Top 50 3PLs


The world’s 50 largest logistics companies generated nearly $230 billion in revenue last year, according to Pittsburgh-based research and consulting firm SJ Consulting Group. Although that total was 5.8 percent less in dollar terms than the $244.17 billion in revenue during 2014, the decline was tied to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar vs. other currencies, and not reflective of an actual decline in company revenue.

On the contrary, revenue for 2015 would have grown 4.1 percent, including transactions in all currencies, were it not for the stronger dollar, said Mark D’Amico, the SJ Consulting analyst who compiled the list for Moreover, D’Amico said, world trade growth for 2015 amounted to about 2 percent, according to the World Trade Organization, which means the total revenue of the 50 largest logistics companies grew at a faster rate than the rate of global trade. “It is really a currency story,” he said, as the revenue recorded by many of the companies on the list were recorded in their local currencies, and only later converted into U.S. dollars.

As for the impact of the stronger dollar on the results, the revenue of Japanese companies, booked in Japanese yen, was negatively affected by the 12.6 percent decline in the yen versus the U.S. dollar. Eurozone companies’ revenues were hurt by the 16.4 percent decline of the euro versus the U.S. dollar. And the revenue of Copenhagen-based DSV felt the impact of the 16.5 decline of the Danish krone versus the dollar.

This year’s list also continues the theme of corporate acquisitions — some companies aimed to increase their ownership of valuable transportation assets in 2015. The decline in the price of fuel also had a negative impact on company revenue. For example, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, which owns thousands of trailers, suffered from the decline in fuel surcharge revenue because of the drop in fuel prices.

News & Analysis

25 Oct 2016
Panalpina’s profit stabilized in the first nine months of the year.
24 Oct 2016
CEVA Logistics has named a veteran chief financial officer to the position effective immediately to replace Arjan Kaaks, who left the company after just more than a year with CEVA.
14 Oct 2016
While technology solutions are important to improving supply chains, the digitization of supply chain planning and operations can only go so far.
06 Oct 2016
XPO Logistics will spend $425 million this year on technology to get the most out of diverse international operations and optimize customer supply chains, says CEO Bradley S. Jacobs.
The failure of Hanjin Shipping is just the latest example of the importance of supply chain durability and versatility.
28 Sep 2016
Largest US logistics provider to scrutinize vessel-sharing agreements, urges more "resilient" supply chain strategies.
The acquisition of APC Logistics means C.H. Robinson will be moving more freight though ports in Oceania, such as Napier, New Zealand, pictured.
28 Sep 2016
E-commerce and the need for density in trade lanes is pushing expansion of the global network of C.H. Robinson Worldwide, the largest US logistics operator.


When UPS on Jan. 23 pre-announced fourth-quarter earnings, it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Yet some analysts said they were “troubled by the company’s inability to get peak (operating expenses) right during what is increasingly becoming the most important quarter of the year” and were concerned “that UPS got the service but not the cost, which is going to leave the market wondering if it can only have one or the other.”