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Top5 Air Freight Forwarders in 2021

The latest annual statistics from consultant Armstrong & Associates show that Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) was the world’s largest airfreight forwarder in terms of volumes in 2021 as it recorded a 54.9% increase to 2.2m tonnes, and knocked DHL off the top spot. The large increase came as 2021 was a bounce back year following the worst of the Covid pandemic that saw demand fall and large swathes of capacity taken out of the sky as passenger fleets were grounded and cargo carriers had to find new ways to transport shipments. Demand was also boosted as economies recovered from the pandemic and the public had more cash to spend on goods as services were still limited by the pandemic.There was also modal shift as the container shipping industry struggled with congestion at ports and container shortages. K+N also benefited from the acquisition of Apex Logistics. The first-time consolidation in May 2021 of airfreight provider Apex Logistics accounted for around half of the growth. Other noticeable came from the Japanese forwarders as they reported above market improvements in air cargo demand. The ranking of the 2nd~5th places is as follows: 2nd - Kühne & Nagel (Germany) 2.1 mt (+25.7%), 3rd - DSV (Denmark) 1.51 mt (+18.7%), 4th - DB Schenker (Germany) 1.44 mt, 5th - Expeditors (US) 1.05 mt (+26.0%).


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