DHL’s Supply Chain division has reported an increase in revenues in the second quarter of this year by 2.3% to €3.6 billion ($4.8 billion) compared with the same period last year. The company said growth in the division, which when adjusted for negative exchange-rate effects and the disposal of subsidiaries last year, was equal to €200m, and was in part fuelled by strong gains in emerging markets and in automotive contracts. The company did not specify which automotive contracts had contributed to the increase.

Life sciences and healthcare were other growth markets for the division.

The volume of new contracts concluded with new and existing customers totalled €335m in the second quarter of 2014, roughly the same level as in the last two years.

Across DHL as a whole revenues totalled €13.7 billion between April and June, 1% above the previous year's level.

There was a more dramatic lift in the Supply Chain division's operating earnings, which reached €109m in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of nearly 40% over the previous year's level (€79m).

“The sharp increase reflects the absence of one-time expenses related to business disposals and restructuring expenditures that had a negative impact on the previous year's result,” said the company in a statement. “Adjusted for these factors, operating earnings still rose substantially by about 9% between April and June 2014.”

In other news, DHL Supply Chain has established a freight brokerage company with its partner company Exel in North America. Called Exel Freight Connect, the company will connect carriers that have available capacity with shippers that have loads to move and will specialise in truckload, less than truckload (LTL) and expedited shipments. The company said that it anticipated customer demand from the automotive industry amongst others. The company will be based in Colombus, Ohio.