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Expeditors International of Washington posted third-quarter gains in profit and revenue as the logistics company capitalized on a rebounding economy after the shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier in the year.
The Seattle company said net income rose 19% to $191.3 million in the third quarter from $160.2 million in the same period a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share increased to $1.12 from 92 cents.
Revenue also increased by 19% to $2.5 billion in the third quarter from $2.1 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.
“Volumes started to recover across most of our products during the quarter, even as the global effects of COVID-19 continued to impact our business worldwide,” CEO Jeffrey Musser said in a Nov. 3 statement.
Tight airfreight capacity, a result of the steep decline in passenger flights because of the pandemic, generated nearly $1.1 billion in airfreight service revenue, a 53% gain from the third quarter of 2019.
“To meet the urgent transportation needs that could not be fulfilled with scheduled capacity, we utilized charter capacity for certain customers, resulting in higher average buy and sell rates,” Musser said. “We would expect air pricing to remain volatile until passenger traffic starts to return in a meaningful way.”
Ocean freight revenue rose by a smaller 4.7% to $612.9 million, the company said.
“While our ocean freight business has not been near as impacted by supply constraints, carriers remain disciplined and are carefully managing capacity even as volumes have increased from the lows we saw earlier in this pandemic,” Musser said.
But both Expeditors airfreight tonnage and ocean container volume decreased 5% in the quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, the company said.
Expeditors’ customs brokerage and other services division saw revenue dip 2% to $758.4 million.
“Across most of our products in the third quarter, we experienced a steady recovery in demand as shippers adjusted to an altered marketplace and disrupted supply chains,” he said.
Expeditors is a global company with 176 district offices and branch locations on six continents. It provides consolidation or forwarding of air and ocean freight, customs brokerage, vendor consolidation, cargo insurance, time-definite transportation, order management, warehousing and distribution, and customized logistics solutions.
Expeditors ranks No. 6 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.
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