Managing Editor, Features
Amazon's Logistics Business Tops 2023 Global Freight List
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Despite enduring a cooldown in international trade, disruptions from geopolitical conflicts and elevated inflation, most of the world’s largest transportation and logistics providers continued to grow their businesses last year, including a new name standing atop the 2023 Transport Topics Top 50 Global Freight Companies list.
This annual ranking, produced in cooperation with SJ Consulting Group, offers a fresh look at the biggest players in freight movement and goods handling across all geographies and all modes of transportation, including truck, rail, ocean, air and parcel, as well as non-asset based third-party logistics providers.
The companies that appear on the Top 50 are ranked according to their full-year 2022 revenue from freight and logistics operations.
The most high-profile change to this year’s list is the decision to include online retail titan Amazon.com Inc. whose order fulfillment and logistics business debuts at No. 1.
Over the years, Amazon has built an extensive third-party logistics operation that powers its e-commerce network and even supports businesses that do not sell through Amazon.com.
Amazon provides 3PL services through two of its business units, Fulfilment by Amazon and Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment. Fulfillment by Amazon handles e-commerce fulfillment for orders placed on Amazon.com, while MCF offers order fulfillment for sales channels outside of Amazon.
In its 2022 annual report, Amazon posted $117.7 billion in net sales from its third-party seller services, representing nearly 23% of the company’s total revenue.
Apart from Amazon, familiar names continue to dominate the top of the list.
Parcel delivery and logistics giants UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp. rank No. 2 and 3, respectively. UPS topped $100 billion in revenue for the first time in 2022, while FedEx was not far behind at $90 billion.
Checking in at No. 4 is Germany-based parcel and warehousing giant DHL Group with $87 billion in revenue.
At No. 5, Denmark-based Maersk is the top ocean carrier on the list with $80 billion in revenue, up 32% from 2021. In general, ocean carriers enjoyed the best year-over-year revenue growth among the various modes of transportation as the supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic eased last year.
Next up is the U.S. Postal Service at No. 6 with $78.5 billion in revenue, followed by a pair of ocean carriers, France’s CMA CGM and China’s Cosco Shipping Group, at No. 7 and 8.
Check out Transport Topics' updated Top 50 list of the largest freight transportation companies in the world and explore how these companies are re-evaluating their supply chains. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Switzerland-based freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel International and Chinese parcel delivery firm SF Express round out the top 10.
One large freight transportation provider that is absent from this year’s Top 50 is Russian Railways. The freight and passenger rail services provider ranked No. 14 a year ago but was removed due to sanctions related to the war in Ukraine.
Another notable change to the list this year is the consolidation of three major Japanese ocean shipping lines under Ocean Network Express at No. 16. The holding company, established in 2017, includes the operations of NYK Group, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K Line), which had been listed separately on previous editions of the Top 50.
Other companies that joined or rejoined the Top 50 this year include: No. 21 Nippon Express, a Japan-based parcel delivery and logistics provider; No. 41 Toll Group, a freight forwarder and logistics provider based in Australia; contract logistics provider Rhenus Group at No. 47 and Netherlands-based parcel delivery company GLS Group at No. 48.
Several of North America’s largest trucking and logistics businesses stand among the largest freight transportation companies in the world.
Freight brokerage giant C.H. Robinson ranks No. 19 on the list with more than $23 billion in 2022 revenue, followed closely by Seattle-based freight forwarder Expeditors International at No. 23 with $17 billion in revenue.
Intermodal and trucking company J.B. Hunt Transport Services ranks No. 27 with 2022 revenue of $14.8 billion.
Another large trucking company appearing on the list is less-than-truckload carrier XPO at No. 34.
Checking in at No. 43 is Landstar System, which operates through its network of independent owner-operators and freight brokerage agents.
UPS Inc. moved to the No. 2 spot on the list after leading it for multiple years. (UPS Inc.)
Truckload carrier Knight-Swift Transportation ranks No. 44 on the list, followed by Canadian trucking group TFI International at No. 45.
Rounding out the list are truckload provider Schneider at No. 49 and LTL hauler Old Dominion Freight Line at No. 50.
North American freight rail companies also rank highly among the largest transportation providers in the world. BNSF Railway ranks No. 17, followed by Union Pacific Railroad at No. 18, CSX Corp. at No. 26, Canadian National Railway at No. 31 and Norfolk Southern at No. 32.
Another major rail provider to watch moving forward is Canadian Pacific Kansas City, which formed in April 2023 through the combination of Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern. As a separate entity, Canadian Pacific would have qualified for this year’s list at No. 47 based on its 2022 revenue.
Among the Top 50 companies, 16 are headquartered in the United States, more than any other country, followed by China, Germany and Japan with five each.
This year’s list features 14 companies that are primarily third-party logistics providers, along with 11 ocean carriers, 10 parcel delivery companies, nine freight rail providers and six trucking companies.
Revenue information is from company reports and estimates by SJ Consulting Group for freight transportation services. All revenue figures are listed in U.S. dollars. Currency conversions are based on the average exchange rate in 2022.
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