Transportation & Logistics Industry Update
What We’re Reading
Logistics | Why 3PL M&A Will Stay Hot in 2019
After a very active 2018 that saw continuous deal-making in the asset-light third-party logistics (3PL) space, high valuations and opportunities for scale and liquidity are driving sellers to market in 2019, while abundant capital and a target-rich environment filled with high-growth businesses are encouraging both strategic and private equity (PE) buyers.
The continued growth of e-commerce sales is leading to an increase in the use of single-unit trucks, and a decline in the average length of haul, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. Consumers are increasingly focused on delivery speed, driving retailers to decentralize their distribution networks and bring inventory closer to their customers.
BNSF plans to spend the largest amount since 2015 on expansion and efficiency projects, with the railroad’s major intermodal lanes seeing much of that investment. The spending comes after a record year for container movements, as the U.S. West Coast pushed more domestic and international containers onto the rail.
The multi-billion appropriations bill for fiscal 2019 included first-time funding dedicated to port infrastructure, with the nation’s top 15 container ports receiving special treatment. The spending bill provides nearly $300 million for coastal ports as part of a Port Infrastructure Grant Program, the first such program dedicated specifically to seaports.
Freighter aircrafts will continue to play an important role in air cargo supply chains, experts say. Despite the growth in big bellied passenger aircraft fleets, freighters will maintain a 50-50 market share versus below deck cargo.
Harris Williams is a leading advisor to the transportation and logistics M&A market. Our Transportation & Logistics Group serves companies in a broad range of attractive niches, including third-party logistics (3PL), truck, rail, marine and air transportation, transportation equipment, and the automotive and heavy duty vehicle market.
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