The U.S. economy remains strong, which bodes well for activity in the Transportation and Logistics sector, however, recent turmoil in Greece and further debt obligations faced by Puerto Rico may lead buyers to act more cautious in the second half of the year. Still, all that cash on corporate balance sheets combined with near-record levels of “dry powder” on the private equity side has to be put to work.
US freight forwarding companies continue to increase their investments in Asian countries to benefit from growing US-Asia trade. By 2030 China is expected to surpass Mexico to become the second-largest US export trading partner, and South Korea is projected to become the fourth-largest market for US exports, according to a report released by HSBC and Oxford Economics in May 2015. Although Canada is expected to remain the top market for US exports, China, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam are forecast to be the fastest-growing markets for US goods, with annual growth of about 9%.
Consolidation has also had a strong effect on freight forwarding. As non-asset freight forwarders and third-party logistics firms consolidate and expand their service portfolios, smaller players are finding it more difficult than ever to compete. The growth of Internet-based exchanges that can serve small customers puts additional pressure on small, independent brokers. E-commerce growth and expansion of intermodal and LTL trucking transportation are fueling acquisitions among non-asset freight brokers and logistics firms. An example includes the merger of Coyote Logistics and Access America Transport in March 2014, which formed a multimodal company with more than $2 billion in annual revenue.
Posted by Doug Nix.