The Top 10 Logistics Companies in Europe: A Detailed Comparison

Top 10 Logistics Companies in Europe
Credit: iStock

Advertorial: This post contains sponsored content, advertisements, or affiliate links. Read our full advertorial disclosure here.

The logistics industry in Europe is thriving as companies seek to improve their supply chain operations and transportation networks. With over $350 billion in revenue, Europe accounts for over 30% of the global logistics market.

As business grows in Europe, particularly with the expansion of e-commerce, demand rises for sophisticated, efficient, and affordable logistics services. Companies must choose the right logistics partner to meet their unique distribution, transportation, warehousing, and freight forwarding needs.

This article provides a detailed comparison of The Top 10 Logistics Companies in Europe in 2024 to help you find the right solution for your business.

An Overview of the Top 10 Logistics Companies in Europe in 2024

The top players in the European logistics industry include a mix of international conglomerates, national post services, and domestic logistics specialists:

  • DHL
  • DB Schenker
  • DSV
  • Kuehne + Nagel
  • XPO Logistics
  • DPDgroup
  • GEFCO
  • PostNL
  • FM Logistic
  • ID Logistics

These market-leading companies offer varied advantages in areas such as global reach, technology solutions, contract logistics expertise, and domestic transportation networks. Most provide standard services like:

  • Air, ocean and ground freight
  • Warehousing and fulfillment
  • Distribution and last-mile delivery
  • Customs brokerage
  • Supply chain optimization

However, some specialize in specific regions, industries, or service offerings tailored to market demand. This list provides an overview of Europe’s top logistics providers based on market share, revenue, geographical coverage, service variety, tech innovation, and reputation.

https://youtu.be/TYX6aszBqjE?si=p4eiH_MD4ONMBjcR
Source: YouTube

An In-Depth Feature Comparison of Europe’s Top Logistics Companies

These granular feature comparisons analyze the strengths and weaknesses of Europe’s major players in depth:

Table 1:

CompanyGlobal ReachTech/InnovationCustomer ServiceRatesSustainbility
DHL4 Star3 Star4 Star2 Star2 Star
DB Schenker4 Star4 Star2 Star3 Star2 Star
DSV3 Star3 Star3 Star3 Star2 Star
Kuehne + Nagel4 Star2 Star3 Star2 Star3 Star
XPO Logistics2 Star3 Star3 Star4 Star1 Star
DPDgroup3 Star2 Star4 Star3 Star3 Star
GEFCO2 Star2 Star3 Star3 Star2 Star
PostNL2 Star3 Star4 Star3 Star3 Star
FM Logistic2 Star2 Star2 Star3 Star3 Star
ID Logistics1 Star2 Star2 Star3 Star2 Star

Table 2:

CompanyAir FreightOcean FreightWarehousingFulfillmentLast MileSupply Chain
DHL⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
DB Schenker⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
DSV⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Kuehne + Nagel⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
XPO Logistics⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
DPDgroup⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
GEFCO⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PostNL⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
FM Logistic⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
ID Logistics⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

1. DHL

DHL is the clear market leader in European logistics and supply chain solutions with the largest geographical reach and service portfolio. As a division of Deutsche Post DHL Group, they leverage sister companies like DHL Express, DHL eCommerce Solutions, DHL Freight, and DHL Supply Chain.

Core services offered in 40+ European countries:

  • Air, ocean, road freight
  • Warehousing and distribution
  • Customs brokerage and trade compliance
  • Last mile delivery and fulfillment
  • Supply chain optimization

Industry solutions for automotive, engineering, life sciences, retail, and technology sectors.

  • Technology: DHL Resilience360 provides real-time supply chain risk management and visibility. DHL 4Sight leverages data analytics for logistics optimization.
  • Sustainability: GoGreen program focuses on decarbonization of logistics. Expertise in sustainable warehousing, green fleets, and offsetting emissions.
  • Reach: The world’s largest logistics company with comprehensive global reach. Very strong in Europe with over 280,000 employees in the region. Unparalleled scale and density across Europe.

However, DHL generally charges higher rates compared to competitors. Interface and tracking systems can be complex for some customers. As an industry giant, customer service levels vary across regions and specific services.

“With our well-established European infrastructure and extensive service portfolio, we enable businesses to conquer borders and become truly international.”

2. DB Schenker

Logistics Companies in Europe

DB Schenker is a leading freight transport and logistics provider in Europe and worldwide. Owned by Deutsche Bahn AG, they leverage an expansive rail network covering the continent.

Core services in over 130 countries globally:

  • Air and ocean freight solutions
  • Land transport (rail and road)
  • Contract logistics and supply chain management

Industry solutions designed for automotive, consumer goods, healthcare, industrial, and retail verticals.

