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Top 25 Global Freight Forwarders


Largest Providers by 2013 Gross Revenues and Freight Forwarding Volumes*






 (US$ Millions)






Metric Tons

A&A Provider Information and Editorial Comments


DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding




DHL Supply Chain (DSC) is the world's largest 3PL and contract logistician. Contract logistics revenues for Exel (DHL Supply Chain - Americas) are $4.6 billion with 534 warehouses and 109 million square feet of space. DHL Global Forwarding (DGF) grew through the acquisition of highly respected companies like Danzas. DGF currently has more than 31 global carrier partners with contracts on a multitude of trade lanes and more than 330 gateway facilities. Its annual volume is 2.8 million TEUs and its LCL is 2 million cubic meters. There are more than 45,000 weekly point pairs for LCL globally. DGF handles 2.2 million shipments annually. DHL's scope allows its customers to more easily adjust vendor supply chains.



Kuehne + Nagel




Kuehne + Nagel is one of the world's leading logistics companies providing services at more than 1,000 locations in over 100 countries. It has strong market positions in the sea freight, air freight, contract logistics and overland businesses. Americas business for Kuehne + Nagel is 16% of net revenues. In 2012 and 2013, Kuehne + Nagel outpaced the volume growth of the market. Sea freight and air freight business units led the way. In both areas, high internal productivity and strict cost management compensated for the costs of investments made in technology and product development and strengthening of niche segments. Leveraging its forwarding and contract logistics capabilities, Kuehne + Nagel has built good global spare parts logistics and cold chain/pharmaceutical capabilities.



DB Schenker Logistics




DB Schenker's German operations, including Europe’s largest rail freight and trucking operations, are over 70% of total revenues. DB Schenker’s European trucking by land transport has over 24,000 employees/owner-operators and handled 95.5 million shipments in 2013. Russian and Eastern European operations are substantial. DB Schenker has significantly expanding its contract logistics operations adding over $100 million of new business in 2012. North American contract logistics operations are 42% Consumer Goods, 30% High-Tech, 16% Industrial and 12% Automotive.






Panalpina is a top 10 freight forwarder. It handles more than 1.4 million TEUs per year, more than 825,000 metric tons of air freight and about 1 million tons of non-containerized break bulk cargo. Panalpina continues to expand its LCL network. In 2014, it expects to add another 50 services to its LCL network, taking its total services to 500 by year end. Automotive and manufacturing account for almost 30% of its LCL volumes, followed by consumer & retail and fashion at 25%, and high-tech and telecom at 20%. Its busiest LCL trade lane is China to Southeast Asia. Its warehousing footprint, including subcontracted space, totals 242 warehouses encompassing 22.3 million square feet of space in 150 countries. Of its total warehousing footprint, 12.9 million square feet and 160 warehouses are currently managed by Panalpina. Panalpina concentrates on nine verticals/segments: Automotive, Chemicals, Consumer Retail, Fashion, Healthcare, High-Tech, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, and Telecommunications. Its Oil & Gas operations are primarily in project logistics, which accounts for 10% to 15% of Panalpina's revenues. Panalpina returned to profitability in 2013 and contract logistics moved in the black.







For many years, Sinotrans Limited was completely protected by People’s Republic of China law from direct foreign competition until recently. Over 80% of revenues are derived from freight forwarding. Sinotrans handles over 8 million TEUs of sea freight (which includes freight forwarding, NVOCC, booking agent and custom broker activities), about 400,000 metric tons of air freight and 15 million international express documents/packages annually. Sinotrans is a joint stock limited company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China. The Company was listed successfully on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited on February 13, 2003. The Group’s core services are freight forwarding and shipping agency services with support services such as storage and terminal services, marine transportation, trucking and express.


Nippon Express




Nippon Express covers Japan. It’s Japan’s largest domestic transportation company. Its former Pelican operation, which was acquired by Japan Post, is the largest package operation in Japan. About 80% of Nippon's revenues are from its domestic Japanese operations. In January 2014, Nippon Express completed the acquisition of Panasonic Logistics Co., Ltd., the wholly owned logistics arm of Japanese multinational electronics giant Panasonic Corp. In December 2013, Nippon acquired a 49% stake in NEC Logistics, the wholly owned logistics arm of NEC Corp., another major Japanese electronics maker. Its international operations in forwarding and contract logistics are tied to its Japanese base. In addition to truck-based operations, Nippon provides harbor and ship transportation, air and ocean freight forwarding and warehousing.



