Top 10 supply chain CEOs
10. Xavier Urbain, CEVA Logistics
The newest CEO in our list, Urbain was named CEO of CEVA in January 2014. He held several senior positions as Kuehne + Nagel and was CEO of ACR Logistics and Hays Logistics. He started his career with Deloitte & Touche as an external auditor. He holds a PhD in economics and a degree in advanced accounting studies.
9. Jens Bjørn Andersen, DSV
Andersen became CEO of DSV Road Holding in 2007 and Group CEO in 2008. He began with the former Samson Transport Co in 1988, holding various positions. Following DSV's 1997 acquisition of Samson, he became CEO of DSV Samson Transport. From 2001, he was CEO of Tollpost Globe AS in Oslo and was headhunted for the CEO job at DFDS Transport Ltd./DSV Road Ltd. in England in 2003.
8. John Wiehoff, CH Robinson Worldwide
An employee at CH Robinson since 1992, he has been CEO since 2002. He won a role in public accounting with Arthur Anderson LLP as a graduate, with CH Robinson being one of his clients. He joined the company eight years later as a controller in the finance department. He became Chief Financial Officer in 1998.
7. Kenji Watanabe, Nippon Express
Watanabe serves the Chief Executive Officer and President of Tokyo, Japan-bases Nippon Express Co Ltd. He has been in this position since June 2011, having joined the company in April 1972and has held a wide number of positions. He obtained his Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from Chuo University in March 1972.
6. Dr Detlef Trefzger, Kuehne + Nagel
Prior to joining Kuehne + Nagel in 2013, Trefzger was on the Executive Board of Schenker & Co AG, 2004 – October 2012. In 1994 he was Principal at Roland Berger and Chief Financial Officer of Schenker in 1999. He was Executive Vice President Contract Logistics of Kuehne + Nagel Group, March 2013 – August 2013, when he became Group CEO and responsible for Contract Logistics.
5. Dr Rüdiger Grube, Deutsche Bahn AG
Grube is, apparently, also the Vice President of the Hyundai Motor Company, a director at Mitsubishi and at McLaren Group and also non-executive director for The Airbus Group. Since 2009, he has been Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of the Federal Republic of Germany-owned railway company, the parent of DB Schenker. It was struggling and Grube had to begin by making tough decisions regarding cuts.
4. Frederick W. Smith, FedEx
Modern-day legend and proof of the American dream, Smith is the founder of one of the biggest companies in the world. Now a $45 billion interest, the idea for it began during Smith’s three-year stint, 1966-69, as a US Marine, where he observed closely the logistics and procurement of the armed forces and was inspired to start up an overnight delivery service for civilians. He founded Federal Express with his $4 million inheritance (modern equivalent $23 million) and raised $91 million ($525 million) in venture capital in 1970.
3. Dr Frank Appel, Deutsche Post AG (DHL)
Appel has been CEO 2008 and will be until 2017. He has a PhD in Neurobiology from ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He was a Consultant and Project Manager at McKinsey & Co in Germany since 1993 and was then elected to Partner of Member of German Business Management in 1999. In 2000 he joined Deutsche Post as Managing Director Corporate Development.
2. D. Scott Davis, UPS
Also Chairman, Scott has brought about significant improvements in UPS’ logistics network as it expanded its reach and capabilities since 2008. He joined in 1986 when UPS acquired Oregon aviation technology company, II Morrow, of which he was CEO. He completed a term as chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in 2009 and is on the Board of Honeywell International, Inc.
1. Nils S Andersen, Maersk
From Denmark, Andersen trained as an economist and joined AP Moller Maersk in 2007 as CEO after a career as a controller with Nordic Sugar and the Carlsberg brewery group through the 1980s and 90s.
At Carlsberg he Executive Vice President and then CEO of breweries in Spain and Germany.
He spent two years on the executive board of HERO consumer foods in Switzerland, before returning to Carlsberg in 1999 to lead a number of acquisitions, market entries and group-wide initiatives.
His work is said to have turned around the financial performance of the Carlsberg group and strengthened its global position.
At Maersk, he fronted a transformation process which led to a more focused portfolio, a leaner organisation and increased competitiveness. The group’s transparency and communication with stakeholders also increased.
From 2011 Andersen has been heading a new long-term strategy with focus on four core growth businesses within shipping and oil & gas, Maersk Line, Maersk Oil, APM Terminals and Maersk Drilling.
Top 10 air freight carriers
10. Cargolux Group
The Luxembourgish freight carrier Cargolux Group (comprised of Cargolux Airlines and Cargolux Italia, established in 2008) remained in the number 10 spot, with a total reported FTK (Freight Tonne Kilometer) equaling 7.45 bn, which represents a 7.7% expansion year-over-year. The carrier group currently operates a fleet of 30 aircraft (26 through Cargolux Airlines and an addition four through Cargolux Italia), primarily variants of the Boeing 747.
