The competitive landscape in the logistics industry is constantly shifting. Many large freight brokers and contract logistics providers have expanded in recent years through mergers and acquisitions. And new companies and investors have been entering this growing field with their own ideas on how to manage freight transportation more efficiently.
At the same time, logistics providers are adjusting to market changes such as the growing demand for e-commerce fulfillment and rising standards for service levels and freight visibility.
Transport Topics has produced an annual ranking of the largest companies in this dynamic segment of the transportation business for nearly two decades, but much like the industry itself, this list continues to evolve.
For the 2021 edition of Top 50 Logistics Companies list, it was decided to use a different metric — gross revenue — to rank the largest third-party logistics providers in North America.
That’s a departure from the methodology we used in years past, when we ranked companies on the basis of net revenue, which is gross revenue minus the cost of purchased transportation.
While gross and net revenue are both perfectly valid ways of examining the comparable size and capabilities of 3PLs, we’ve come to the conclusion that gross revenue is a better reflection of an organization’s overall reach, and therefore more closely aligned with our objective — to identify the largest companies in the logistics industry.
With this new ranking system, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, the largest freight broker in North America by a wide margin, is now No. 1 on the TT Top 50 Logistics Companies list as well.
Meanwhile, major changes are on the horizon for No. 2 XPO Logistics, which announced in December 2020 that it intends to split into two separate, publicly traded companies.
AIT, based in Itasca, Ill., provides ocean and airfreight forwarding and freight brokerage services and operates 42 warehouses.
Georgia-based Capstone Logistics offers freight brokerage, warehousing and fulfillment, last-mile delivery and transportation technology. The company expanded its brokerage capabilities through its acquisition of LoadDelivered Logistics in 2018.
Transport Topics produced this Top 50 list and accompanying sector rankings in cooperation 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.
On a final note, we wish to recognize the role that logistics companies of all sizes have played in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether managing vaccine distribution or simply arranging transportation to keep store shelves stocked, 3PLs have been doing their part in the fight against the coronavirus. This historic event has illustrated the essential nature of the work performed every day by logistics professionals.
Read more: Transport Topics