A high level of logistics expertise, reliability, and the quality of services were the foundations for Dachser's success last year. "We're about to break into a new league," said Burkhard Eling, CEO of Dachser, at the company's annual press conference in Munich. "Our customers appreciate the resilience we bring to their supply chains and reward this service. Today, Dachser is increasingly being perceived as the partner for globally interconnected solutions and a consultant for optimized supply chains."
In addition, the main drivers of this growth were disruption-prone supply chains and scarce capacity, which led to high price levels in the market. Starting in September 2022, the economic boom in logistics transitioned to a clear normalization of business with declining shipment numbers and rates, especially in air and sea freight. Over the year as a whole, Dachser transported 81.1 million shipments (−2.9 percent) weighing the same as last year: 42.8 million metric tons.
Dachser's Road Logistics business field—which comprises the transport and warehousing of industrial and consumer goods (European Logistics) and food (Food Logistics)—increased its revenue by 14.2 percent to EUR 5.7 billion in 2022. Transported tonnage rose slightly by 0.4 percent, while the number of shipments fell by 2.8 percent in an environment of high fuel and energy prices and growing consumer restraint.
The European Logistics business line increased its revenue by 13.4 percent, growing at roughly the same rate as it did in 2021. In contrast, the number of shipments fell by 3.5 percent. Tonnage held constant at 30.0 million. The Food Logistics business line saw major growth in 2022, with revenue increasing by 17.1 percent. As a catch-up effect after coronavirus-related restrictions had been lifted, there were slight increases in both shipments (+1.8 percent) and tonnage (+1.1 percent) in this business line. Dachser Food Logistics generated revenue of EUR 1.3 billion in the past financial year and thus remains a stable and reliable pillar of the business model.
Following the exceptional revenue growth in 2021, last year's greater capacity in air and sea freight and the sputtering growth in China ensured that growth in the Air and Sea Logistics business field settled at a lower level. Here, Dachser closed out the year with a 16.7 percent increase in revenue from EUR 2.1 billion to 2.4 billion, even as the number of shipments fell by a total of 7.3 percent.
"During the coronavirus pandemic, our air and sea freight business raised its profile significantly," Eling said. "Contributing factors were the expansion of the LCL groupage business in sea freight and the air freight charter network, which operated 260 flights last year alone. Our customers appreciate how deeply integrated our services are—on land, at sea, and in the air. We will strengthen this USP even further in the future."
Business with contract logistics—the intelligent combination of warehousing, value-added services, and transport—developed very positively. In 2022, Dachser offered its contract logistics customers 2.7 million pallet spaces, around 152,000 more than in the previous year. The company currently has 163 warehouse locations on four continents, with plans to add 14 more facilities in 2023.
The workforce grew in 2022 by around 1,100 people to a total of 32,850. Its high equity ratio of more than 60 percent enables Dachser to continue investing significantly in digitalization, climate action, its employees, and the expansion of its network, even when economic times are tough.
Eling stated the company will continue on its chosen course in 2023 and announced that, following the EUR 196 million it invested in 2022, it plans to invest over EUR 300 million in 2023. Dachser has already started the new year with the acquisition of the Dutch food logistics company Müller and the air and sea freight forwarder ACA International, which is based in Melbourne, Australia.
The year has gotten off to a cautious start with comparatively low transport volumes, but Dachser sees no cause for concern. "We expect that after two years of exceptional revenue growth, but also exceptional burdens on the operational teams, 2023 will now see a return to a bit of normality in logistics and in our business," Eling said in Munich.