  • Technology: DB Schenker offers advanced end-to-end supply chain integration and visibility powered by logistics software and GPS tracking.
  • Sustainability: Ambitious targets to cut logistics-related emissions through electric vehicles, alternative fuels, rail transport, route optimization, and green warehouses.
  • Reach: Over 76,000 employees worldwide strengthen their Europe-centric transport infrastructure and logistics services.

As a German company, DB Schenker is strongest across Central Europe and experts in serving DACH region exporters. Prices are competitive for both freight and contract logistics. However, their global air and ocean freight networks lag behind the biggest multinational players.

Read Also: Top 10 Logistics Companies and Services in Singapore [2024 Update]

“Our combination of land transport and air/ocean freight expertise makes us the logistics provider of choice to access European markets.”

3. DSV

DSV has grown rapidly from a Danish trucking company to become one of the world’s largest logistics providers through major acquisitions like Panalpina. They offer integrated supply chain services and global transport solutions.

Core services:

  • Air and sea freight
  • Road and rail transport
  • Warehousing and distribution
  • Supply chain analysis and optimization

Industry solutions designed for automotive, healthcare, industrial and retail sectors.

  • Technology: DSV manages supply chains end-to-end with online platforms for booking, tracking, and supply chain monitoring. Focus on visibility, automation and analytics.
  • Sustainability: DSV commits to science-based carbon reduction targets. Provides customized reporting on environmental impacts and green solutions.
  • Reach: A leading presence across Europe with over 18,000 employees in the region out of over 75,000 globally. Standard integrated services offered in 75+ countries.

DSV pricing is competitive and considered good value. They shine at tailoring robust supply chains using well-integrated offerings. However, global air and ocean freight networks still expanding and customer service varies in some markets.

“For all transport modes to any destination, DSV solves complex supply chains with integrated transport and logistics solutions.”

4. Kuehne + Nagel

Kuehne + Nagel excels in global air and ocean freight solutions combined with European overland transport. Headquartered in Switzerland, they focus on providing customized logistics technology and services worldwide.

Core services:

  • Airfreight and seafreight forwarding
  • Overland transport (road, rail)
  • Contract logistics (warehousing and distribution)
  • Supply chain analytics and design

Industry solutions for automotive, aerospace, beverage manufacturing, industrials, retail and technology.

  • Technology: KN ControlTower integrates end-to-end supply chain orchestration and visibility paired with predictive analytics.
  • Sustainability: Comprehensive sustainability services help companies calculate, report and reduce logistics emissions through optimized networks.
  • Reach: Over 30,000 employees in 100+ countries position K+N well to connect Europe with overseas markets. Strong combined overland transport and freight forwarding expertise across Europe.

However, their European contract logistics, warehousing, and distribution services significantly trail leading competitors in scale and breadth. Tier 2 position for most domestic European transportation outside of DACH region.

“With logistics teams located worldwide, we combine global freight solutions with quality regional transportation to enable the flow of goods anywhere they are required.”

5. XPO Logistics

XPO Logistics differentiates itself by providing technology-driven contract logistics and last mile delivery tailored to e-commerce and omni-channel retail. Key areas of specialty include reverse logistics, returned goods handling, and complicated product rollouts.

Core services:

  • Air and ocean freight brokerage
  • Contract logistics and warehousing
  • Last mile delivery
  • Reverse logistics solutions

Supply chain solutions designed for retail, e-commerce, technology, aerospace, telecoms, and manufacturing industries.

  • Technology: XPO is known as an innovative firm leveraging predictive data analytics, robotics, machine learning, and intelligent warehouses to transform logistics operations.
  • Sustainability: Green transport initiatives like shift to natural gas vehicles. Warehouses feature LED lighting, roof solar, and energy efficiency efforts.
  • Reach: Operations across Europe include over 65,000 employees and 744 locations in 27 countries. Expanding last mile delivery network focused on e-commerce.

As a newer logistics firm compared to legacy players, XPO is still building out comprehensive air/ocean freight and European transportation coverage. Service quality depends heavily on specific region and offering. Known for complex rolling deployments more than broad standard country coverage.

“We combine advanced logistics technologies, transportation capabilities, and supply chain expertise to provide cutting-edge contract logistics solutions in Europe.”

6. DPD / GeoPost

DPDgroup (owned by La Poste/GeoPost) has grown to become one of Europe’s largest parcel delivery networks. They leverage La Poste/National Postal Service relationships paired with industry expertise in deferred parcel delivery.

Core services:

  • Deferred parcel delivery
  • Last mile delivery
  • Warehousing and fulfillment
  • Returns management
  • Predictive analytics

Solutions designed for e-commerce, retail, automotive, healthcare, and consumer goods.

  • Technology: Offers consumers delivery alerts, tracking visibility, predictive ETAs, and dynamic routing to drivers. Provides analytics on parcel data.
  • Sustainability: Target for carbon neutral parcel delivery by 2025. Electric vehicles and green energy power transport networks.
  • Reach: DPD network includes over 85,000 Pickup points across Europe. Service spans 230,000 destinations across 41 countries globally. Over 1.3 billion yearly parcel shipments throughout Europe.