Expeditors International of Washington




Expeditors is the largest North American-based freight forwarder. Net revenues are $1.9 billion and produce a gross margin of 31%. Net revenues are 34% air freight, 23% ocean freight and 43% customs brokerage. 2014 gross revenues have increased 6% for air freight and 12% for ocean freight. U.S. and Asia business account for 78% of revenues. Expeditors is the largest forwarder/NVOCC in the Asia/U.S. lane. Expeditors' net revenues run 40% high-tech, 33% retail, 10% pharmaceuticals, 10% automotive, 5% furniture and 2% other. Expeditors limits its participation in value-added warehousing and distribution.


SDV (Bolloré Group)




Bolloré Groups logistics business consists of SDV, a France-based transportation and freight forwarding company, which generates 54% of revenue and Bolloré Africa Logistics, a major stevedoring company in Africa, which generates the remainder of logistics revenue. Bolloré Africa Logistics, which has been in Africa for over 50 years, has 250 subsidiaries, about 25,000 employees and operates in 45 countries. SDV is ranked #1 in France by the IATA and #5 in Europe. It operates in 104 countries with a large footprint in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. SDV USA has 15 branches in major U.S. cities and 475 employees.


CEVA Logistics




CEVA Logistics is one of the world's largest logistics companies and has been the world’s largest automotive 3PL. It has a heavy emphasis on manufacturing and is expanding operations in other sectors. CEVA's industry sectors are Automotive 28%, Consumer/Retail 22%, Technology 19%, Industrial 19%, Energy 6% and Other 6%. CEVA operates in over 170 countries. CEVA’s core services include fulfillment centers, high-velocity cross-docks, sub-assembly, sequencing, dedicated contract transportation, and network designs/redesigns. Its revenue is split between Contract Logistics (56%) and Freight Management (44%). The Americas account for 31% of its revenues, Asia Pacific 27%, and Europe 42%. Fiat is CEVA's largest customer.






DSV is primarily a non-asset operation. Nearly half of its operations are European over-the-road, its Air & Sea division makes up about 42% and Solutions (logistics) accounts for the rest. The DSV Group is Denmark’s second largest supplier of transport and logistics services. The Group originates in the Nordic countries but has established its own operations in more than 70 countries in Europe, the Far East and the Americas. Via professional and advantageous overall solutions, a worldwide yearly turnover of more than €6 billion is realized by the Group’s 22,000+ employees.


Hellmann Worldwide Logistics




Hellmann Worldwide Logistics is a privately held German company which continues to be competitive against the big guys. It has good freight forwarding and contract logistics operations. Air and Sea freight are just over half of the business. Coverage in Asia and China is extensive. Its regional breakdown is Europe 54.7% (Germany 41.7%), Asia 14.7%, the Americas 21% (U.S. 12%), and Oceania, Middle East and Africa 9.6%.


UPS Supply Chain Solutions




UPS is an 800 lb. gorilla of global supply chain services. Revenues for contract logistics were $1.2 billion in 2013. UPS SCS contributes $2 billion+ per year in package business to its big brother. Twelve percent of UPS containers are LCL consolidations; 40% are Asia-U.S. Forwarding revenues are 60% air and 40% ocean. UPS has 1,400 employees involved in customs brokerage. UPS has redesigned its supply chain operations to concentrate on high-tech, healthcare and some retail/consumer goods customers. These operations are highly integrated between value-added and package delivery services.


Kintetsu World Express




Kintetsu World Express' (KWE) largest operations within its global network are in Japan and China, with over 100 offices located in each of those countries. Over 53% of its business is air freight based. Ocean freight and logistics account for about 35%. Japan generates 40% of the business, the rest of Asia and Oceania generate 39%, North America 12%, Europe and other regions account for the rest. Its primary verticals are automotive, high-tech, and healthcare. KWE has a host of strategic joint ventures and affiliated companies.


UTi Worldwide




UTi has strong forwarding operations in Asia with an emphasis on air freight and a major drug distribution operation in South Africa. It has expanded its contract logistics operations in Asia particularly in India, which it has designated for major market expansion. UTi’s roots are in South Africa and it does very well in British Commonwealth countries. UTi has struggled converting and updating its IT systems. Revenues decreased in 2013 but have improved this year.







Damco is a third-party logistics provider specializing in customized freight forwarding and supply chain solutions. The company has 11,000+ employees in over 300 offices across 90 countries and agents in 30 more countries. In 2013, the company had a net turnover of $3.2 billion, managed 791,535 TEUs in ocean freight and 55,281 CBMs in supply chain management volumes, and air freighted 226,626 metric tons. Damco is part of The Maersk Group.

15 (tie)


Pantos Logistics




Pantos Logistics has a full set of tools including air and ocean freight forwarding, rail and road transportation in Korea, warehousing, customs, and express transportation. The main industries it serves include Electronics, Specialty- and Petro-Chemicals, Machinery and Construction. LG is a major customer. Pantos is a good international supply chain manager with a large freight forwarding base.

