M&A in the Trucking Market

MandAIt’s official: The transportation and logistics industry is a hotbed of mergers and acquisitions. Major transportation company FedEx is currently in the process of finalizing its most recent deal to buy European delivery company TNT. The $4.8 billion TNT acquisition marks the shipping giant’s second major acquisition of the year, and they are not alone.

Other major players in the transportation and logistics sector, including UPS, C.H. Robinson and Stagecoach, have purchased subsidiaries, boosting their market shares and obtaining access to more operational capacity and capital. According to the Journal of Commerce, 54 M&A deals were struck in the first quarter of 2015 alone, for a total value of $27.2 billion. Not only is the number of acquisitions climbing, but deal values have been massive as well, with 55 percent valued at more than $1 billion.

A combination of factors is spurring these megadeals. First, large companies are looking to expand, but organic growth in the transportation business has been sluggish due to tightening regulations and a severe lack of capacity. For large companies with strong balance sheets, an easy way to gain additional trucking capacity is simply to buy it.

Trucking PricesSecond, transportation and logistics companies are constantly looking to broaden their service offerings and geographic reach. For example, FedEx’s acquisition of Genco helped FedEx boost their ability to process returns and provide other third-party logistics services, and their intended purchase of TNT will significantly help them expand into the European market. Strategic moves such as these are helping companies take on their competition and expand into new markets.

“The M&A market is thriving because it’s still hard to get drivers, and acquisitions are the easiest way for a carrier to grow,” said Jason Seidl, analyst, Cowen & Co.

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