Business Strategy and Outlook| Matthew Young, CFA |
Expeditors International ranks among the top 10 global freight forwarders in a fragmented industry, and its record of impressive financial performance leads the pack. The company operates more than 250 offices on six continents, with a core focus on Asia-North America trade lanes, though it's also been gradually expanding its presence on key intra-China and European freight lanes. As a global forwarder, the company contracts with airlines and ocean carriers for cargo space then fills that capacity with customers' freight. A large customs brokerage operation (including warehousing and distribution services) complements air and ocean services, along with multimodal and final-mile delivery services in North America (Transcon). Expeditors' asset-light model generates impressive returns on capital, with help from its wide economic moat, which is rooted in the network effect.