XPO Logistics

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XPO Logistics, Inc.
Traded as
Predecessor Express-1 Expedited Solutions
Headquarters Greenwich, Connecticut, United States
Number of locations
1,505 (2018)
Key people
Revenue Increase US$ 15.38 billion (2017)
Increase US$ 623.2 million (2017)
Increase US$ 360.2 million (2017)
Total assets Increase US$ 12.60 billion (2017)
Total equity Increase US$ 4.01 billion (2017)
Number of employees
~97,000 (2018)
  • XPO Less-than-Truckload
  • XPO Global Forwarding
  • Intermodal
  • Freight Brokerage
  • Last Mile
  • Supply Chain
Website XPO.com
Footnotes / references

XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSEXPO) is a U.S. corporation and one of the world's ten largest providers of transportation and logistics services.[5] It was founded in 1989 as Express-1 Expedited Solutions, which specialized in moving time-sensitive freight. After Express-1 was purchased by Bradley Jacobs in 2011, it changed its name to XPO and began acquiring other companies in the transportation and logistics industries.

Today XPO operates in supply chain management; truckload, less-than-truckload and expedited shipping; freight brokerage; last-mile delivery; intermodal freight transport and drayage; and global freight forwarding. It has approximately 50,000 customers in 32 countries around the world, including 67 of the Fortune 100. XPO's corporate headquarters is located in Greenwich, Connecticut. Its European headquarters is in Lyon, France.[6]


XPO Logistics was founded in May 1989 by Michael Welch and Keith Avery as Express-1 Expedited Solutions.[7] In September 2011, American businessman Bradley Jacobs gained approximately 71 percent ownership in Express-1 with a $150 million investment through his firm, Jacobs Private Equity LLC.[8][9] He assumed the roles of chairman of the board and CEO, announced plans to move the company's headquarters from Michigan to Connecticut, and changed its name to XPO Logistics – a reference to Express-1's NYSE ticker symbol XPO, which had been in use since 2006.[10][11]

In March 2012, XPO made the first of 17 acquisitions in four years in the transportation and logistics sector (See § Acquisitions, below.), and opened a national operations center in Charlotte, N.C.[12] Three months later on June 14, the company listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.[13]

XPO joined the Fortune 500 in June 2016, and was named its the fastest-growing company the following month.[14][15] It is 186th on the list as of May 21, 2018.[16]


XPO has acquired 17 companies between September 2011 and October 2015, with the goal of becoming a one-stop shop for supply chain services.[17] Some of the larger ones helped expand XPO’s role in different segments of the industry:

  • August 16, 2013: 3PD, Inc. This made XPO the largest provider of heavy goods home delivery (its last mile business) in North America.
  • December 28, 2013: National Logistics Management (a Landstar System business). This made XPO North America’s largest online manager of expedited shipments.[18]
  • March 31, 2014: Pacer International, Inc. Pacer was the third-largest intermodal provider in North America and the leading provider of these services between the U.S. and Mexico.[19]
  • September 2, 2014: New Breed Logistics. New Breed was a large U.S. provider of 3PL services for blue chip customers.[20][21]
  • June 8, 2015: Norbert Dentressangle. A French 3PL, this acquisition gave XPO the largest trucking fleet in Europe, and made it Europe's largest provider of e-commerce fulfillment.[22][23]
  • October 30, 2015: Con-way Inc. After purchasing Con-way, XPO became the second largest less-than-truckload transport provider in North America. Con-way also had operations in global contract logistics, managed transportation, truckload shipping, and freight brokerage.[24][25]

In June 2017, XPO announced plans to spend $6 to $8 billion on one or two new acquisitions,[26] more than the combined costs of Norbert Dentressangle and Con-way, XPO's two largest purchases to date.[27][28] Prospective companies are reportedly multinational, asset-light, and headquartered in North America or Western Europe.[29]


XPO Logistics handles the end-to-end management of goods for companies around the world. Its services include supply chain management; truckload, less-than-truckload and expedited shipping; freight brokerage; last-mile delivery; intermodal freight transport and drayage; and global freight forwarding. Many of these are consolidated under XPO Direct, a shared-space distribution model that "rents out" XPO's existing space to retailers, so they can offer two-day delivery to 95% of U.S. households.[30][31] XPO uses data analysis to predict demand and position goods within the XPO Direct network.[32]

XPO's operations are part of the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under the program, freight shippers, carriers and logistics companies voluntarily collaborate to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.[33]

Expedited shipping[edit]

Before changing its name, XPO began as Express-1 Expedited Solutions, a company that specialized in transporting time-critical, high-value ground and air shipments.[7] XPO is now the largest manager of expedited shipments in North America.[34]

Freight brokerage[edit]

Freight brokerage involves connecting road carriers with companies that need to ship freight, whether it's raw material, parts or finished goods. XPO is the second-largest brokerage provider in the world,[35] with about 50,000 independent carriers who operate over one million trucks.[36] Brokerages are managed on XPO's Freight Optimizer platform, which ranks the carriers based on the amount and types of goods they move.[37]

Intermodal and drayage[edit]

XPO owns or leases 9,500 53-ft. intermodal containers and 5,000 chassis to transport them by road, making it the third-largest intermodal provider in North America.[38] It operates a drayage network of 2,200 independent owner-operators, with access to more than 25,000 additional trucks.[4][39] XPO's intermodal and drayage businesses have run on a custom platform called Rail Optimizer since 2015.

