light, as it is based on the brokerage of transport services between our customers and freight carriers. This allows us to consolidate shipments and purchase cargo space at better conditions. Our global presence ensures network optimisation and the ability to meet the increasing demand for efficient routing and multimodal transports.
The leader in a stagnating air freight market
The air freight market stagnated in 2013 despite a slight volume increase in the second half of the year compared with the first half. According to IATA, the global airline industry association, worldwide freight tonne kilometres flown during the reporting year increased only slightly by 1.4%. Capacities remained largely stable, whereby the airlines shifted them from cargo planes to wide-body passenger planes as in the prior year. Freight volumes were lower overall due to the decline in output in some industry sectors. Moreover, customers throughout the industry increasingly chose other transport modes. After transporting 2.3 million export freight tonnes in the previous year, we remained the air freight market leader in 2013.
Ocean freight market experiences surplus capacities and weak demand
Although demand in the ocean freight market remained comparatively weak, carriers still increased their capacities in the second half of 2013. Ocean carriers are responding to supply and demand by putting new vessels into operation, limiting the capacity on offer and adjusting travel speed. The actual freight rates on key trade lanes remained volatile. Trade on the traditional lanes between Asia and Europe was softer than expected, whilst north-south trade increased slightly. After transporting 2.84 million twenty-foot equivalent units in the previous year, we remained the second-largest provider of ocean freight services in 2013.
Growth remains slow in European road freight market
In the European road freight market, growth remained slow at an estimated –1% to 1% (previous year: 0% to 2%). The primary reasons for this were the macroeconomic environment in Europe and intense competition in this sector. Nevertheless, DHL’s Freight business unit was able to maintain its market share.