GLOBAL FORWARDING, FREIGHT Division
The air, ocean and road freight forwarder
DHL Global Forwarding in figures
- Countries and territories: >150
- Locations: more than 850 branches
DHL Freight in figures
- Countries: > 50 countries in Europe, the CIS, the Middle East, North Africa and the USA
- Locations: >180 branches
The Global Forwarding and Freight business units are responsible for air, ocean and road freight transport within the Group. 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. Our global presence ensures network optimisation and the ability to meet the increasing demand for efficient routing and multimodal transports.
The leader in a revived air freight market
The global air freight market grew in 2014, whereby volumes increased more significantly than capacities. According to IATA, the global airline industry association, worldwide freight tonne kilometres flown during the reporting year increased by 4.5%. As airlines brought more wide-body passenger aircraft into service, air freight rates saw a decline in the first half of the year. In contrast, freighter capacities as a proportion of overall capacities decreased to 37.6% in the reporting year (previous year: 38.5%), as major freight carriers deployed their freighter aircraft more carefully. This situation, in conjunction with a strong increase in demand, resulted in increased pressure on capacity buying rates in the second half of the year. After transporting 2.2 million export freight tonnes in the previous year, we remained the air freight market leader in 2014.
Ocean freight market experiences surplus capacities and volatile freight rates
In the international ocean freight market, ocean carriers have put many new, larger vessels into operation in recent years. Nevertheless, freight carriers have successfully limited the effective supply increase – either by adjusting travel speeds, blank sailings or capacity reallocations. Although ocean carriers have implemented higher freight rates, they were unable to improve their profitability. As a result, market freight rates remained very volatile, above all on the important container routes between Asia and Europe. After transporting 2.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units in the previous year, we remained the second-largest provider of ocean freight services in the reporting year.
Slight growth in European road freight market
The European road freight market grew slightly in 2014, with estimates between around 0.5% and 2.5% (previous year: –1% to 1%). The primary reason for this development was above all the stabilised macroeconomic environment in Europe in the first half of the year. Nevertheless, the market remains highly competitive. Due to our successful service portfolio, DHL was able to slightly outperform market growth in the Freight business unit.