Top 10 Logistics Companies in the World (2018)

The top 10 logistics companies in the world are accounting for billions of dollars in revenues every year and providing some of the most vital services to countless businesses around the world. As the international trade flow and the modern economic environment continue to evolve, the usage of logistics services in a variety of sectors, such as manufacturing, retail, trade, government and public utilities, healthcare, media and entertainment, telecommunication, banking and financial services, and information technology is rising significantly. These top 10 logistics companies in the world, such as DHL, UPS, and FedEx have been dominating the global logistics market for decades, and their leadership in the market is expected to be further strengthened in the future, driven by soaring logistics demand in the booming global economic landscape.


What Does Logistics Mean and What Is a Logistics Company?


Logistics simply means moving things from A to B for business purposes, it is a critical part of any business’ supply chain as it ensures optimal flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption. The term logistics in the modern economy not only refers to moving physical items like products, materials, or equipment but also covers the management of time and information within the supply chain. Businesses usually manage their own logistics or outsource it to third-party logistics service providers (3PL) for their business needs.  So, a logistics company is the service provider of storing, shipping and delivering items to different locations. Most contract logistics companies or 3PL companies handle various aspects of an integration of logistic process, including supply chain management, materials handling, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, delivering and often security.


Global Logistics Market Overview


According to the latest market research from TMR, the global logistics market size is expected to reach a total valuation of US$15.5 trillion by 2023, registering an impressive CAGR of 7.5% from 2016 to 2024. the rising of the global trade activities in the developing countries and the rapid development of global logistics infrastructure, coupled with the advancement in information technology and transportation sector are some of the major factors that are driving the growth of the global logistics market. Currently, roadway transportation is the leading type in the global logistics market and is expected to maintain this trend in the near future. Geographically, Asia Pacific led the global logistics market due to the significant contribution from countries such as China, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, and Malaysia. China is the major contributor to the growth in this region owing to its large manufacturing base and huge logistics investment. Here we break down the top 10 logistics companies in the world in 2018 from various sectors including international freight forwarding companies, trucking companies, and list of list of freight forwarding companies.


Top 10 Logistics Companies in the World (2018)




DHL Express Logistics is a subsidiary of a German company called Deutsche Post DHL. DHL serves both individuals and business customers with solutions which includes warehousing and distribution, customs, insurance, supply chain solutions, freight transportation, and industry sector solutions. Today, DHL employs over 325,000 people and operates across three significant regions namely the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe. In the fiscal year of 2016, the company reported worldwide revenues of 57 billion euros. DHL also tops the list of freight forwarding companies in the world.




UPS Supply Chain Solutions is an American logistics company founded in 1907. Now it offers services including contract logistics, consulting services, industry solutions, transport and freight, and customs brokerage. The company mainly involves in the logistics services for industries such as healthcare, industrial manufacturing, aerospace and defines, automotive, customer services, professional services, and hi-tech. UPS generated $61 billion in annual revenues last year, thanks to the rising domestic and international package delivery service as shoppers increasingly shift their spending to e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay. UPS Supply Chain Solutions is one of the top ten 3pl companies in the world and the USA.




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. Its core services include post-delivery, express mail, third-party logistics, and freight forwarding. The company is known for shipping packages overnight and inventing real-time package tracking system which can find lost packages as well. In 2017, FedEx generated over $60 billion in revenues.




The SNCF Group is France’s state-owned railway company that employs 180,000 people across the world and provides expertise in 5 areas – Freight Forwarding, Supply Chain Optimisation, Road Transport, Express delivery and Contract Logistics. The company has transports 3 million vehicles every year with 3200 trucks and wagons in their STVA fleet.


Kuehne + Nagel


Kuehne + Nagel was founded in 1890 in Bremen, Germany. It is currently headquartered in Switzerland and provides supply chain solutions to industries like aerospace, FMCG, hotels, marine, and forests. Their product and services portfolio include airfreight, sea freight, over-land, contract logistics, and integrated logistics. The company is also considered one of the best sea freight forwarder in the world achieving double-digit growth year on year.


More: Top 10 Logistics Companies in India


DB Schenker


DB Schenker is subsidiary of German rail operator Deutsche Bahn AC. 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 around 95,700 employees and serves over 2000 locations across the world


Nippon Express


Nippon Express was established in 1937 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Nippon employs more than 33,153 employees across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. The company is a one-stop solution provider of Procurement Logistics and Distribution Logistics. Nippon Express specialised in transporting heavy goods, and handling installation and construction projects in Japan and abroad.


C.H. Robinson


C.H. Robinson was founded in 1905 and headquartered in Minnesota, USA, the company mainly 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.




CEVA, formerly known as TNT, was founded in 1946 in Australia. CEVA provides services at 950 locations worldwide. It caters to the Automobile, Technology, Healthcare, Retail and Energy sectors. CEVA provides air, ocean and ground transportation. It generated a revenue of about $7 billion in 2017.




Panalpina is a Swiss logistics company that was founded in 1935. Today, the Panalpina Group has 500 offices across 70 countries in the world and has partner companies working in additional 90 countries. It offers logistics services to 9 core industries – Fashion, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Automobile, Chemicals, Consumer and Retail, Energy, Hi-Tech, and Perishables.


Future Course for the Top 10 Logistics Companies in the World


While the global logistics market continues to boom, the competition among major vendors is also getting fiercer than ever. Logistics companies commonly deal with challenges such as low warehousing space, expensive inventory costs, and increased pollution levels when operating in the market. In order to stay at the top of the industry, these top 10 logistics companies in the world have been constantly working on the extension of their physical presence across different regions, service enhancement, and business development. It is predicted that these leading logistics services providers or top 3PL companies will remain the market leaders in the coming years. Meanwhile, the introduction of green logistics solutions and extension of trade agreements across the world could create a more profit-making business or these top 10 logistics companies in the near future.



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