Exclusive - Andy Weber to Become Panalpina’s Firefighter

Kuehne + Nagel’s President Asia-Pacific will take over a leading post at K+N’s direct Swiss competitor Panalpina.  As of January 1, he’ll become Panalpina’s Head of Global Operations and simultaneously a member of the logistics firm’s Executive Committee. Andy Weber has been a long time with Kuehne + Nagel where he lately acted as President of K+N’s Asia Pacific Management Pte. Ltd.

Andy Weber changes employers  /  courtesy K+N
Andy Weber changes employers / courtesy K+N

This personnel decision was confirmed by Sandro Hofer, Panalpina’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, when approached by CargoForwarder Global. According to Hofer, the operational task is new at his enterprise with Weber being particularly responsible for all countries where Panalpina is losing money. He declined to mention which countries but confirmed that around a dozen belong in this category. So it then will be Weber’s responsibility to make sure that a financial turnaround is achieved in all those markets where the logistics firm is constantly in the red – the faster, the better.
Not influenced by the decision are Lukas Kuehner as Head of Air Freight and his counterpart in Ocean Freight, Frank Hercksen. 

Inconsistent air freight biz
Meanwhile, Panalpina is again in a better financial shape than in 2012, where the Basel, Switzerland-based forwarding giant suffered an annual loss of $81 million (CHF71.8 million). The year 2013 ended with a net profit of $13.1 million (CHF11.7 million) followed by a consolidated profit of $71.4 million (CHF69.2 million) in the first nine months of 2014.

However, the company’s core logistics business remains a problem child, despite sharply reduced losses from 1 January till the end of September this year, down from $27.6 million (CHF26.8 million) in the first three quarters of 2013 to meanwhile $7.1 million (CHF6.9 million) year-on-year. 
In air freight, the picture is inconsistent. While the volumes grew 4 percent in the first nine months of 2014, the gross profit per ton went down 5 percent. In total, Panalpina’s sales reached 630,000 tons from January 1, until the end of September 2014, which in their terms was “a result slightly ahead of the market.”

Heiner Siegmund

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