Merger and acquisition activity among forwarders and other logistics interests is surging, and shippers likely will emerge as big winners as rates become more competitive and new services emerge. The flurry of M&A activity this year includes the takeover of logistics giant Panalpina by Danish transportation company DSV and the acquisition of CEVA Logistics by French carrier CMA CGM. Other large players, including DFDS, Kuehne + Nagel, and SEKO Logistics, are engaged in or plan further acquisitions. The M&A activity comes in the wake of strong growth in 2018, when 3PL net revenues in the US grew more than 12 percent to an estimated $86.4 billion and overall gross revenue jumped 15.8 percent to $213.5 billion, according to consulting company Armstrong & Associates Inc., the fastest rate of growth since 2010, when the industry was climbing out of the depths of the global recession. As 2019 nears, however, several warning signs are emerging: Global economic growth is slowing precipitously; the US-China trade war is now in its second year, with no clear resolution in sight; regulations such as the IMO 2020 low-sulfur mandate are clouding the picture on costs; high inventory levels are making future trade growth levels difficult to project; and the extent to which technology services — from traditional forwarders as well as so-called disruptors — is helping is still an open debate. This webcast will analyze the critical issues defining 2019, and what they mean in the year ahead.
Chris Brooks, Director, Programming, JOC Events, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit
Richard Armstrong, Chairman & CEO, Armstrong & Associates
Daniel Gardner, President, Trade Facilitators Inc.