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March 30, 2020 8:00 AM, EDT

2020 Top 50 Logistics Companies

XPO Still on Top, Decides Against Spinoff
XPO truck on the roadXPO Logistics easily retained its top spot on this year's list, but that might not be the case for that much longer. (TT File Photo)

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The logistics business is evolving rapidly as companies invest in technology to boost efficiency and meet shippers’ rising expectations, but Transport Topics’ annual ranking of the largest third-party logistics companies in North America reveals few changes at the top this year.

XPO Logistics retained its perch at No. 1 on the TT Top 50 Logistics Companies list, a position the company has held since 2017. (See the full rankings)

Until very recently, however, XPO’s place at the top seemed far from secure.

On Jan. 15, the Greenwich, Conn.-based company announced that it was actively exploring the sale or spinoff of some of its business units in a bid to boost value for shareholders.

Seth Clevenger

Clevenger

But three months later, XPO ended that review process as widespread concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus sent the stock market plummeting.

“In light of current market conditions, XPO has terminated the strategic review process,” the company said in a March 20 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

If XPO had moved forward with any major spinoffs, the company’s breakup would have once again altered the 3PL landscape that XPO reshaped over the past decade through its string of acquisitions in freight brokerage, warehousing, final-mile delivery and less-than-truckload carriage.

Instead, XPO remains North America’s largest 3PL.

In fact, the company continued to expand even while actively considering potential spinoffs. XPO announced March 9 that it would acquire most of the United Kingdom-­based contract logistics operations of Kuehne + Nagel, whose North American business unit ranks No. 10 on the Top 50.

While the top of the TT Logistics 50 list did not change dramatically this year, the updated rankings feature some interesting movement closer to the bottom of the list.

Mode Transportation, which was outside the Top 50 last year, jumped to No. 41 after its acquisition of SunteckTTS in December.

The combined company said it will handle 1.5 million shipments per year and generate more than $2 billion in revenue.

The Dallas-based 3PL offers services across all major modes of transportation, including truckload, less-than-truckload, rail intermodal, drayage, air, ocean and parcel freight.

This year’s list features two other newcomers to the Top 50.

Burris Logistics, based in Milford, Del., enters the list at No. 43. The company’s logistics services include cold chain management, dedicated distribution and freight brokerage.

Crane Worldwide Logistics, an air and ocean freight forwarder based in Houston, makes its debut at No. 50.

TT’s annual ranking of North America’s largest third-party logistics companies is based on net revenue, which is gross revenue minus the cost of purchased transportation.

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