15 (tie)


Yusen Logistics




Yusen does not have the kind of strong domestic base in Japan that characterizes Nippon and others. It has aggressively grown international markets and expanded through organic growth and acquisitions. Contract logistics and distribution are strong in Europe. In the Americas, a broad suite of logistics services are offered. Automotive, industrial and retail/consumer goods verticals are emphasized. Its automotive logistics includes roll-on/roll-off, JIT and parts distribution. By region, Japan, the Americas, Europe, East Asia and South Asia/Oceania each make up about 20% of the business.

16 (tie)

C.H. Robinson




C.H. Robinson dominates domestic transportation management in North America. While the majority of Robinson’s net revenues are truck transportation related, it has solid domestic intermodal, international air and ocean, food sourcing and supply chain management. C.H. Robinson's TMC operations focus on large transportation network management. The TMC is now serving the Americas, Europe and Asia. European operations have been successful, profitable and expanding in Poland and the Eastern Bloc. They are a natural fit for Europe’s atomized owner-operator based companies.

16 (tie)


Kerry Logistics




Kerry Logistics' business portfolio encompasses contract logistics, international freight forwarding, warehousing, transportation, distribution, trading, merchandising and a wide variety of value-added services and is now managing over 39 million square feet of warehouse space, logistics centers and port facilities globally. Hong Kong and the PRC combined generate 60% of revenues. Its Integrated Logistics division, mainly value-added warehousing and distribution, is 45% of the business and its International Freight Forwarding division makes up the rest.







Agility is a Middle Eastern leader in integrated supply chain solutions and is organized into two major business groups. Global Integrated Logistics (GIL) is the largest generating approximately 92% of Agility’s total revenues. It has core competencies in freight forwarding, contract logistics/warehousing, project logistics, fairs & events, and supply chain management 3PL services. Agility provides 3PL services tailored to governments, relief agencies and international institutions worldwide.

18 (tie)





Geodis is France's largest provider of transportation and logistics services and is one of the top European 3PLs. The Geodis Group covers more than 120 countries worldwide through its network partners and subsidiaries including Geodis Logistics, Geodis Wilson, and Geodis Supply Chain Optimisation (which grew out of its December 2008 acquisition of IBM’s internal global logistics operations). Most of the Group’s revenue is European based and accounts for 81% (France 60%) of total revenue.

18 (tie)

Toll Holdings




Toll’s revenues are 2/3 Australia based where Toll has one of everything in logistics. Toll’s mission is to be the most successful provider of integrated solutions to the Asian region providing customers with global reach. Through acquisitions, Toll has expanded in Singapore/Southeast Asia, China and U.S./Europe freight forwarding. Its largest vertical industry is Retail/Food & Beverage at 32% of total revenues.






Logwin has subsidiaries for automotive, fashion/lifestyle/media and furniture. Nearly 70% of its revenue is Germany and Austria based. Logwin has two business segments: Solutions (contract logistics) and Air + Ocean. Each business segment generates half of total revenue.



NNR Global Logistics




NNR Global Logistics is one of six business segments of Japan's Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., Ltd. It started out in the air cargo handing business in 1948. Today, its primary services include international air and ocean freight forwarding, customs brokerage, and inland transportation services. It handles over 250,000 metric tons of air freight and 120,000 ocean TEUs annually. Semiconductors, electronics and electronic components, telecommunications equipment, and chemicals and other dangerous goods are the primary commodities handled. It has five logistics centers in Japan and is TAPA Class A certified.


Dimerco Express




Dimerco Express is a top international air freight forwarder and successful 3PL. Its gross revenues are $481 million on a mix of air and ocean freight, warehousing, China domestic transportation management and other 3PL activities. Its net income runs $4 million. Dimerco is very strong in Southeast Asia and in China. Asia generates 80% of its revenue, North America generates 18% and Europe accounts for 2%. Over 80% of Dimerco’s revenues come from high-tech vertical industry customers which include: Acer, Anixter, BenQ, D-Link, Delta, Emerson, Epson, Kingston Technology, Logitech, Netgear, and Samsung. Sister company, Diversified Transportation, has trucking operations in China and Taiwan.

*Revenues are company reported or Armstrong & Associates, Inc. estimates and have been converted to US$ using the average exchange rate in order to make non-currency related growth comparisons.  Freight forwarders are ranked using a combined overall average based on their individual rankings for gross revenue, ocean freight TEUs and air freight metric tons.

**TEUs shown are a combination of freight forwarding, NVOCC, booking agent and custom broker activities.

Copyright © 2015 Armstrong & Associates, Inc.

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Last modified: 02/07/16