M&A © Diane Picard
© Diane Picard


Looking at Ti Insight’s M&A database, it becomes apparent which sectors have seen the most activity over the past 25 years and highlights what role state players have played in consolidation. Accounting for almost two thirds of deal volumes, the four largest industry segments, are Contract Logistics, Freight Forwarding, Road Freight and Express and Parcels. 


Of the fours sectors mentioned, ‘Express and Parcels’ is by far the smallest in terms of market size, and consequently the number of deals is, in relative terms, much greater than that in the other sectors. One of the reasons for this apparent disparity is that all the major express companies as well as many Post Offices have been highly acquisitive. In order to build scale quickly, these companies have bought multiple smaller domestic competitors, which have subsequently been integrated into global or regional networks. The same is true of M&A in the road freight/trucking sector. Both in Europe and in the US, multiple acquisitions have been made to build out groupage/less-than-truckload networks.

Deal volumes by major logistics player

The Ti database shows how many of the industry’s biggest deal makers themselves became consolidated into even bigger, more aggressive conglomerations. For example, we can see that UK-based but global logistics player Tibbett & Britten was acquired by Exel, which in turn was acquired by Deutsche Post DHL…

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