Strongest start for US transport deals in seven years

PwC's US data shows continuing improvement in the transportation and logistics industry through H1 2015.

Far surpassing the same period last year, robust deal activity in the first half of 2015 drove gains of 15 percent in volume and 55 percent in value for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the transportation and logistics sector, according to Intersections, a quarterly report published by PwC US.

There were 61 announced transactions valued at $50 million or higher with a total value of $34.4 billion in Q2 2015 and 116 deals valued at $64 billion in the first half, as compared with 56 deals totaling $23 billion in last year's second quarter, and 101 transactions worth $40.8 billion in H1 2014.

“Deal value in the second quarter was the highest it has been in seven years,” said Jonathan Kletzel, US transportation and logistics leader for PwC. “Cross-border and service line expansion were key themes that drove the rationale for deals in the second quarter, particularly in advanced economies.”

“We expect cross-border activity to continue through the end of the year as businesses look to gain access in new markets and the strong dollar gives investors opportunities for outbound deals,” he continued.

PwC's research indicates that nine mega-deals, together worth $23.6 billion or 69 percent of quarterly deal value, were responsible for the rise over last year's numbers.

Trucking led with 28 percent of deal volume with three mega-deals totaling $7.6 billion. Logistics trailed slightly at 23 percent, but the sub-sector also saw the largest mega-deal, worth $4.8 billion.