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The logistics industry saw something this month it hasn't seen in years--nearly $1 billion in merger activity in one week.
Exel and TNT Post Group spent a combined $905 million--most of it cash--to acquire Tibbett & Britten and Wilson Logistics, respectively. Taken together, those purchases may be the largest and most significant acquisitions since the merger of Ocean Group and NFC created Exel in 2000 and Duetsche Post World Net's combination of Danzas and AEI.
The size and scope of the acquisitions are a clear signal that the logistics industry has crossed threshold in its process of restructuring through mergers big and small, and it points to a resurgence in logistics activity ahead as world economies bounce back from a long, slow recovery.
The acquisitions also underscore the potential for a new wave of acquisitions and more rapid consolidation in the global logistics industry and even greater convergence of the logistics, forwarding, transportation and technology industries.
Shippers will win as a result, gaining more and better service from larger scale multinational logistics players. But the price may be the loss of many midtier players--a ranking that includes companies as large as $2.6 …