Who Are the Key Players in Freight Transport?

The global freight transport industry — responsible for getting all types of commercial goods to their final destinations by road, rail, sea, and air — is worth over $28 billion. Besides the mode of transport, this field can be divided into types by distance, type of cargo, region, and end user. The key players in the global freight transport market comprise household names that most people are familiar with, as well as industry giants that largely remain in the shadows when it comes to the general public.

Who Are the Key Players in Freight Transport?

DHL Paket GmbH

DHL, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post, isn’t just a leader in parcel delivery. The German company also takes up a large share of the global forwarding market. The group as a whole made $81 billion in 2021. DHL Express represents the largest market segment, with global forwarding and freight taking second place.

Yellow Corporation

Headquartered in Kansas, Yellow Corporation is a major player in the freight transport market. Its subsidiary YRC Freight is famous for LTL (less than truckload) shipping, and the logistics company remains a major player despite a history of significant losses.

CEVA Logistics

CEVA Logistics plays a key role in the global supply chain, covering ground, ocean, and air freight, as well as logistics, value-added services, and customs brokerage services. Their annual revenue exceeds $12, and the global company employs more than 100,000 workers.


A.P. Møller Mærsk is a Danish-founded inland and ocean shipping company specializing in logistics and port management, with subsidiaries across the globe. Its annual revenue exceeds $14 billion, making Maersk a household name and an industry giant.

Nippon Yusen

Nippon Yusen is a Japanese freight transport company that operates a fleet of cargo ships and covers air transport, automotive transport, and logistics. Its annual revenue exceeds $19 billion, and the company plays a key role in the global freight transport industry.


FedEx is another famous multinational LTL freight company that serves the consumer market as well as the global industry. The FedEx network includes customs brokerage services, warehousing, and forward depots. The company’s annual revenue is routinely over $84 billion, making FedEx a player that’s impossible to ignore.

Estes Express Lines

Estes Express Lines is the fourth largest freight carrier in the United States. Specializing in LTL freight, final-mile services, logistics, and custom brokerage services, Estes Express Lines’ annual revenue is around $4 billion.

Saia Motor Freight Line

Saia Motor Freight Line is an LTL company based in the state of Georgia with an annual revenue of over $22 million. They have acquired multiple smaller LTL companies in recent years. Saia plays an increasingly crucial role in freight transport within the United States, as well as Mexico and Canada.

Key Players in Freight Transport

The global freight transport market is not only one of the most profitable fields in today’s hyper-connected world, but it is also set to experience a shocking growth rate of 11 percent over the coming years.

Global players dominate the landscape, but smaller companies are responsible for a large portion of regional supply chain management. DHL, Yellow Corporation, CEVA Logistics, Maersk, Nippon Yusen, Estes, and Saia are among the key players in the global freight transport market. This dynamic industry remains in flux thanks to mergers and takeovers, however, so the landscape may change drastically over the coming years.

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