Top 4 forwarders that may be ripe for M&A activity in 2018

Damco – The Hague, Netherlands

For most of the first half of this year, this logistics arm of Maersk has been mentioned frequently as an acquisition target. While most of the forwarding industry was on the rise for most of 2017, the Damco division suffered a loss of $8 million in the first half of the year, compared to $12 million in net revenue during the period in 2016.

Maersk was also hit with the infamous “Petya” cyberattack in June 2017, which cost the maritime company an estimate $250 million to $300 million in the third quarter. Damco was not left unscathed in the ransomware attack, and was “negatively impacted by a decline in freight forwarding margins,” which added up to a $6 million loss in Q3.

Still, Q3 showed some glimmer of hope for Damco, with revenue rising by 8.3 percent, year-over-year, to $688 million, while its supply chain management volumes rose by 5 percent and airfreight volumes remained flat. Performance has improved slightly, but Maersk may still be eager to cut its expenses, so Damco may still be ripe for plucking next years.

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