Robots have been on the move in the Bavarian town of Leipheim since April, when a state-of-the-art storage system came into operation at mid-sized wholesale business Arbeitsschutz-Express. Twenty-six robots handle the picking & packing and placement into storage of 54,000 containers largely filled with work shoes. As the German market leader in the online trade in occupational health and safety, the company is hoping that this investment will enable it to manage the constant increase in order volumes. Arbeitsschutz-Express is utilising technology from Switzerland to do so: intralogistics expert Kardex planned and realised the AutoStore system. Its “R5+” robot model, introduced at the start of the year, is being used in Leipheim for the first time. The high-speed machines are the latest refinement of the order fulfilment system offered by the Zurich company. This innovation, though, does not change the fact that Kardex recently suffered a downturn on the stock market, the mid cap having shed around 40% of its value since the turn of the year.
Along with the entire transport and logistics sector, the share felt the effects of a general market correction and growing fears of recession. Despite the correction, though, the long-term outlook for the industry remains positive. “From the raw materials to the end products that are delivered to the front door, logistics companies are indispensable,” the strategists at Swissquote conclude. According to the experts, functioning processes in transport and warehousing play a central role in how the majority of business activities function. Indeed, for many companies their competitiveness depended on precisely that. Swissquote also reckons the high entry barriers work in favour of the sector. “The expansion of capacity in logistics often comprises the acquisition or manufacture of container ships, railway wagons, warehouses, aircraft or a fleet of trucks,” the experts add. In addition, technological progress – think logistics 4.0 – also demanded enormous investment.
Swissquote is now taking account of the importance as well as the positive prospects of this sector with a new equity benchmark, launching the Swissquote Logistics Index a short while ago. As is typical of the online broker’s “Themes Trading” platform, it is a stock market barometer assembled with considerable know-how and supported by quantitative optimisation processes. In principle, only companies which carry on significant business activities relating to logistics are considered for inclusion. “The Swissquote Logistics AMC offers an exposure to the majority of subsegments of logistics in order to ensure a high degree of diversification within this sector,” the initiators explain. Specifically, the index covers the sea transport, air freight, rail freight, truck transport, logistics services, warehouse automation, logistics infrastructure, logistics real estate and wholesaler segments.
The current composition includes the top players from the relevant segment. Take AP Moeller-Maersk as an example: the Danish shipping group has more than 730 container ships crossing the world's oceans. The company also operates almost 70 loading terminals of its own in 42 countries. These are complemented by over 3 million square metres of storage space in total. The profits of Moeller-Maersk really exploded during the pandemic – in 2021 the company posted net profits of USDbn 48.2, following USDbn 29.2 in the previous period. Another leading provider of logistics services is Kühne + Nagel. According to its own figures the group, which is listed on the SMIM Index, is the number 1 in global sea and air freight haulage. From Switzerland, the aforementioned Kardex and Interroll have also made it onto the new index. As usual, investors can bring the international stock selection simply and cost efficiently into their portfolio with a tracker from Leonteq. PostFinance acts as the guarantor for the actively managed certificate (AMC).
Management fee: 1.10%
Index Sponsor: Swissquote Bank SA
Issuer: Leonteq Securities AG
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