In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Klaus-Michael Kuehne, Kuehne + Nagel’s controlling shareholder, said the freight forwarder may have to cut more than 20,000 jobs, with warehouse workers most affected, as it looks to navigate its way through the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kuehne said the job cuts were more likely to occur in locations such as the US where, unlike many European countries, there was no short-time working system to prevent large scale layoffs. As a result, the group could have 20-25 percent fewer workers than before the crisis.
“The moments of truth come in the April-June period. Transport volumes have declined significantly. The decisive question is, will the world economy begin a gradual recovery in June?”, said Kuehne.
Looking to the future, Kuehne said that he believed economic production will be lower for years to come while globalisation is slowing, with a trend towards regionalisation.