Transportation & Logistics Industry Update

Key Trends in the Industry

Third-Party Perspective: How Leading 3PLs Sustain Competitive Advantage in a Dynamic Market

In this highly active segment, how can investors identify a best-in-class 3PL? And what are the keys for a 3PL to get a premium outcome from a sale? Harris Williams recently advised on the sale of three premier platforms in the 3PL industry. All of the platforms were very attractive to investors and drew strong interest, but each company delivers value in a different way. Their one common characteristic is that they offer a unique value proposition to shippers wrestling with the need to manage accelerated delivery schedules, supply chain complexity, service level demands, and cost.

In this article, Jeff Burkett, James O’Malley and Jonathan Meredith share their perspectives on the dynamics attracting investors to the 3PL sector today, and discuss the differentiation that enabled three premiere platforms to achieve highly successful outcomes in their recent sales.

What We’re Reading

Logistics | New Legislation Focuses on Upping Multimodal Freight Investment

Legislation introduced earlier this month by Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), whom also serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, takes a hard look at giving non-highway freight-based transportation infrastructure initiatives a more prominent seat at the table.

Trucking | Motor Carriers Turning Down Record Amounts of Freight in Current Peak Season

Trucking executives report they are rejecting record amounts of freight in this current booming peak freight season. “We’re turning down freight,” Myron P. “Mike” Shevell, chairman and CEO of Shevell Group, tells Logistics Management. “We could probably double our business if we had the drivers.”

Rail | Continuing Intermodal Gains Seen by Executives of Class I Rail Firms

Total North American intermodal volumes for the quarter ended June 30 were up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. “Higher fuel prices, tight over-the-road capacity and a strong economic performance were factors attributed to this advance,” said Joni Casey, IANA’s president and chief executive officer.

Marine | U.S. West Coast Trend Continues: Port of Oakland Shatters Record for Peak Season Cargo Volume

Similar to other West Coast ocean cargo gateways, a record-breaking peak season continues at the Port of Oakland.  The port said today that last month was the busiest September for import cargo in its 91-year history.

Air | Winners and Losers of Exit from Universal Postal Union

The U.S. Department of State has exited from the Universal Postal Union to mitigate the impact of subsidization of small parcel shipments coming into the U.S. from abroad, especially China. With the US Postal Service starting to charge market rates, global integrators may suddenly become more competitive.

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Recent M&A Transactions​


Our Group

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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1. FactSet

2. MergerMarket

3. Pitchbook


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