XPO Truck_Day3

XPO Logistics could agree its next acquisition as early as this month, chief executive Bradley Jacobs told The Loadstar in the aftermath of delivering record quarterly results yesterday.

“The timeline for agreeing our next acquisition is between three weeks and nine months,” he said.

In a later call with financial analysts, Mr Jacobs explained that XPO’s main criteria for takeover targets was firms with similar business lines that are mostly asset-light with relatively low CapEx requirements, although he added that that didn’t rule out the acquisition of logistics operators with larger asset investment requirements.

“Any acquisition that we do will be both strategically compelling to our customers and highly accretive to our earnings, to our EBITDA per share. That is sacrosanct in our philosophy. There’s no conflict on that.

“In terms of CapEx intensity, the vast majority of the ones that we’re looking at are asset light. There’s a small number of the ones we’re looking at, that have higher CapEx as a percentage of revenue than we do. It’s not our first choice. We keep an open mind to that at the right price.

“Something that would be more asset-intensive would have to be a very, very compelling price. But I don’t want to signal to you that we’re likely to do something asset heavy because we’re not. But if we were, it would have to be something that was extremely, extremely accretive,” he said.

XPO issued another set of strong quarterly results yesterday, posting revenues of $4.19bn, a growth of 18.4% year-on-year, and an adjusted EBITDA of $330.2m for the quarter, compared with $290m in the same period in 2017.

XPO’s transportation division posted revenue of $2.77bn for the quarter, a 16% increase from the same period in 2017, and its adjusted EBITDA was $265.6m, a growth of 13.6%, largely as a result of the growth in North American freight brokerage and European dedicated truckload volumes.

Its logistics division posted a revenue of $1.45bn for the quarter, up 23.2% increase from the same period in 2017, and adjusted EBITDA was up 28.2% year-on-year to $111.9m.

It said the increase in revenue was “led by strong global demand for e-commerce contract logistics, as well as gains from the industrial sector in North America and the fashion sector in Europe, particularly in the UK, Netherlands, Spain and Italy”.

And the quarter also saw XPO unveil a series of new breakthrough technologies, Mr Jacobs added.

“We’re making disciplined investments in innovation and sales to propel long-term growth. We recently introduced our digital freight marketplace, smart warehouse platform and voice integration for consumer self-service.

“In April, we announced XPO Direct, a shared-space distribution network of warehouses and last mile hubs that gives customers flexible capacity.

“But my personal favourite is C3 XPO [a name coined in homage to the Star Wars character], which is our autonomous security robot.

“It moves around the parking lots, around our facilities, monitors them 24/7, it does all kinds of cool stuff where it compares the license plates in the parking lot to a master-approved list; it scans vehicles with thermal imaging sensors; and it detects a vehicle that’s got a warm engine where other cars may be cold.

“If it finds something suspicious, the robot can do alarms, both visual and audible.

“We test piloted this in Atlanta last year and reduced the money that we pay third-party human security firms by a significant amount, and now we’re expanding it out throughout the organisation,” he said.


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