EuropePorts and Logistics

Kuehne + Nagel makes plans to axe up to a quarter of its staff

Giving an idea of the scale of the crisis facing intermodal transport the boss of Kuehne + Nagel, the world’s second largest freight forwarder, revealed plans over the weekend to axe up to a quarter of his staff.

Speaking with Die Welt newspaper on Saturday, Klaus-Michael Kuehne, the controlling stakeholder in the freight forwarder, said the company would likely cut its workforce by more than 20,000, with the US set to suffer the largest cuts as that country has no furlough systems in place.

Kuehne, also a major shareholder in German containerline Hapag-Lloyd, said the company’s 83,000 workforce would be slashed by 20 to 25% in the coming months.

Kuenhe said Covid-19 would make for a dire year financially, something made worse for his company by a rising trend towards regionalisation alongside a slowdown of globalisation

“We will emerge from the crisis smaller. The moment of truth comes in the April to June period. Transport volumes have declined significantly. The decisive question is will the world economy begin a gradual recovery in June?” Kuenhe said in the interview with the German newspaper.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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