Air freight volume at Damco, the logistics services arm of A.P. Moller-Maersk, was up significantly in the first half of the year, rising to 51,066 tons, 14 percent over the same period in 2012.
This notable performance in a sluggish air freight market helped the company generate $1.53 billion in revenues during the first half of the year, but in the end Damco turned in a $2 million operating loss.
Costs to prepare for future growth were higher than anticipated, leading to an earnings mark before tax and special items of $24 million, which showed a $10 million drop from 2012.
Ocean volumes fell by 1 percent to 199,503 TEUs during the first half of the year, but supply chain management volumes rose by 10 percent. Officials said they don’t foresee a substantial market improvement in the coming months, but customers should soon start to see the results of investments made during the previous quarters.
"In weak markets, we continue to invest in building the future with special focus on expanding our geographical coverage and rolling out our new global freight management system,” Rolf Habben-Jansen, Damco’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “This is needed to enable future growth and to optimize our cost to serve. We will start seeing the benefits from this later this year and expect to see solid year-on-year improvements in the results from Q4 2013 onward." - Jon Ross