Due to the nature of the market, there are a wide variety of transportation and logistics multinationals:
- Carriers. Responsible for transporting passengers and freight across borders with equipment that they own or lease and for which they derive revenue. Their main assets are mobile fleets of oceangoing ships, aircraft, or rail equipment that are made available through negotiated contracts or at a current market (spot) rate if they are able to make capacity available on short notice. Carriers such as Maersk (the largest container shipping line), Emirates (a world-class air passenger and freight carrier based in Dubai) and BSNF (a major North American rail carrier) are among the world’s largest in their respective modes.
- Terminal operators. Responsible for transshipping passengers or freight at terminal facilities such as ports, airports, and intermodal yards. Some terminal facilities are privately owned and operated, while others, particularly in the port and airport sector, are publicly owned and leased to private operators through concessions. Terminal operators such as HPH (headquartered in Hong Kong) have a substantial portfolio of assets positioned across the world.
- Logistics service providers. Firms offer a variety of transport and warehousing services through the arrangement of supply chains. Some own assets, such as warehouses and vehicles, while others contract third parties, such as carriers and terminal operators to handle their cargo. DHL is the world’s largest third-party logistics services provider.