For the past 33 years, Inc. has profiled the fastest growing 5,000 privately owned companies in the United States, identifying which companies are growing fastest (see the full report here).
Seeing as annual logistics costs in the United States are approximately 8% of the GDP, it stands to reason that logistics companies would figure prominently. Based on the compiled data, logistics and transportation was the 7th largest sector in terms of total revenue ($11.1 billion) but only the 16th in terms of growth rate (at a still impressive 115%).
An excellent article on the Journal of Commerce dives into the list, breaking down that 75% of the transportation and logistics companies on the list had less than $100 million in revenue in 2013, with another 34% making under $10 million. More importantly, perhaps, is that most of the faster growing logistics players (7/10) weren’t asset based. We found the revenue breakdown interesting and whipped up this chart to make the point:
Since we love the combination of logistics and technology, we dove even farther into the data and found something incredible. The number of logistics companies in the top 500 (6 in 2014) is a drop from last year (14), which was the most logistics and transportation companies included in the last 6 years. 2014 wasn’t all bad though. Between 2008-2013, an average of 16 logistics companies squeezed into the 1000 faster growing companies. As you can see from the below chart, 2014 has 19 companies – still a drop from 2013 but good anyways.
After reading JOC’s analysis of the top ten logistics companies, we also decided to take things one step farther. We went through the list of the top 50 growing logistics companies, from #1 (Intelligent Audit, a freight audit company that expanded revenue 3122% since 2012 to $318.8 million dollars), to #50 (Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine, which expanded revenue by 190%, to $2.6 million dollars).
Beyond JOC’s non-asset based insight, only 14 of the top were 3PLs that could support intermodal forwarding. As befits the US shipping industry, trucking companies were very well represented, including an additional 13 trucking companies. We checked out the 3PL websites to see how developed their web technology well and didn’t find a direct correlation; many of the forwarders were unable to provide instant, multi-modal freight quotes. However, every single top 50 website had a website (although #1 website was surprisingly difficult to find).
One notable 3PL that definitely deserves a shoutout was Coyote Logistics, which has been on every INC. 5000 ranking since 2008, despite only being founded in 2006. While it seems that growth has slowed down a bit (as expected from a huge company pushing one billion dollars a year in revenue), Coyote still made it in as one of the 2,000 fastest growing companies in the United States. However, the largest revenue recorded by a fast growing company was by Total Quality Logistics, which raked in $1.6 billion in revenue last year.