ACW - Air Cargo Week
At the heart of the air cargo industry
In many ways, air freight forwarders are the key to the logistics industry - they ensure that shipments flow. But they are having mixed fortunes right now.
UTi, the California, US-based forwarder and supply chain management service provider, made a total of US$1.15 billion in revenue over the three months that made up the first quarter of its 2013 financial year - the period ending 30 April.
This represented a fall of 4.2 percent over the same period of the 2012 financial year. The company blamed weaker air freight volumes and the impact of currency fluctuations for the decline.
Indeed, revenue from air cargo forwarding over the three months totalled $381.1 million, well down on the $439 million made in the first quarter of FY 2012.
Net revenue declined by 1.2 percent - again, largely due to currency effects and falling air cargo volumes, although these factors were partially offset by higher net revenue per unit of cargo in UTi's freight forwarding activity.
CEO Eric Kirchner noted: "Results in the fiscal 2013 first quarter were impacted by the weak industry-wide air freight environment which resulted in reduced tonnage in the quarter, particularly in the month of April."
There was better news in the form of improved net income, partly thanks to the direct costs associated with cargo transport falling alongside reduced freight volumes.
The company also enjoyed higher ocean freight traffic and improved demand for its contract logistics services, all of which partially offset the decline in air freight tonnage.
It primarily offers air and ocean freight forwarding, contract logistics, Customs brokerage, managed transport services and supply chain consulting.