CEVA Logistics reported its profit expansion accelerated in the first quarter, with the $102 million earnings growing 36.5 percent year-over-year on improving freight management margins up across the company's global network.
Gross revenue increased 13.3 percent over last year's first quarter, to $2.42 billion, on strong gains in ocean and air volume.
The Netherlands-based logistics operator also said it won new contracts worth more than $750 million in business in March, a record for the company.
The results and new shipper agreements "have positioned us well for continued future growth and development," CEO John Patullo said.
CEVA also set new structural changes in its approach to larger customers, launching a Supply Chain Solutions group that pulls together contract logistics and freight management services under a single integrated end-to-end service.
CEVA's growth in EBITDA was better than the 35 percent improvement the company reported in the fourth quarter as freight margins gained ahead of company projections while volume growth "was probably softer than envisioned," said CEVA Chief Financial Officer Rubin McDougal.
McDougal said ocean freight volume grew 20 to 25 percent over last year's first quarter while air freight demand was up 5 to 10 percent.
CEVA is projecting a relatively stable air freight market over the rest of the year while the ocean container business should see "ample capacity, putting pressure on rates, certainly into the third quarter," he said.