The company's sales volume remains almost unchanged in 2020, the year of the coronavirus. A strong second half offsets the consequences of the European lockdowns in April and May. An investment of 190 million euros is expected in logistics capacities, technical equipment and digital systems.
Kempten, April 14, 2021. Dachser looks back on the 2020 financial year, the success of which has largely depended on loyalty and close relationships of trust between customers, the logistics provider and transport partners. The consolidated net sales volume of Dachser amounted to 5,610 million euros and decreased by a slight 0.9% compared to the previous year.
We have kept our promise to be a pillar of stability in the coronavirus crisis, ”says Burkhard Eling, CEO of Dachser. “The overwhelming response from our customers and partners motivated us greatly. We must especially thank our staff and everyone who is part of Dachser for this successful year. It is they who have achieved these impressive results despite the difficult conditions caused by the coronavirus and who have lived up to their responsibility at all times.
Dachser kept its customers' supply chains uninterrupted and found flexible solutions to capacity bottlenecks, especially in intercontinental shipping. In addition, he was able to protect the health of his staff in the best possible way and to also support his long-standing European service partners.
The decline in sales volume of 2.2% in the Road Logistics business area contrasts with the increase in sales volume of 5.2% in the Air & Sea Logistics area. This business area benefited from the capabilities of charter air transport and the high freight rates of intercontinental transport. Company-wide shipments are down 2.5% to 78.6 million, while tonnage is 2.9% to 39.8 million tonnes.
“After a good first quarter, lockdowns in many European countries followed with drastic momentary drops in land transport,” says Burkhard Eling, CEO of Dachser. “Beginning in June, however, a clear recovery was noted, with volumes almost consistently above 2019. Our business model has proven to be crisis-proof, focused on growth and with excellent adaptability », Eling concludes with a positive balance.
Business evolution in detail
The Road Logistics business area, in which Dachser combines the transport and storage of industrial goods and consumer goods (European Logistics), as well as food (Food Logistics), did not lose its growth dynamics in 2020 either. Volume reductions due to the April and May lockdowns, especially at the European Logistics units in France and the Iberian Peninsula, could not be fully recovered at the end of the year. This reduced the net sales volume of the Road Logistics business by 2.2% to approximately € 4.5 billion.
While the European Logistics business line experienced a decrease in sales volume of 3.2%, that is to 3,520 million euros, Dachser Food Logistics increased its sales volume by 1.9% to 982 millions of euros. This line of business experienced a turbulent year by comparison, influenced on the one hand by compulsive buying in retail, and on the other by recurring closures in gastronomy, hospitality and events in Germany. Even so, the business unit was able to offset the drop in shipments in these sectors with new customers and an increase in volumes in the case of food retailers. For the full year, Dachser Food Logistics was able to increase its transported tonnage by 1.6%.
The sales volume of the Air & Sea Logistics business area benefited in 2020 from the shortage of capacities in air and sea transport and the corresponding high freight rates. Driven by the business in Asia, this business area increased its sales volume by 5.2% to 1,200 million euros. “We react quickly to capacity bottlenecks in air transport and expand our own capacities with charter flights, first for emergency medical products and then with other types of merchandise from our customers. In total, in 2020 we have successfully managed some 150 of our own charter flights between Europe, Asia and the USA, ”explains Burkhard Eling. Also in maritime transport the limited capacities and the general lack of empty containers led to a volatile market and an increase in freight rates. LCL transport, or maritime groupage, benefited above all from this evolution. "We see great potential in this demanding service, so we will continue to strengthen the frequency, capacity and quality of our LCL transport and we will continue to promote its direct connection with our European groupage network," adds Eling.
Keep running the business
In Eling's view, during the coronavirus crisis, Dachser did not lose control of the business. This is confirmed by both the generational changeover of the Executive Board, which had been prepared in 2020 and which took place on 1/1/2021, as well as the investment plan. “Last year we invested 142.6 million euros in our global logistics network. In 2021 we are going to raise that figure to 190 million euros, especially in additional capacities in contract logistics and to further advance in the digitization of processes and business models ”. An important role is played by the new IT & Development executive unit under the leadership of Chief Development Officer, Stefan Hohm.
According to Eling, the equity ratio of 61.6% and the clear commitment of the shareholders to the family business Dachser, provide support to continue advancing in the growth policy based on the own strengths already established. The coronavirus crisis has reinforced the commitment to training, especially for drivers and logistics operators, which is so ingrained in Dachser's corporate culture. In 2020, despite the limitations arising from the coronavirus crisis, 625 people in training or participating in dual studies started their professional careers at Dachser in Germany.
“We will keep the good, while at the same time increasing the agility of the business. This means that we are accelerating the integration of our network and the introduction of digital technologies for use in areas such as "machine learning" or "swap body localization". We will also become even more involved in sustainability and environmental protection, ”announces Eling. “In the next two years we will bring our emission-free delivery zones, DACHSER Emission-Free Delivery, to at least eleven European cities, using more battery-electric trucks and electric cargo bikes for this. Also, as a member of the German Fuel and Hydrogen Battery Association (DWV), we support research and testing of hydrogen battery propulsion for trucks.