Managing Editor, Features
2023 Top 100 Logistics List Highlights Growth for 3PLs
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The largest third-party logistics companies in North America remained in growth mode last year despite an uncertain economic environment and less favorable market conditions.
Spot freight demand has softened and truck capacity has loosened since the frenetic days of the 2021 freight boom. Shippers, meanwhile, replenished their inventories after struggling with supply chain bottlenecks during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet even as the freight market has normalized, many of the large logistics providers that thrived amid the chaos of the previous few years have maintained their momentum. An overwhelming majority of the 3PLs that appear on the 2023 Transport Topics Top 100 Logistics Companies list continued to grow their revenues last year.
This annual list of the largest logistics providers in North America ranks companies on the basis of annual gross revenue generated by their logistics operations, including freight brokerage, freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution and asset-based dedicated contract carriage.
This year’s rankings provide an updated look at how the biggest players in the 3PL industry have fared in an ever-shifting business climate.
The top of the list remains relatively static with freight brokerage giant C.H. Robinson Worldwide holding onto its No. 1 ranking by a significant margin.
Next up are freight forwarders Expeditors International of Washington and Kuehne + Nagel Americas at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, while UPS Supply Chain Solutions and J.B. Hunt Transport Services round out the top five.
Ryder Supply Chain Solutions, the logistics unit of truck-leasing and transportation firm Ryder System Inc., climbed into the top 10 after expanding its revenue to $6.5 billion last year.
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This year’s Top 100 list also reflects a spate of recent mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs.
Armada Supply Chain Solutions, a Pittsburgh-based logistics company with a strong presence in the food service industry, acquired St. Louis-based freight brokerage Sunset Transportation in late 2022. The combined organization lands at No. 13 on the Top 100 with more than $5.5 billion in revenue.
Meanwhile, landmark acquisitions in the truckload motor carrier space also are reshaping the 3PL segment of the freight transportation industry.
Knight-Swift Transportation’s agreement to acquire U.S. Xpress would not only combine the largest and seventh-largest truckload carriers in North America, but also represent a merger of the Nos. 37 and 62 ranked companies on TT’s Top 100 logistics list. That deal, announced in March, is expected to close in the late second quarter or early third quarter. The companies retain separate listings on this Top 100 list because the acquisition was not complete at press time.
Elsewhere on the list, DB Schenker jumped to No. 17 on the Top 100, up from No. 24 a year ago, bolstered in part by its September 2022 acquisition of truckload carrier USA Truck, including its freight brokerage operations.
Another company rising on the list is No. 26 Maersk Logistics, the 3PL arm of ocean carrier A.P. Moller-Maersk. The company expanded its landside transportation and logistics capabilities through its May 2022 acquisition of Pilot Freight Services, which ranked No. 44 on last year’s list.
Minnesota-based C.H. Robinson Worldwide took the No. 1 spot on the Top 100 Logistics Companies list for another year. (C.H. Robinson)
Several companies are making their first appearance on the Top 100 this year.
Other newcomers include No. 66 Ryan Transportation Service, No. 70 Scotlynn Group, No. 80 Canada Cartage and No. 99 KAG Logistics, the logistics division of tank truck carrier Kenan Advantage Group. Also joining the list at No. 100 is Logistics Plus, a worldwide logistics provider based in Erie, Pa.
Transport Topics produced this Top 100 list and the accompanying sector rankings in collaboration with industry research and consulting firm Armstrong & Associates, which provided estimates for some revenue figures in cases where data was not available from company management or public sources.
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