August 2, 2017 / 11:46 AM / 2 years ago

Freight forwarder DSV pins growth hope on e-commerce

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish freight forwarder DSV (DSV.CO) will invest more to meet rising demand for services such as e-commerce and address competition from new players including (AMZN.O) which is seeking a greater role in the logistics supply chain.

FILE PHOTO: DSV CEO Jens Bjorn Andersen (R) talks to a truck driver at the company headquarters outside Copenhagen, Denmark, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/File Photo

DSV has specialized in complex transportation logistics for business-to-business customers but now wants to expand its e-commerce services where it sees great potential due to rapid growth in internet sales, CEO Jens Bjorn Andersen said in an interview.

Expansion would include hosting web pages, supplying storerooms and handling returns for companies that wish to sell their products online.

“We can’t just transport pallets from one warehouse to another,” Andersen said.

He was commenting as shares in DSV, whose main rivals include Kuehne & Nagel (KNIN.S) and Panalpina (PWTN.S), rose more than 3 percent to a new record high after it posted forecast-beating profit and lifted its forecasts for the year.

Increased use of online services by major players in world trade is seen as posing risks to traditional freight forwarders, as the likes of online retailer Amazon and container shipper Maersk Line move in on their patch.

Shippers traditionally go through freight forwarders to book space for goods for example on container vessels, but some are now allowing cargo owners to book directly via the internet.

“We are following it extremely closely and have sped up our digital strategy and are investing quite a lot in new products,” he said, declining to say how much.

While the industry is undergoing a transformation due to the new players, Andersen did not see anything besides initiatives from Amazon as a real threat yet.

Amazon (AMZN.O) is handling more shipping in-house, so it can deliver packages to customers faster, as well as cut costs and uncertainty associated with relying on third parties.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/Keith Weir

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