It is often quoted that today’s people live in a Global Village. This means that the entire world is interconnected like never before. Growth in technology and infrastructure has created an ecosystem where you can communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world instantaneously and travel anywhere in the world quite conveniently.
In this hyper-connected world, the role of Logistics is of paramount importance. Logistics can be defined as the commercial activity of transporting goods from the suppliers/manufacturers to the end customers or to other companies. The business of logistics earns billions of dollars in revenue each year and provides employment to millions of skilled and unskilled workers. Take a look at the top 10 best logistics companies in the world in 2018.
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Panalpina is a Swiss company which started its operations in the year 1935. Today, the Panalpina Group has 500 offices across 70 countries and has partner companies working in additional 90 countries. It covers 9 core industries – Fashion, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Automobile, Chemicals, Consumer and Retail, Energy, Hi-Tech, and Perishables. With a revenue of $5,196 million in 2016, the group employs more than 15,000 workers across the world.
CEVA was founded in 1946 in Australia by a man called Ken Thomas. It was then called TNT (Thomas Nationwide Transport) and was started with just one truck! In 1996, TNT got taken over by a Dutch company called KPN. The company then got its functions divided into three areas – Logistics, Express, and Post. Ten years later, the Logistics division of TNT was sold to Apollo Management LP which renamed it to CEVA, which now provides services at 950 locations worldwide. It caters to the Automobile, Healthcare, Retail and Energy sectors. CEVA provides air, ocean and ground transportation. It generated a revenue of $6,646 million in 2016.
8. C.H. Robinson
This Fortune 500 Company was founded in 1905 by Charles Henry Robinson in partnership with Fred Parks Nash and Willis King Nash as a wholesale produce brokerage firm. Headquartered in Minnesota, USA, the company has over 46,000 customers and operates in America, Europe, and Asia. The company is a third-person logistics provider, meaning that it maintains its operations by partnering with 66,000 transportation providers worldwide, including contract motor carriers, railroads, air freight carriers, and waterway carriers. The group generated a revenue of $13.47 billion in 2015.
7. Nippon Express
This is a Japanese company that was established in 1937 as a semi-government transportation enterprise by combining several small-time Japanese rail transport carriers. Headquartered in Tokyo, the company went public in 1950 and was re-established into a private company. Nippon employs more than 33,153 employees in 29 areas of operations across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. The company is a one-stop solution provider, right from Procurement Logistics to Distribution Logistics and generated a revenue of $17.07 billion as of May 2017.
6. DB Schenker
This European company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn. The Schenker group specializes in providing tailor-made solutions for complex industries such as Oil and Gas, Aerospace, Marine Parts, Solar Energy, etc. apart from the regular industries. It has 2000 plus locations and around 95,700 employees, pumping out a revenue of $18.9 billion to date for 2017. The company also focuses on environment-friendly initiatives.
5. Kuehne + Nagel
This company was founded in 1890 in Bremen, Germany by August Kühne and Friedrich Nagel. Kahn + Nagel provides services to industries such as Aerospace, FMCG, Forests, Hotels and Marine Parts. It employs 63,000 workers across over 100 countries. They are arguably the best sea freight forwarder in the world, has maintained a double-digit growth rate year after year, with a company turnover of $16.5 billion in 2016.
SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de for français) or the French National Railways Company is headquartered in Monaco, France. It is France’s state-owned railway company and has several subsidiary logistics firms. The company has 43,000 employees and provides expertise in 5 areas – Freight Forwarding, Supply Chain Optimisation, Road Transport, Express delivery and Contract Logistics. SNCF generated a gross revenue of €31.4 billion in 2015.
FedEx or Federal Express was founded in 1971 and is an American company headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. It has a fleet of 325,000 employees working worldwide, providing services such as post delivery, express mail, freight forwarding and third-party logistics. FedEx is one of the most recognisable brands in the world. They provide courier services for regular customers like us as well. In 2017, the company generated an impressive $60.32 billion in revenues. FedEx has no intentions of stopping here. They plan to continue to grow their business network by forming new alliances and covering more countries via e-commerce and technology.
UPS (United Parcel Services) Supply Chain Solutions is headquartered in Georgia. It was founded in 1907 as American Messenger Company by a man called James Casey. UPS has two stand-out features. Firstly, UPS is helping small e-commerce start-ups grow their business by tying up with them and taking care of their procurement needs, which UPS believes is important for sustainability. Secondly, UPS is known for its smooth tracking and return process. The company, which boasted a record $61 billion in annual revenues in 2016, topped the list in the 2017 Forbes Global 2000 ranking of the world’s logistics companies. It continues to grow, thanks to the increasing users of online shopping on sites such as Amazon and eBay.
DHL Express Logistics is a subsidiary of a German company called Deutsche Post DHL covering deliveries worldwide. DHL Logistics provides complete logistics solutions including Freight transportation, Warehousing, and Distribution, Customs, Security and Insurance, Supply Chain Solutions and Industry Sector-specific solutions. The core industry sectors in which they operate include Life Sciences & Healthcare, Technology, Energy, Automobile Engineering & Manufacturing. Their vision is to be the “The Logistics Company for the world”. And they are definitely getting there! Everyone can recognise the famous yellow DHL delivery vans plying our city roads. Headquartered in Florida, USA, the company provides services across 3 regions – Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe and has a workforce of over 325,000 employees. The company is into Green initiatives as well and posted a staggering revenue of €57.3 billion in 2016.
The Logistics business is rightly called the backbone of all other industries. Procurement and Supply Chain services are crucial for any industry’s, and even country’s, growth. Not to forget the billions of dollars and employment opportunities that the logistics business generates. So the next time you receive delivery from your favorite online store, remember to thank the delivery guys!