Kuehne + Nagel said demand for domestic European transport had broadly improved to pre-crisis levels following a significant decline in order volumes in April and May.

However, turnover for its road logistics division was down by 21.5% in Q2 2020 to CHF 721m (£611m), compared with the same quarter in 2019, due in large part to a fall in demand in North America.

Gross profit fell by 12% to CHF 257m (£217.8m).

In contract logistics, the company said plummeting demand during the second quarter was mitigated by stringent cost management and there was “significantly higher demand” in essential goods and e-commerce, which comprises around half of its contract logistics portfolio.

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In this division, net turnover was 16.3% down at CHF 1,1bn (£969.5m), with gross profits of CHF 851m (£721.4m).

Despite the challenges faced by the group posed by the pandemic and global lockdown, Kuehne + Nagel said it had achieved a good result in Q2 2020, thanks to market share gains and cost savings initiated throughout the group.

Net turnover was CHF 9.8bn (£8.3bn).

Dr Detlef Trefzger, Kuehne + Nagel international chief executive said: “The crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, which led to a lockdown in most countries, had profound and sudden negative impacts on international trade.

“We took the right measures early on and successfully managed Kuehne + Nagel under these difficult conditions.

“We expect the second half of the year to continue to be marked by major uncertainties, for which Kuehne + Nagel is well prepared thanks to its agile structure, rigorous cost management and high-quality service offerings.”