Bertschi Group expects a challenging year, despite increased turnover

Image:Bertschi Group

2022 was a positive year for the Swiss Bertschi Group. However, despite a turnover increase of 8 per cent, the company sees a gloomy future. The chemical-specialised transport company expects a further deterioration of the economic situation in the first half of 2023, which will be reflected in a “significantly lower demand” for logistics services. In addition, the company struggles with high costs due to high energy prices.

Despite the problems that Bertschi already faced in 2022, the company’s turnover increased by 8 per cent compared to 2021. The Swiss chemical transport giant achieved a turnover of 1,1 billion Swiss francs, corresponding to roughly 1,1 billion euros.

The company indicates that last year it suffered from high inflation rates. In addition, the chemical sector in Europe faced increased costs from the high energy prices, resulting in a sharp decrease in production and multiple closed facilities. As if this was not enough, Betschi underlined that it was forced to provide more expensive services to its customers since rail operators also increased their service prices due to the skyrocketing energy costs.

Bertschi Group expects these trends to bolster further in the first half of 2023. The chemical specialist hopes for improvement in the year’s second half. “We are in a good position at the moment, which ensures that we will survive in this challenging environment. And we are cautiously optimistic that demand will recover in the second half of the year”, says the company’s CEO Jan Arnet.

More investments in terminals and logistics centre

On a positive note, in 2022, Bertschi spent 120 million euros on investments. Part of the investments targeted, among other things, the expansion of the company’s tank and silo container fleet, which grew by 5 per cent to 42,000 units and digitisation. Most importantly, last year, the company also doubled the capacity of its rail terminal in Terneuzen, the Netherlands.

Moving away from Europe, in 2022, Bertschi also completed the construction of a logistics centre for storing hazardous liquid chemicals near Shanghai. After a trial period, the facility received its final operating license in January 2023. There is room for 25,000 tons of liquid products for storage in tank containers and 25,000 tons of packaged goods.

New investments are also planned for 2023. For example, the company has started constructing a new rail terminal in Antwerp. In addition, the company wants to expand the Bertschi terminal in Rotterdam by 20,000 square meters this year.

This article originally appeared on our sister publication

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Author: Simone van der Lee

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