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The state of Logistics M&A in the US

The logistics industry in the United States has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven in large part by the rise of e-commerce and the increasing importance of supply chain management. As a result, there has been a surge in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity within the logistics sector. In this blog post, we'll explore the growth of logistics M&A in the United States and the factors driving this trend.

  1. Increasing Demand for E-commerce: E-commerce has transformed the retail industry, and the logistics sector has played a critical role in enabling this growth. As more consumers shift to online shopping, logistics companies have had to adapt to meet the increasing demand for fast and efficient delivery. M&A activity has been a way for companies to expand their capabilities and acquire new technologies to meet this demand.

  2. Supply Chain Management: Logistics is an integral part of supply chain management, which has become increasingly important for companies across all industries. Supply chain management involves coordinating the flow of goods and services from suppliers to customers, and logistics is a key component of this process. As companies seek to improve their supply chain efficiency, they are turning to M&A activity to acquire companies with specialized expertise and capabilities.

  3. Consolidation of the Industry: The logistics industry is highly fragmented, with numerous small and mid-sized players operating in the market. In recent years, there has been a trend towards consolidation as larger companies seek to acquire smaller players to expand their reach and capabilities. This consolidation has led to a surge in M&A activity within the industry.

  4. Technological Advances: The logistics industry has seen significant technological advances in recent years, including the use of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence. M&A activity has been a way for companies to acquire new technologies and intellectual property rights to stay ahead of the curve and improve their operations.

Despite the numerous drivers of M&A activity within the logistics industry, there are also challenges and risks associated with these transactions. M&A transactions can be complex and time-consuming, and the integration of two companies can be challenging. Furthermore, increased competition, lender requirements, and regulatory scrutiny can make it difficult for companies to successfully complete M&A transactions.

It is important especially in our post-COVID landscape to understand what a normalized level of performance looks like for an acquisition target. Many businesses in the logistics sector saw a dramatic increase in bottom line performance as supply and demand was drastically imbalanced during the pandemic. A period of deflation is on the horizon, so it is of utmost importance to a buyer to forecast what future performance will look like, and to adequately communicate with lenders and investors the rationale behind those forecasts. This leads into negotiations and seller valuation expectations as well, because as a buyer you never want to pay more for an asset than it is worth over the holding period. Cross Key Partners can absolutely help you in your acquisition journey by calling on our deep expertise in the logistics market to understand normalized performance.

In conclusion, the growth of logistics M&A in the United States is being driven by a combination of factors, including the rise of e-commerce, increasing demand for supply chain management, consolidation of the industry, and technological advances. While there are challenges and risks associated with M&A transactions, companies are turning to M&A activity as a way to expand their capabilities and stay competitive in the fast-evolving logistics industry. As a result, we can expect to see continued growth in logistics M&A activity in the coming years.


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