The track record in airfreight speaks for itself: Volumes increased by 4.3 per cent in 2016 with 50,000 tonnes more shipped than in the previous year, in a market with growth only picked up in the fourth quarter. The excellent operational efficiency of this business unit is demonstrated by the increase in the EBIT-to-gross profit ratio from 29.3 per cent to 30.9 per cent.
This success is based above all on customer proximity, industry-specific know-how, industry solutions and innovative power. The Kuehne + Nagel airfreight specialists at over 300 sites worldwide understand and analyse the logistics challenges facing their customers from various industries and develop optimum services and solutions. As a result, in 2016 Kuehne + Nagel won numerous new businesses and concluded contract extensions. Growth above market average and productivity increases are largely due to long-term strategic investments by Kuehne + Nagel in training of staff, development of new products and information technology.
An increasing number of customers worldwide are benefiting from KN FreshChain, the airfreight service for temperature-sensitive goods. Kuehne + Nagel’s specialised network covering all core markets for perishables is a key competitive advantage. 700,000 orders in 2016 testify to the leading market position that Kuehne + Nagel occupies with its KN EngineChain solution for production and spare parts logistics and maintenance of aircraft engines. Customers from the aviation and aerospace industry value the seamless transparency and monitoring as per individual requirements along the entire supply chain. KN PharmaChain has become the benchmark for pharmaceutical logistics and is being continuously developed. Real-time monitoring systems transmit humidity and shock levels as well as position and temperature across the entire logistics chain. The GxP and IATA CEIV Pharma certified network consists of 83 locations worldwide in airfreight alone, with more than 150 in total. In 2016, significant new business was gained in the automotive industry with an innovative service for shipping completely built-up units. The focus will continue to be on industry-specific product development in future.
Innovation has traditionally played an important part at Kuehne + Nagel. So it is no surprise that the company was the first logistics provider to establish a platform for digital quoting, booking and tracking of airfreight shipments with KN FreightNet. Internally, the “AirLOG” operational import software, which has now been implemented worldwide at all airfreight stations, is aiming at further process optimisation and efficiency gains.
It is likely that the international airfreight market will remain demanding with only moderate growth rates. Kuehne + Nagel will exploit growth opportunities by the sales of its industry-specific services and further implementation of its innovation and digitalisation programme.