White paper: Global Freight Tickers with market caps by exchange

$741B in transportation equities are held on the New York Stock Exchange. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

The FreightWaves Research Institute is excited to announce the release of its second white paper, Global Freight Tickers, a worldwide study of publicly traded transportation and logistics companies. Download the paper here.

We designed this study for investors looking for exposure to the transportation sector, which is often a leading indicator of wider economic activity and whose volatility presents numerous opportunities for equities traders. 

Global Freight Tickers breaks down the data in a number of ways, depending on the reader’s interest: an investor who wants to take positions on rail companies can figure out which exchanges have the most railroad market capitalization, for example. An investor developing an expertise in European economics can easily learn which transportation companies in the German and Scandinavian stock exchanges are most important.

Some of our findings bring insight into political and cultural history. India’s stock exchange market capitalization is relatively small for the size of its population, indicating that investing behaviors have not yet penetrated deeply into the country’s growing middle class—but an intermodal logistics company offering services on the country’s British-built railroad network is one of the most important Indian transportation stocks. 

One striking fact that emerges from our study is that on a global basis, trucking equities are highly concentrated in the United States, on the NASDAQ in particular. America’s large geography, with population centers on both coasts and a well-established highway infrastructure, encouraged trucking companies to grow very large; deregulation in the 1980s unleashed fierce competition that compressed margins. The combination of large, relatively cash-poor corporations with a highly liquid stock exchange made it easy for trucking companies to enter the public markets to raise capital.

Perhaps predictably, maritime companies have the most diverse distribution across exchanges of any mode, but they punch above their weight on East Asian stock exchanges, whose economies are dependent on Transpacific exports. 

Enjoy our free white paper and have fun exploring the global community of publicly traded transportation companies. 

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John Paul Hampstead, Associate Editor

John Paul writes about current events and economics, especially politics, finance, and commodities, and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. In previous lives John Paul studied Shakespeare in London and Buddhism in India, but now he focuses on transportation and logistics in the heart of Freight Alley--Chattanooga. He spends his free time with his wife and daughter herding cats, collecting books, and walking alongside the Tennessee River.