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Dachser stays the course and expands its global network

  • Dachser European Logistics, Air sea logistics.

Following exceptional economic activity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and disruptions to supply chains around the world, the logistics industry returned to normal in 2023. Despite weak global logistics demand, at Dachser, European road transport remained stable. On the other hand, air and maritime transport has been affected by significant excess capacity and a sharp drop in rates.

  • Investments in different acquisitions and new joint ventures around the world.
  • European land transport provides stability, while air and maritime transport suffers from excess capacity and lower rates.
  • Investments amounting to around 500 million euros are planned for 2024.

As a result, the Group's sales volume decreased by 12.5% compared to the previous year, reaching around 7.1 billion euros. Transport volumes fell by 4.6 percent to 77.4 million shipments, while tonnage fell by 6.5 percent to 40 million tons.

“In the context of a weak global economy and a difficult market environment, the pressure on supply chains was considerably less in 2023, allowing us to focus on improving productivity, capacity utilization and quality. At the same time, we have made significant investments in expanding our networks,” explains Burkhard Eling, CEO of Dachser.

Compared to 2019, before the crisis, turnover in 2023 was more than 25% higher. At that time, Dachser had recorded a turnover of around 5.7 billion euros.

Major expansion of the global network

In 2023, the company has made strategic acquisitions and established new alliances in the Netherlands (Müller Fresh Food Logistics), Australia and New Zealand (ACA International), Japan (50% joint venture Dachser Japan), Italy (80% joint venture % Dachser & Fercam Italia), South Africa (acquisition of 100% of the shares of Dachser South Africa) and Sweden (Frigoscandia). Sales volume figures for 2023 reflect only acquisitions in the Netherlands and Oceania in the first half of the year.

«In 2023 we have deliberately adopted a countercyclical investment strategy: in Italy, we have completed our European groupage network with the third largest acquisition in the history of our company. In food logistics, we have opened the key markets of Benelux and the Nordic countries. And finally, we now have our own branches in the main overseas markets, Japan and Australia,” says Burkhard Eling.

In view of the cautious economic forecasts, Dachser expects volumes to remain low in 2024 and revenues to grow only slightly. "To achieve our long-term goal of becoming the world's most integrated logistics service provider, we continue to invest in expanding and improving our networks, in digitalization, in environmental protection and, of course, in our employees," says Burkhard Eling. In 2023, Dachser invested more than 244 million euros and an increase to more than 500 million euros is planned for 2024.

Business evolution in detail

Business Field Road Logistics, in which Dachser combines the transport and storage of industrial and consumer goods (European Logistics) as well as food (Food Logistics), increased its sales volume by 1.8 percent in 2023 to reach around 5.8 billion euros. Instead, shipments fell by 4.7 percent and transported tonnage by 6.5 percent.

The Business Line European Logistics maintained its sales volume almost constant at 4.4 billion euros compared to the record year of 2022. The European regions performed well, led by Iberia, which has achieved an increase in sales volume of more than a 2 percent. Shipment figures and tonnages decreased due to the weakening of the German economy, which also had a negative impact on nearby countries in the North Central European region.

The Business Line Food Logistics also successfully concluded the 2023 financial year, recording a 9.7 percent increase in revenue, reaching approximately €1.4 billion. This increase can be attributed to the excellent business development of the German branches, the acquisition of the Dutch food logistics company Müller Fresh Food Logistics, as well as the purchase of the remaining shares of Dachser Hungary. In total, Dachser Food Logistics transported 10.9 million shipments, slightly higher than the previous year, while tonnage decreased by 3.8 percent.

In the Business Field Air & Sea Logistics, weak demand was clearly noted, combined with the significant increase in cargo space in air and sea transport. The sharp decrease in rates caused a drop in sales volume of 46.3 percent compared to 2022, to 1.3 billion euros. The number of shipments increased by 2.4 percent, while tonnage fell by 7.9 percent.

The Contract Logistics business – which combines transport, warehousing and customer-specific value-added services – also experienced significant expansion in 2023. In this area, last year Dachser invested in additional capacity worldwide and increased by almost 400,000 the number of pallet spaces. In total, Dachser now offers more than 3 million pallet spaces in a total of 164 warehouses spread across five continents.

In the future, Burkhard Eling announced that Dachser will focus even more on closely integrating the business areas of Road Logistics and Air & Sea Logistics. «In the coming years, markets outside Europe will provide a significant boost to growth. To continue serving our customers around the world with high quality and reliability, we are further connecting the processes and systems of our two business areas to develop an integrated global door-to-door groupage solution. This solution is called "Global Groupage."

In 2023, Dachser's workforce increased by more than 1,100 people, reaching around 34,000. This reflects the expansion of the sales and IT teams, and the acquisitions of Müller Fresh Food Logistics and ACA International.

Sales volume overview:

Net sales volume in millions of euros



Modification 2023
with respect to 2022

Road Logistics




European Logistics




Food Logistics




Air & Sea Logistics