The CEO of the world’s largest freight forwarder by revenue, Kuehne + Nagel’s Stefan Paul, has told the Wall Street Journal that his company is targeting profitability over volume as it navigates the post-COVID era, even as freight volumes are tumbling. That means seeking a greater share of lucrative ocean trade lanes in which Kuehne + Nagel is underrepresented. It also means more M&A.
Paul declined to comment on billionaire Klaus-Michael Kuehne’s recent interest in Germany-based freight forwarder DB Schenker. But Paul said Kuehne + Nagel could pursue an omnichannel fulfillment acquisition in the U.S.
Kuehne + Nagel reported net revenues in 2022 equivalent to $41.5 billion. The results came despite a 43% decline in operating profit in the most recent quarter as cargo volumes reset from pandemic highs.
Paul believes Kuehne + Nagel is well positioned to weather freight volatility and that a cargo recovery could begin as soon as the second half of this year.
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