Swissport Scores in Cargo

Zurich-based ground handler Swissport International reports a cargo throughput of 4.1 million tons in 2014. This represents an increase of 5.4 percent on the previous year. These figures cement the company’s status as the world’s number one cargo handler, market experts say.

Swissport’s cargo helmsman Nils Pries Knudsen  /  company courtesy
Swissport’s cargo helmsman Nils Pries Knudsen / company courtesy

Nils Knudsen is more than content. “Yes, 2014 was a good year for our air freight business, well illustrated by the annual figures we’ve just presented,” emphasizes Swissport’s head of cargo when being asked by CargoForwarder Global to reflect the annual performance of his division. According to Nils, cargo contributed 20 percent to his company’s total revenues, amounting to €2.71 billion on a like-for-like basis, thus excluding Servisair’s annual result.

Servisair acquisition pays off
The French owned competitor was acquired by Swissport in August of last year for an enterprise value of €450 million, with the merger becoming operational on 23 December, lifting Swissport’s headcount to almost 60,000. The company’s combined network exceeds 255 stations and includes managing 120 warehouses for cargo throughput. 
As one of the big points scored by his company Nils mentions the contract signed in May of last year with United Airlines for handling the carrier’s air freight shipments at London’s Heathrow airport, a deal that became operational in August. “It’s the first exclusive cargo service agreement we have ever concluded with United outside their home turf USA,” he applauds.

Comprehensive service package
Further, the company’s “Swissport Formula” called model for optimizing managerial and operational processes contributed to the success by high market acceptance and increased customer endorsement. This comprehensive service package is based on 2 main principles: guaranteeing top reliability together with high quality standards for air freight throughput across the entire network and the handler’s aim to offer customers at all their locations comprehensive care through Swissport’s global account management system. 

Major financial leap
Another significant contributor to the agent’s cargo growth in 2014, leaving aside the impact of the merger with Servisair, was an agreement signed with Saudia Airlines Cargo for handling their shipments at Brussels and Amsterdam. Also, the global strategic partnership signed with Cargolux got off the ground, encompassing Dusseldorf and Brussels, with more stations to follow during the next months, announces Nils.
All in all, in 2014 Swissport International Ltd. posted revenues totaling €2.71 billion, representing an increase of 38 percent year-on-year. This leap is mainly the result of the merger with Servisair and new business gained, offset by foreign exchange headwinds, portfolio rationalization and low de-icing services rendered, the company states in a release.

Heiner Siegmund

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