It was double-digit gains almost everywhere for US-based forwarder and logistics services provider Expeditors International.
Commenting on the strong overall performance, CEO Jeffrey Musser pointed out some regional differences: “We experienced strong operating income growth in both the United States and Euorpe regions, which again compensated for relative weakness in the Asia Pacific and Middle East and India regions.”
Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Mr. Musser (sounding very much like his mentor, former CEO Peter Rose) said: “We are taking these third quarter results in stride. As we’ve said for years, trying to predict trends in these very fast changing air and ocean freight markets is futile. While heartened by the strength of ocean freight in the third quarter, so much of how the fourth quarter will turn out will depend on circumstances that are still playing out in the airfreight markets. Airfreight pricing is still very volatile.” Highlighting the differences between the third and fourth quarters, he added: “ New product launches and increases in global demand certainly played out well in the third quarter. The fourth quarter, with less seasonal ocean freight and more airfreight emphasis, has many more dynamics for us to manage. We are also keenly aware of the well-reasoned concerns about the state of the global economy.”
When it comes to converting business into profit, however, Expeditors is in a world of its own, with an operating margin of 31% and a net margin of 20%.