However, DPDgroup has limited air/ocean freight forwarding capabilities and supply chain analytics compared to larger logistics players. Known for last mile delivery expertise rather than end-to-end integrated logistics across transport modes.

“Powered by the largest road parcel pickup and drop-off network in Europe, we provide industry-leading distribution and delivery services across the continent.”

7. GEFCO

GEFCO leverages expertise in automotive logistics, multimodal transport solutions and supply chain services developed as a subsidiary of Stellantis. They provide tailored solutions for industrial supply chains with complex production networks.

Core services:

  • Automotive logistics solutions
  • Air and ocean freight
  • Overland transport specialist
  • Contract logistics and distribution
  • Supply chain consulting

Solutions designed for automotive manufacturers and tier-1 suppliers plus industrial sectors like aeronautics, healthcare, fast-moving consumer goods, retail, and technology.

  • Technology: End-to-end supply chain visibility and optimization enabled by AI and predictive analytics.
  • Sustainability: Customized carbon reporting provides insights to build environmentally friendly logistics roadmaps for clients.
  • Reach: 8,000 employees across 47 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America. 120 logistics hubs and warehouses provide strong coverage in western Europe.

However, GEFCO has limited global air and ocean freight capabilities compared to larger multinational freight forwarders. Seen as automotive niche expert rather than broad logistics integrator across diverse verticals.

“For over 65 years, manufacturers have trusted GEFCO for smart logistics solutions integrating multimodal transport, warehousing, customs expertise and supply chain optimization.”

8. PostNL

PostNL leads postal and logistics markets in the Netherlands and Belgium as a reliable domestic solutions provider. They leverage postal service networks and relationships to offer reliable regional distribution and delivery services across the Benelux region.

Core services:

  • Domestic parcel and pallet distribution
  • Last mile delivery and fulfillment
  • Warehousing and logistics infrastructure
  • E-commerce solutions and remarketing

Solutions designed for e-commerce, retail, financial services, healthcare, automotive, technology and governments/public sector.

  • Technology: PostNL facilitates omnichannel commerce with solutions integrating inventory management, order processing, fulfillment, delivery and return capabilities.
  • Sustainability: Electric delivery vans and cargo bikes reduce emissions alongside green energy used in facilities. Circular e-commerce solutions facilitate product returns and resale.

Read Also: Top 5 Shipbuilding Companies in the Philippines

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the main differences when choosing a logistics partner in Europe?
The key differences come down to service breadth, geographic reach, industry specialization, technology integration, sustainability commitments, and pricing models. You must align a potential partner’s strengths to your supply chain requirements.

Which logistics providers are best for e-commerce and omni-channel retail?
XPO Logistics, DHL, and DPDgroup stand out for integrated e-commerce solutions from warehousing and fulfillment to last mile delivery. PostNL also dominates e-commerce logistics in the Netherlands and Belgium specifically.

How do I incorporate green supply chain solutions from a logistics partner?
Top providers like DHL, DB Schenker and DSV provide carbon reporting and programs to reduce emissions from facilities, vehicles and transport modes. Customized sustainability initiatives like green energy sourcing, optimization to cut empty miles, and offsetting can help meet environmental goals.

What European logistics companies offer the most comprehensive technologies?
DHL Resilience360, DB Schenker’s supply chain event management software and Kuehne + Nagel’s ControlTower platform exemplify how top companies provide end-to-end visibility, automation, predictive analytics and supply chain modeling.

Which logistics company has the widest on-the-ground infrastructure coverage in Europe?
DHL leverages Deutsche Post’s unparalleled postal network and infrastructure density combined with the largest dedicated contract logistics and freight forwarding networks from sister companies like DHL Supply Chain and DHL Global Forwarding. This provides comprehensive reach across Europe for air, ocean and ground transportation.

Conclusion

Choosing the right logistics partner enables businesses to optimize European transportation and distribution, improve supply chain efficiency, tap new markets and delight customers with high-quality service.

Leading companies like DHL, DB Schenker and DSV offer integrated solutions scaled for Europe’s complex cross-border needs. PostNL, GEFCO and XPO Logistics also provide targeted advantages in domestic networks, industry specialization and technical innovation respectively.

Consider your unique requirements, sustainability goals, customer expectations and growth ambitions in Europe while assessing service portfolios and regional strengths during your provider evaluation process. The continent continues marching toward unified markets, with logistics serving as the connective tissue binding far-reaching supply chains.

Selecting the right partner promises flexibility, transparency and geographic expertise so you can expand into new European domains worry-free by leveraging robust infrastructure and capabilities tailored for cross-border commerce.

Advertorial: This post contains sponsored content, advertisements, or affiliate links. Read our full advertorial disclosure here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *