German logistics companies are top of the league in the worldwide air cargo sector
. DHL Global Forwarding moved more than 2 million tons of freight in 2018 by airplane. Second-placed Kühne + Nagel is also from Germany but has for strategic reasons moved its headquarters to Switzerland. The company transported 1.7 million tons in 2018, a plus of 11 percent, and is inching up to its compatriot competitor. Third-placed DB Schenker is a subsidiary of Germany's publicly traded but state-controlled railway company Deutsche Bahn. Swiss company Panalpina and U.S.-based Expeditors placed fourth and fifth.
All companies save the top-placed DHL grew their air freight volume in 2018 compared to 2017, according to data from consultants Armstrong & Associates
. DHL Global Forwarding saw freight volumes decrease 4.4 percent, the biggest drop among the top 40 companies in the sector. DHL said it was getting rid of less profitable components of its air freight business deliberately.
Altogether, the top ten air freight companies moved 11 million tons of goods through the air last year, up approximately 10 percent. DHL, Kühne + Nagel and DB Schenker were also the biggest airfreight forwarders by revenue, turning over US$28 million, US$25 million and close to US$20 million, respectively.