The international transport and logistics company Gebrüder Weiss posted turnover of 3.01 billion euros for fiscal 2022. This translates into a year-on-year gain of 18 percent (2021: 2.54 billion euros), and builds on the positive trend of recent years. “We have succeeded in adhering to and advancing our strategic goals in a challenging environment. We have expanded our position in the core markets of Central and Eastern Europe, the United States and Asia, while moving forward with our focuses on digitalization and climate neutrality by 2030. The rewarding results across our divisions are proof positive that we are a solid organization that is fit for the future,” says Wolfram Senger-Weiss, CEO at Gebrüder Weiss. The equity ratio also rose and has been restored to its previous level of 60 percent (2021: 57 percent); this increase underlines the company’s resilience and demonstrates that Gebrüder Weiss offers its workforce secure jobs.
The Land Transport division posted 1,479 million euros in sales, a gain of 16 percent (2021: 1,277 million euros). The Home Delivery service performed at last year’s level, delivering some 1.53 million shipments to private households in Austria and Eastern Europe (2021: 1.58 million consignments). As a result, Gebrüder Weiss maintained its market leadership in this segment. Major progress was also reported by Air & Sea, which closed fiscal 2022 with sales at 1,272 million euros, a plus of 24 percent (2021: 1,024 million euros). This surge was driven mainly by the high freight charges of the shipping companies and airlines. DPD Austria, which is partly owned by the Gebrüder Weiss parcel service, was able to sustain its volumes: in 2022 it shipped 66 million parcels (2021: 66.5 million).
International network expanded
Despite economic challenges in 2022 deriving from the war in Ukraine, energy issues and rising inflation, Gebrüder Weiss adhered to its investment strategy. A total of 67 million euros were devoted to consolidating the company’s own network and augmenting its international locations and services. The main focuses were Germany, Hungary, Romania and the United States, along with Turkey and Georgia. The latter two countries are chief links on the Middle Corridor, along which the logistics specialist extended its services to Central Asia and China.
In the key German logistics market, Gebrüder Weiss was able to cement its position in both Air & Sea and Land Transport. In southern Germany, the renaming of the Bavarian freight forwarding company Lode as Gebrüder Weiss Waldkraiburg was concluded. The continued expansion of the land transport network is planned for the south of Germany, with the takeover of the Rentschler shipping company (Baden-Württemberg) in early 2023 marking a first step. Having an enlarged network naturally prompted growth in the workforce: employee numbers rose by six percent to some 8,400 (2021: 7,900)
Continued focus on digitalization and sustainability
The year 2022 also saw the company sustaining its digitalization strategy “Best of Both Worlds,” which Gebrüder Weiss views as a winning combination of operational and digital competence. This included the next stage in the rollout of the digital service portal myGW, which delivers real-time information as to the exact whereabouts of customers’ goods – thus ensuring optimum transparency along the entire supply chain. “Our goal is to give our customers the best solutions for their supply chains, while confining our environmental impact to a minimum. Toward that end, we are constantly investing in our logistics terminals and digital tools, while simultaneously training our staff and identifying environmentally friendly transport options,” Wolfram Senger-Weiss explains.
To underscore the company’s commitment to sustainable goals and its pledge to contribute to climate protection globally, Gebrüder Weiss published a Sustainability Report in 2022. In line with its targets, the logistics specialist intends to achieve carbon neutrality at all of its terminals by 2030. One key element in this transition is an increase in power from regenerative sources; last year Gebrüder Weiss installed four new photovoltaic systems at sites in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. All told, 22 such systems are now already in operation, reducing CO2 emissions by 1,110 metric tons annually. In 2023, the rollout will continue in these countries and in Eastern Europe.
Nor has time stood still when it comes to alternative drive options. After successful long-distance trials with the company’s own hydrogen-powered trucks, Gebrüder Weiss is planning further investments in this technology. In 2023, five new H2 powered trucks are due to hit the roads in Germany. Moving forward, the number of electrically powered vans used in urban goods deliveries is due to further increase in Austria and Eastern Europe.
For 2023, Gebrüder Weiss is anticipating a renormalization of the logistics industry. Shipment numbers are currently declining somewhat, and the cost of transport by air and sea has dropped to 2019 levels. As a result, lower sales are expected. Global geopolitical factors may bring additional challenges. Wolfram Senger-Weiss: “The pandemic has proven that the logistics industry can perform under pressure and react swiftly to changing conditions. In the past year, Gebrüder Weiss has been able to further solidify its financial base and drive innovations – while remaining close to our customers and answering their needs with relevant digital services. In light of the current economic forecast, the high inflation rate and the war in Ukraine, we are – needless to say – circumspect and concerned. However, ultimately we remain a strong organization and that gives us confidence.”