German logistics companies are top of the league in the worldwide air cargo sector. DHL Global Forwarding moved 1.8 million tons of freight in 2020 by airplane. Second-placed Kühne + Nagel is also from Germany but has for strategic reasons moved its headquarters to Switzerland. The company transported 1.4 million tons in 2020, but like DHL suffered some from the economic slump induced by the coronavirus pandemic. Danish company DSV Panalpina grew its freight volume by more than 18 percent in 2020, overtaking DB Schenker, which is a subsidiary of Germany's publicly traded but state-controlled railway company Deutsche Bahn.
According to data from consultants Armstrong & Associates, U.S. companies UPS and Expeditors moved considerably less air freight than their European competitors.
Altogether, the top 7 air freight companies moved approximately 8 million tons of goods through the air last year, down from 8.6 million in 2019. Chinese company Apex Logistics managed to pick up some of the slack as its home country emerged as a big winner of the pandemic economy. The company increased its air freight volume by 44 percent to 750,000 tons, moving up from rank 11 to rank 7.