Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Rhenus Switzerland delivered a pleasing result in 2021, generating annual revenue of CHF 476 million. Revenue was accordingly up 16% compared to the previous year. Following this success, the company is looking toward the future optimistically despite challenges such as supply bottlenecks and the ongoing war in Ukraine, and anticipates the further expansion of the Rhenus Alpina Group’s broad and client-focused service offering.
The Rhenus Alpina Group currently employs 1,440 people in Switzerland in various business areas, who continuously seek new, creative solutions and work together to master the growing challenges of the market environment.
Thanks to the healthy market environment, Rhenus Logistics was able to record a positive result in 2021. Productivity in order processing was increased thanks to investment in the development of the operational software landscape. This enabled the logistics centre to record average capacity utilization of 90%. Despite a number of persistent restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the economic outlook continues to be very promising, although disrupted supply chains between Asia and Europe are having some impact on business. Just like in previous years, however, Rhenus Logistics will progress further in 2022 and open up interesting new business avenues thanks to its broad product portfolio.
In the air cargo division, a recovery in freight volume handling took hold in 2021. While the pandemic remained a persistent factor, as air transport volumes had still not returned to normal levels in 2021, more freight was transported by air than usual due to the reduced numbers of passengers. For example, aircraft with typical freight volumes of around 20 tonnes were at times able to carry up to 60 tonnes of freight. After a subdued start to 2021, an increase in freight volumes in all areas became ever more apparent with each month that passed. From the fourth quarter of 2021 onwards, transshipment volumes were higher than those of the previous year. The 2022 financial year will be another challenging one for the air cargo division due to supply bottlenecks, which continue to impact the development of air transportation. "We are extremely well-positioned and looking to the future with optimism. That said, the high volatility of the market makes it very difficult to issue a reliable forecast,” commented Andreas Stöckli, CEO of Rhenus Alpina.
In the port logistics division, the 2021 financial year was characterized above all by an upturn in the waste disposal and recycling business. After a slight decline the previous year, both these segments recorded significant growth. One positive factor here was the increase in efficiency at the west dock thanks to optimization of the available infrastructure.
In addition, this business was also influenced by the water conditions of the Rhine. High water levels in the spring and summer and the low water level from October onwards led to some switching of freight from water to road. Rhenus Port Logistics is looking ahead confidently to the 2022 financial year. The focus of activity over the next few months will be the infrastructure and development on the south dock site operated by Contargo. Another focal point is the planning of the future shared use of harbour basin 2 with Contargo.
As was the case the previous year, Contargo AG was able to expand its market position in 2021 and thus stabilize its business situation, despite the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. Although the year was additionally characterized by significant high and low water phases, a healthy level of capacity utilization was maintained in the tri-modal setup, i.e. the combination of barge, rail, and road transportation. In particular, the rail mode of transport experienced above-average volume growth in 2021, and was consequently expanded between Basel and Rotterdam. The financial year therefore ended with a satisfying record result.
In future, Contargo will focus on the further implementation of digitalization measures with a view to achieving the associated increases in efficiency. It will also continue to drive forward the renovation of terminal infrastructures, which are essential to the further development of business.
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