Power 25: Three forwarders to watch for 2016

Power25_ACW0615ftWhich are the up-and-coming forwarders? Here are three to watch for next year:

Kerry Logistics

Although Kerry dipped one notch to No. 17 on the list, Evan Armstrong, of Armstrong & Assocaites, cited the Hong Kong-based logistics form as a strong performer in 2014 that may make some big moves this year. “We worked with Kerry during their IPO in 2013,” he said. “They had set aside 51 percent of their proceeds from the IPO for future acquisitions.” Last year, Kerry’s revenues rose by 5.7 percent to $2.72 billion, while airfreight tonnage increased by 1.5 percent to 282,200 tonnes. With about 45 million square feet of warehouse space globally, Kerry has been making inroads into the mainland Chinese market.

Toll Holdings

Coming in at No. 25 last year, Toll Holdings missed the Power 25 cut this year. However the Aussie logistics provider may make a larger dent in the market next year if the planned US$5 billion takeover by Japan Post comes to fruition. Through various acquisitions, Toll has expanded freight forwarding services into Southeast Asia, China, the U.S. and Europe. According to Christopher Whitefield, Toll’s group manager, media and research, airfreight volumes at Toll fell slightly to 60,200 tonnes, but its gross profit margin rose slightly to 21 percent “through various yield initiatives.” Supply chain management improved significantly, with the implementation of new customers, including Family Dollar, Abercrombie & Fitch, ITW Proline, Homeworks WW and Gardman. However, global forwarding markets remained difficult, with capacity continuing to increase while modal shift toward seafreight continued. As for Japan Post’s influence, the company’s President Toru Takahashi said Toll’s expertise in forwarding and logistics will be “most important for Japan Post’s future expansion in Asia, Europe and North America.”

XPO Logistics/Norbert Dentressangle

Neither company cracked the Power 25 this year, but should all go well in the planned US$3.56 billion purchase of France’s Norbert Dentressangle logistics firm by U.S.-based XPO Logistics, we may see a new entry in the top 10. Revenues of the combined firms are expected to reach $8.5 billion, which would place it between DB Schenker and UPS Supply Chain Solutions in the No. 4 spot on this year’s rankings. If approved, the merger will give XPO access to 7,700 owned trucks, 3,200 trucks contracted through owner-operators and access to an additional 12,000 independent carriers. XPO plans to rebrand the fleet and entire operation under the name XPO Logistics. The company expects to have 52,350 employees at 863 locations in 27 countries. We expect to see a lot more about XPO in the next Power 25.

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