9. Korean Air
Headquartered in Seoul, Korean Air provides cargo and passenger services to over 100 destinations in 44 countries. The carrier fell from eighth place in the previous year’s rankings, with a total FTK of 7.66 bn, representing a 7.1% decrease year-over-year. Korean Air reported a net revenue of $10.7bn in 2017, also reporting a return to profitability for the first time in five years, according to Forbes.
8. Air France-KLM
The Air France-KLM freight carrier group was founded in 1947. The group is comprised of Air France, KLM, and Martinair, and is based in Paris, France. Falling from seventh place in the Freight 50 rankings, the carrier reported a total FTK of 8.13 bn, which represents a 9.2% decrease in traffic year-over-year. The group reported a net revenue of $29.08bn at the end of 2017 and is ranked #28 on Forbes Magazine’s list of Best Employers.
7. Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways, the nationally owned airline of the Kingdom of Qatar is based in Doha, and ascended two places in the Freight 50 rankings, with a total FTK of 9.22 bn, representing a 19.6% increase in comparison to the previous financial year. The carrier’s Cargo division recently launched facilities at its hub in Doha to provide a “Seamless Cool Chain”, comprised of a “2,470 square metres Climate Control Centre situated at the airside… equipped with segregated temperature-controlled sections for storing pharmaceuticals and perishables.” This end-to-end supply chain control is expected to further improve Qatar’s standing as a leader of Middle Eastern air freight.
6. Lufthansa Group
Based in Cologne, Germany, the Lufthansa Group (comprised of Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, and Brussels Airlines) fell from the fourth position in the Freight 50, with a combined FTK of 9.46 bn. While this represents a 1.6% increase in traffic, year-over-year, the carrier was forced down the list by drastic growth from other German freight company, DHL. According to Forbes, Lufthansa’s revenue and net profits ($41.5 bn and $2.78 bn, respectively) in 2017 are both the highest reported by the company over a ten-year period.
5. Cathay Group
The Cathay Group (composed of Cathay Pacific Airlines and Dragonair) is headquartered in Hong Kong and its Cargo division accounts for 21% of the airline’s total revenue. The company’s first dedicated cargo flight between Hong Kong, Frankfurt, and London, was established in 1981, according to the official site. Now, Cathay Pacific’s Cargo Division services over 47 destinations worldwide. The carrier fell from the fourth position on the Freight 50 ranking, as its total FTK fell by 3.6%, to 10.21 bn. According to Forbes, Cathay Pacific experienced a second year of unprofitability, although the airline’s asset portfolio reached a record high in 2017, with a net value of $24.1bn.
4. DHL Express Group
Operating as the largest European carrier group, DHL Express Group (composed of DHL Air, DHL International, Air Hong Kong, Polar Air Cargo, ABX Air, Southern Air, Aerologic, and EAT Leipzig) rose two positions in the Freight 50 rankings. The carrier reported a total FTK of 10.56 bn, which represents an increase of 15.1% year-over-year. In 2018, at the Farnborough Air Show, DHL Express announced the purchase of 14 Boeing 777s, part of a new strategy to modernise its fleet.
3. UPS Airlines
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, UPS Airlines is part of United Parcel Service, Inc. Founded in 1908, UPS is the oldest company in the Top Ten, and retained third place in the Freight 50 rankings, with a total FTK of 11.26 bn. This represents a 3.9% increase year-over-year. The Company as a whole reported a net revenue of $67.7 bn, according to Forbes, representing a continuation of a ten-year trend of continuous growth. Forbes also ranks UPS among the world’s top 100 most-innovative companies, and the world’s top 50 most-valuable brands.
2. Emirates Skycargo
The state-owned air freight carrier for the UAE, Emirates Skycargo remains in second place on the Freight 50, with a total FTK of 12.27 bn, representing a 0.4% decrease year-over-year. The carrier’s central hub in Dubai allows its 259-strong fleet to reach over 1.5 bn consumers in under eight hours. Current purchasing plans are underway for Emirates Skycargo to almost double its fleet size. According to Albawaba, “In response to increasing demand from its customers, Emirates SkyCargo introduced a range of air transport solutions specific to industry verticals including Emirates Pharma, Emirates Wheels and Emirates Fresh.” Emirates Wheels has transported close to 150 cars per month since the program’s inception.
1. FedEx Express
Founded in 1998, FedEx Express is both the youngest and largest air freight carrier worldwide, with a total FTK of 15.71 bn. Haulage decreased by 0.9% year-over-year, while revenue increased to $60.5 bn in 2016, and again to $63.8 bn in 2017, continuing an eight-year growth trend. FedEx employs 395,000 members of staff, with FedEx Express operating across twelve transport hubs globally. The carrier purchased an additional 24 Boeing 777 variants in 2018, maintaining their company’s position as the largest airline in terms of cargo haulage.