Development in relevant markets
European land transport
- The European land transport market recorded further growth in 2019.
- Continuous high demand caused prices to rise moderately, meaning that the market continued to be characterized by rising revenues. Investments in digital platforms for consolidating supply and demand of transport capacities led to an increase in pressure on margins, which was already present due to intense competition.
- Risks caused by various cost drivers remained: driver shortages led to increases in salary costs, fuel prices are on the rise again, and toll costs are also growing. The need for adjustment grew due to increasing changes in the shipping structure (weight decreases, more flexible transport requirements) and investments in digital structures.
- DB Schenker maintained its market-leading position and succeeded in increasing land transport revenues.
- The international air freight market reflected global trade development, with negative volume growth on almost all main trade routes. The excess capacity that resulted from this slump had a dampening effect in 2019 on freight
rates. Ongoing trade restrictions at a political level and rather weak economic development in many regions
represented additional obstacles.
- DB Schenker recorded a significant decrease in air freight volume.
- In 2019, the global growth of container ocean freight saw a sharp decline as a result of significantly weaker global trade and the effects of the trade conflict between China and the USA. Weaker demand led to excess capacity in container shipping and, as a consequence, increased pressure on freight rates.
- Volume development on the main routes was differentiated. Transport volumes between the USA and Asia and from Europe to Asia declined. The container transport route between South America and Asia recorded the highest growth.
- Although freight rates initially remained relatively constant in 2019, they then fell due to weak development on the most important trade routes.
- DB Schenker succeeded in increasing its ocean freight volume.
- The global market for contract logistics also developed positively in 2019 and was marked by further growth. The Asia/Pacific region continued to grow at an above-average rate. The unbroken outsourcing trend and the growing e-commerce business can be picked out as the key drivers of this development.
- Providers are increasingly investing in digital warehouse management components in order to improve efficiency. Rising competitive pressure is accompanied by pressure on margins.
- DB Schenker took advantage of the growth opportunities and continued to expand its revenues in the contract logistics business.