May 9, 2018 / 9:24 AM / 15 days ago

Henkel sees no short-term change to high U.S. freight costs

BERLIN, May 9 (Reuters) - German consumer goods firm Henkel expects no significant improvement in the tight U.S. freight market even thought it has fixed its own internal delivery problems, its finance chief said on Wednesday.

Carsten Kobel told journalists that U.S. freight costs are at their highest level since 20 years, adding: “We don’t see any significant change in the market situation in the short term.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Henkel reported a hit to first-quarter results due to delivery problems in North America although it said it had fixed internal issues and was on track to return to normal in the course of the second quarter.

Chief Executive Hans van Bylen said that the delivery crisis had a positive side in that Henkel had spoken in depth to its transport providers and agreed contracts that should protect deliveries long-term.

Henkel hit problems as it tried to improve its logistics system in North America, with shortfalls in U.S. freight capacities making the situation worse as a dearth of drivers and higher diesel prices makes transporting goods more expensive. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson Editing by Arno Schuetze)

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