Last mile delivery[edit]

Last mile is the delivery and assembly of heavy or bulky goods that aren't handled by parcel carriers. XPO is the largest provider of last-mile deliveries in North America.[40] It facilitates over 13 million per year through a network of 5,000 contracted drivers and installers.[41]

About 77% of the U.S. population lives within 125 miles of an XPO last mile delivery center.[42][43] The company is increasing its U.S. footprint to 85 locations by the end of 2018, which would let it reach 90% of customers.[44] XPO is actively expanding services in Europe, with 750,000 last mile deliveries expected in 2018.[45]

Less-than-truckload transport[edit]

XPO is one of the world’s largest providers of less-than-truckload (LTL) transport: the shipment of pallets to different destinations using a hub-and-spoke distribution system. It is the second-largest LTL carrier in North America and the largest in Europe, with 16,000 tractors and 39,000 trailers.[22][23][40] XPO's network includes 457 cross-dock facilities and the most next-day and two-day shipping lanes in North America.[46][47]

Third-party logistics[edit]

XPO is the second-largest global provider of third-party contract logistics, or 3PL: the management of other companies' transportation and logistics needs over the long term.[18] It operates 810 warehouses with 183 million square feet of space for omnichannel order fulfillment; e-commerce warehousing and distribution; the handling of returned goods (reverse logistics); supply chain optimization; factory and aftermarket support; and managed transportation, including the transportation of hazardous or temperature-sensitive materials.[4][48] Its 3PL customers operate in retail, e-commerce, high tech,[49] aerospace, telecom,[50] food and beverage,[51] healthcare,[52] agriculture and infrastructure.[53]

Tour de France[edit]

XPO has handled logistics for the annual Tour de France bicycle race for 38 years. It transports 360 tons of official equipment over 270,000 kilometers during the event, including podiums, barriers and gates, furniture, audiovisual equipment, sponsor merchandise, and marking paint.[54] It also manages logistics for a Tour de France sister competition, the Tour de France à la voile yachting race.[55]


XPO Logistics spends $450 million a year on hardware and software development.[56] On the hardware side, the company is building robots and drones that handle inventory management with built-in RFID scanners and OCR cameras.[57][58]

XPO has built various software platforms to manage different operations. Its 3PL warehouses run a cloud-based, mobile-optimized manager called WMx, which consolidates common warehouse functions such as inventory, robot automation, order management, load assignment, GPS tracking, proof of delivery and invoicing.[59]

For its brokerage business, XPO's Freight Optimizer and Rail Optimizer use data mining to predict prices and position goods, both within warehouses and around North America as part of XPO Direct (see Operations above).[32][60] They also feed into XPO Connect, an online marketplace for different modes of freight transportation that works with Drive XPO, a mobile app for truck drivers.[61]

For its last mile business, XPO integrated support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and augmented reality into its Ship XPO app, which lets retailers and their customers track heavy-goods shipments.[62] Customers can ask for delivery updates from the voice assistants, and use AR visualization to preview furniture and appliances in their homes.[63][64]

XPO's expedite bid system uses an automated, web-based auction portal to match loads to carriers.[65]

Awards and recognition[edit]


Transport Topics listed XPO among the Top 25 Freight Brokerage Firms of 2012,[66] and the #1 logistics company in both 2017 and 2018.[67][68] Logistics Management named XPO to its list of the Top 50 Trucking Companies in 2016,[69] and Logistics Manager named it 3PL of the Year in 2017.[70] In Italy, Assologistica named XPO Logistics Company of the Year for 2017.[71]

In 2016, Forbes named XPO #17 on its list of the Most Innovative Growth Companies, and #263 on its list of America's Best Employers.[72] XPO was named the top performing U.S. company among Forbes' Global 2000 Growth Champions in 2017,[73] and #16 on the overall list in 2018.[74]

XPO was named fourth among transportation companies on Fortune's list of the World's Most Admired Companies of 2018.[75]

In May 2018, Gartner recognized XPO Logistics as a leader in its Magic Quadrant for global third-party logistics providers.[76]


In 2015, XPO earned the SmartWay Excellence Award for environmental improvement.[77] The company has been an Inbound Logistics G75 Supply Chain Partner since 2017.[78][79]


XPO was named one of Italy's Best Places to Work by Panorama in 2017,[80] and one of Glassdoor's Best Places to Work for 2018 in the United Kingdom.[81]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]