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Hot M&A market plus delta variant equals unusual time in logistics

COVID-19 update with Vaughn Moore, president and CEO of AIT Worldwide Logistics

It’s safe to say that stakeholders across the supply chain imagined that by the third quarter of 2021, the capacity crunch facing air, sea and ground transportation would’ve loosened. 

“We’re all trying to do our best to be prognosticators, as industry veterans are even surprised by what’s going on right now,” said Vaughn Moore, president and CEO of AIT Worldwide Logistics. “We won’t see any real solution to it until Q2 of next year at the earliest.”

With the delta variant of COVID-19, the industry is vigorously planning for potential shutdowns, while still working to get people back into the office. As companies work to protect their customer and employee bases, the only industry outcome Moore sees the delta variant causing thus far is uncertainty.

Moore calls this current time in the industry “unusual,” as it’s also the hottest market for mergers and acquisitions. AIT itself, a freight forwarder with more than 85 locations across the globe, has made seven acquisitions in the past three years, the most recent of which is Austin, Texas-based Intelligent Logistics. 

“People are seeing the value of a logistics company being able to weather the storm through a recession or a pandemic,” said Moore. “Many companies have performed well and they’re poking their heads up and saying, ‘If I’m ever going to sell, maybe this is the time to do so.’ This does mean higher multiples for companies, but at the same time, if it’s something that can be of value to companies, the timing is still good.”

Corrie White

Corrie is fascinated how the supply chain is simultaneously ubiquitous and invisible. She covers freight technology, cross-border freight and the effects of consumer behavior on the freight industry. Alongside writing about transportation, her poetry has been published widely in literary magazines. She holds degrees in English and Creative Writing from UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Greensboro.