Global Logistics Market Insight Report 2016

Published: January 2016
No. of Pages: 82
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The logistics market is large, fragmented and populated by a wide range of differing companies. There are multinational companies offering a comprehensive range of logistics services leading the industry, down to smaller national freight forwarders, offering simple logistics services.

The market has been driven by consolidation over the last 20 years, with customers seeking fewer, larger providers that are able to manage complex supply chains on a global basis.

Global Logistics Market Insight Report 2016 provides an analytical overview of the Global Logistics market. It attempts to portray accurately the market structure, size, growth, trends and competitive landscape.


The key input to our logistics market size estimates is a bottom-up analysis of the revenues of the logistics companies we have identified as the leading global market participants. Adjustments have been made to compensate for missing data and to reflect the extent to which these companies are involved in other activities in addition to logistics.

We have used this data as the basis on which to construct our logistics market model

  • The model produces historical and forecast growth estimates covering the period 2009-2020 which are based on trends in company revenues and drivers such as economic performance.
  • The main model inputs and assumptions are discussed in detail in the report.

The main sources for the report:

  • Extensive desk research on the logistics market and its operators covering company accounts, websites and other sources
  • Published information on key market drivers such as economic data and outsourcing trends
  • Interviews with senior-level contacts in the market

The logistics market numbers do NOT include international or domestic parcel delivery, real estate, engineering or other activities. Some company revenues include parcel or other operations and are noted accordingly, but in most instances have been removed where reported for consistent comparisons.


  • Apex Insight believes that the global outsourced logistics market was valued at over US$760bn in 2015, having grown by almost 5% in 2015.
  • Market growth has been driven by both increased economic activity and the continued trend in outsourcing of logistics activities to third-parties, both new outsourcers and companies outsourcing more activities to third-parties.
  • The largest region in terms of outsourced logistics market size is Asia Pacific, followed by Europe and North America, with the Asia Pacific region having experienced faster growth in logistics market value than other regions.
  • Outsourcing penetration is highest in Europe, but levels are increasing quickly in Asia Pacific.

Key Trends

  • The trend of outsourcing business processes and supply chain activities continues to be a driver of logistics company revenues and hence market growth.
  • The growth of e-commerce is also creating an environment where supply chains are adapting to new models. Ecommerce is driving further logistics outsourcing to third-party supply chain specialists. Dedicated e-commerce warehousing and distribution contracts are increasingly being awarded to logistics providers.
  • A key trend in the global logistics industry is the provision of value-added services and bespoke solutions.
  • Logistics providers are increasing their focus on specific industry sectors such as high-technology, automotive and pharmaceuticals, and offering additional value-added services that make their services more relevant for client needs.
  • New technologies are finding their way into logistics services in order to improve productivity and enhance service. New logistics technologies being developed include vehicle management software, self-driving vehicles, robotics, internet of things applications and augmented reality.

Competitive Landscape

  • The leading logistics providers covered in this report generated combined 2014 logistics revenues of US$285bn, demonstrating that the global outsourced logistics industry remains fragmented and open to further consolidation.
  • The largest logistics providers are characterised by differing service lines, asset ownership models, geographical scope and types of customers they serve.
  • The top three groups are all based in Europe: DPDHL is the largest provider globally, followed by Kuehne & Nagel and DB Schenker Logistics. All three have grown slower than the market in recent years as they have consolidated the major acquisitions made in the past.
  • XPO Logistics has recently joined the top six as a result of its recent big acquisitions (Dentressangle and Con-Way).
  • The revenue growth rates (CAGR 2010-2014) of the leading logistics providers ranges from -4.6% (Wincanton) to 26.9% (Yusen Logistics).
  • Margins achieved ranged from -9.3% to 10.3% in 2014. Average margin in 2014 stood at 4.3%, having been relatively stable over the last four years.
  • Most, but not all, of the leading logistics providers operate on a global scale, covering more than one continent. Some have a significant presence in all regions (ie Europe, Americas, Asia Pacific and Middle East / Africa).
  • There has been significant mergers and acquisitions activity in the global logistics industry.

XPO Logistics has been at the forefront of acquisition activity in recent years, acquiring a number of logistics companies in various regions, including Norbert Dentressangle, Con-way and New Breed Logistics. Other notable acquisitions include:

  • DSV's proposed acquisition of UTi Worldwide
  • Geodis' acquisition of Ozburn-Hessey Logistics
  • Kintetsu World Express' acquisition of APL Logistics
  • Japan Post's acquisition of Toll Group
  • CH Robinson's acquisition of Freightquote
  • Goldman Sachs / Rhone Capital's acquisition of Neovia Logistics


  • Global freight volumes are cyclical and sensitive to the global economic environment. Hence, economic performance will continue to be a key driver of the market.
  • Market growth will also be driven by the continued outsourcing of supply chain activity to third-party logistics providers. This includes increase in the scope of contracts when they are renewed.
  • However, a key factor which will offset the impact of this on market growth is the efficiency savings made by logistics providers which are passed back to clients.
  • Further consolidation is expected as logistics providers seek to add new service capabilities and geographical scope to enable them to support global clients and hence, build their position in the competitive global market.

Published By: Apex Insight
Product Code: Apex Insight107

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