In 2018 “logistics had to focus on the discipline of scarce resources management,” says CEO Bernhard Simon.
The German logistics provider Dachser SE says its U.S. operations grew twice as fast as business overall in 2018.
Worldwide, Dachser’s consolidated net revenue grew by 5.5 percent to 5.57 billion euros ($6.58 billion) in 2018.
Dachser’s U.S. subsidiary, Dachser USA Air & Sea Logistics Inc., saw even faster revenue growth, increasing 11.9 percent to $221 million in 2018.
Globally, Dachser’s shipment numbers increased, rising by 2.5 percent to 83.7 million; tonnage rose 3 percent to 41.3 million metric tons.
European export business remains the primary growth driver for the company, and Dachser said it saw new records in shipment, tonnage and workforce.
“Growth was again boosted by economic conditions,” said Dachser. “However, certain challenges became increasingly apparent: the shortage of professional drivers and logistics operatives; potential capacity bottlenecks resulting from pronounced seasonal peaks and a shortage of load capacity; and growing uncertainty about diesel driving bans, Brexit and the future of international trade relationships.”
Bernhard Simon, Dachser’s chief executive officer, said, “By 2018, it was clear that logistics had to focus on the discipline of scarce resources management. Against this backdrop, it is important to handle growth with purpose and manage it such that we maintain a healthy balance between quality, processes and costs. Only sustainable growth will benefit our employees and customers.”
Dachser’s road logistics business, which comprises the transport and storage of industrial goods and food, posted dynamic growth again in 2018 to increase its consolidated net revenue by 6.6 percent to 4.47 billion euros. Of that, the European logistics business line accounted for 3.55 billion euros, while food logistics accounted of 917 million euros.
The company said its air and sea logistics business field again proved to be volatile. As a result of exchange-rate effects, decreasing freight rates and a downturn in volume on the China-Europe route, consolidated net revenue stagnated at around 1.19 billion euros. A 2.9 percent decrease in the number of shipments was offset by tonnage growth — most notably in sea freight — of 6.6 percent.
Dachser said investment in personnel, capacities and innovations is critical to its continued growth. In 2018, it invested 126 million euros in logistics facilities, IT systems and technical equipment. For 2019, the company has earmarked 234 million euros for this purpose. The company said Dachser also places a strong focus on training, an approach that has proved very successful, particularly for professional drivers.
“At present, we have 207 people training to become professional drivers through Dachser Service & Ausbildungs GmbH, which makes us one of the largest driver training centers in Germany. Our next step is to broaden our focus to include logistics operatives in transit terminals and warehouses,” Simon said.
Guido Gries, managing director of Dachser Americas, said in the U.S. there was “a strong fourth quarter as a result of companies planning their shipments ahead of the scheduled Q1 2019 tariffs. Also the opening of the Detroit office in 2018 as well as the addition of offices in Minneapolis and Baltimore the years prior contributed to this growth.
“Being a family-owned company creates a sense of loyalty and personal commitment from our employees, and we believe strongly in treating them well in return,” Gries said. “Another advantage of being a family-owned company is that we do not have the pressures of a public company to respond to market fluctuations, which allows us to develop and stay focused on long-term growth strategies rather than quarterly earnings.”
Gries said that over the long term, Dachser USA will look to maintain and grow its local network.
“All key markets globally are well represented in our network, which is a strength that is needed to support growth. The more our entire network grows, the more value it presents to our customers. We plan to grow our network in the Americas region by 12 to 14 percent this year.”