Managing Editor, Features
Expanded List of Top 100 3PLs Reflects Ever-Changing Logistics Landscape
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With supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and scarce truck capacity impeding the flow of goods in North America and across the globe, third-party logistics companies have had a seemingly endless string of transportation problems to solve for their customers.
But for logistics providers that are successfully navigating those challenges, it has been a time to thrive.
Many 3PLs, both large and small, expanded their businesses and grew their revenue last year as shippers increasingly relied on their services to ensure their shipments reached their destinations in a tumultuous freight environment.
And as the 3PL industry continues to grow, so, too, is this annual ranking of the largest logistics companies in North America.
This year, for the first time, Transport Topics is proud to present its expanded Top 100 Logistics Companies list, double the size of the Top 50 ranking it has been publishing each year dating to 2002.
This list ranks the industry’s largest freight brokers, freight forwarders, warehousing and distribution providers, and dedicated contract carriers on the basis of annual gross revenue.
As for the updated rankings, freight brokerage giant C.H. Robinson retained its No. 1 position as the largest 3PL in North America.
Meanwhile, some of the largest ocean and air freight forwarders climbed the list as demand for their services surged. No. 2 Expeditors International of Washington, No. 4 Kuehne + Nagel Americas and No. 7 DSV are clear examples, with all three posting dramatic year-over-year increases in revenue and earnings.
The Top 100 also illustrates how mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs continued to alter the competitive landscape for 3PLs.
►3PLs Get Chance to Prove Their Worth
►Clevenger: Why the List Expanded
►Map: Where the Top 100 Are
►Armstrong: Best Growth Year Ever
►Expansion Tweaks Sector Rankings
►Impact of Entrepreneurial Carriers
►Don't Make Same TMS Mistake Twice
Freight Brokerage | Dedicated
Dry Storage Warehousing
Ocean Freight | Airfreight
In August 2021, No. 6 XPO Logistics completed the spinoff of its contract logistics business, which is now a separate company named GXO Logistics that made its debut at No. 8 on this list.
That wasn’t the end of XPO’s reorganization, however. The company recently announced plans to further divide its business by separating its freight brokerage and less-than-truckload carriage operations into stand-alone companies, a move that XPO expects to finalize in the fourth quarter.
In another major development, the Uber Freight division of ride-hailing company Uber Technologies greatly expanded its reach and capabilities through its November 2021 acquisition of Transplace Inc., a provider of transportation management services and logistics technology. The combined company now ranks No. 10 on the Top 100 list.
No. 13 Ryder Supply Chain Solutions, a unit of truck leasing and transportation firm Ryder System Inc., also added to its third-party logistics operations through acquisition. The company purchased Whiplash, a provider of omnichannel fulfillment and logistics services, in January.
Worldwide Express and GlobalTranz merged in July 2021 to create a combined company that now ranks No. 14 on the Top 100. GlobalTranz and Worldwide Express were Nos. 27 and 28, respectively, on last year’s list.
In yet another example of industry consolidation, No. 16 Hub Group expanded its brokerage business through its October 2021 acquisition of Choptank Transport, a 3PL specializing in cold-chain transportation.
As the logistics industry evolves to meet the changing needs of the freight transportation market, 3PLs continue to invest in technology to drive better business decisions, automate manual processes and ultimately streamline the flow of freight.
Increasingly, logistics providers are utilizing digital freight matching capabilities, freight visibility technology and rate and pricing transparency tools to act with greater agility in a fast-moving market.
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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