May 8, 2013

Top ten global supply chain leaders

4 min
Apple hit the top spot for the second year running
This month’s Top Ten looks at some of the most sophisticated supply chains in the world, rated not only according to their financial weight b...

This month’s Top Ten looks at some of the most sophisticated supply chains in the world, rated not only according to their financial weight but also by opinion to achieve a total composite score.

The ratings, complied by supply chain experts Gartner are raked according to peer opinions and Gartner Expert opinions in addition to the year’s return on assets (ROA) and the three-year weighted revenue growth.

10. Unilever

Unilever has climbed to number ten from 15th place in the 2011 list, following the establishment of a virtual manufacturing network that can support fluctuations in local demand and tap in to global capacity as needed through flexible manufacturing.

The global consumer products leaders invested in an ambitious sustainability programme this year, which has seen it move 36 percent of its supply chain to sustainable methods.

9. Wal-Mart stores

Wal-Mart stores has fallen from number seven in the 2011 list to nine in 2012, yet remains a mainstay in the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 ranking, where it has featured since the list was first published in 2004. According to Gartner, Wal-Mart is known for its’ ‘ability to redefine the playing field’ when it comes to procurement leverage, green product investment and supply chain practices.

8. Cisco Systems

Having fallen two places from number six in 2011, high-tech company Cisco Systems comes in at number eight in 2012. The company is well known for running a broad and interconnected value chain, and has a robust set of risk management systems, policies and procedures which allowed it to recover quickly from the 2011 Japan crisis.

 7. Intel

After re-entering the list in 2009, Intel has been on a steady climb, having transformed itself from a component manufacturer to a demand-driven value network offering total customer solutions. The chip manufacturer has significantly improved its supply chain agility and resiliency by reducing its overall supply chain cycle by around 40 percent in the past few years.

6. The Coca-Cola Company

Boasting  a plant within a mile of every worldwide customer, The Coca-Cola Company is the master of last mile-distribution and ranks highly with peer voters, raking in the top 10 list of voters in every region. Gartner particularly highlighted the company’s ‘innovative beverage delivery system’, Freestyle, which offers restaurant customers mass beverage customisation.

5. P&G

Falling two places from number three last year is P&G, a perennial winner in the Supply Chain Top 25. Gartner highlights the company’s ability to optimize decisions across the supply network, which allows it to orchestrate demand and connect the supply chain to the shelf.

4. Dell

Dropping from number two in 2011, Dell’s signature supply chain capability has evolved from fast, configure-to-order capability to segmenting fit-for-purpose supply chains to the needs of its diverse customers. The computing OEM has evolved into a solutions company, in addition significantly improving its physical supply chain performance during the past few years.

3. McDonald’s

McDonalds gained five spots to reach number three for 2012, following strong financials and peer opinion votes, in the light of the successful launch and expansion of its McCafe product line. During 2012, the company managed the additional complexity  from new product lines in addition to maintaining leadership in traditional food categories.

2. Amazon

A newcomer to the Gartner rankings in 2010, Amazon has moved steadily up the list over the past few years, jumping three spots to No.2 for 2012. Following  a three-year weighted revenue growth of 38 percent, the online retailer leads by offering services where the profit potential is uncertain, which requires robust demand management and supply delivery capabilities.


Maintaining its number one slot is technology design company Apple, which received the highest voting scores due to ‘a combination of operational and innovation excellence’, following a focus on the consumer experience and working back through the design of its supply network, and mastery in orchestrating its end-to-end value network. Apple is a master at orchestrating its end-to-end value network to deliver total solutions to its customers through tightly integrated design of hardware components, firmware, a proprietary operating system and an ecosystem of applications that run on top of that platform.

Information taken from Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2012

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Aug 24, 2018

Top 10 air freight carriers

Supply Chain
James Henderson
5 min
Supply Chain |Digital runs down the world's top 10 air freight carriers
10. Cargolux Group

10. Cargolux Group

The Luxembourgish freight carrier Cargolux Group (comprised of Cargolux Airlines and Cargolux Italia, established in 2008) remained in the number 10 spot, with a total reported FTK (Freight Tonne Kilometer) equaling 7.45 bn, which represents a 7.7% expansion year-over-year. The carrier group currently operates a fleet of 30 aircraft (26 through Cargolux Airlines and an addition four through Cargolux Italia), primarily variants of the Boeing 747.

9. Korean Air

Headquartered in Seoul, Korean Air provides cargo and passenger services to over 100 destinations in 44 countries. The carrier fell from eighth place in the previous year’s rankings, with a total FTK of 7.66 bn, representing a 7.1% decrease year-over-year. Korean Air reported a net revenue of $10.7bn in 2017, also reporting a return to profitability for the first time in five years, according to Forbes.

 8. Air France-KLM

The Air France-KLM freight carrier group was founded in 1947. The group is comprised of Air France, KLM, and Martinair, and is based in Paris, France. Falling from seventh place in the Freight 50 rankings, the carrier reported a total FTK of 8.13 bn, which represents a 9.2% decrease in traffic year-over-year. The group reported a net revenue of $29.08bn at the end of 2017 and is ranked #28 on Forbes Magazine’s list of Best Employers.

7. Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways, the nationally owned airline of the Kingdom of Qatar is based in Doha, and ascended two places in the Freight 50 rankings, with a total FTK of 9.22 bn, representing a 19.6% increase in comparison to the previous financial year. The carrier’s Cargo division recently launched facilities at its hub in Doha to provide a “Seamless Cool Chain”, comprised of a “2,470 square metres Climate Control Centre situated at the airside… equipped with segregated temperature-controlled sections for storing pharmaceuticals and perishables.” This end-to-end supply chain control is expected to further improve Qatar’s standing as a leader of Middle Eastern air freight.

6. Lufthansa Group

Based in Cologne, Germany, the Lufthansa Group (comprised of Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, and Brussels Airlines) fell from the fourth position in the Freight 50, with a combined FTK of 9.46 bn. While this represents a 1.6% increase in traffic, year-over-year, the carrier was forced down the list by drastic growth from other German freight company, DHL. According to Forbes, Lufthansa’s revenue and net profits ($41.5 bn and $2.78 bn, respectively) in 2017 are both the highest reported by the company over a ten-year period.

5. Cathay Group

The Cathay Group (composed of Cathay Pacific Airlines and Dragonair) is headquartered in Hong Kong and its Cargo division accounts for 21% of the airline’s total revenue. The company’s first dedicated cargo flight between Hong Kong, Frankfurt, and London, was established in 1981, according to the official site. Now, Cathay Pacific’s Cargo Division services over 47 destinations worldwide. The carrier fell from the fourth position on the Freight 50 ranking, as its total FTK fell by 3.6%, to 10.21 bn. According to Forbes, Cathay Pacific experienced a second year of unprofitability, although the airline’s asset portfolio reached a record high in 2017, with a net value of $24.1bn.

4. DHL Express Group

Operating as the largest European carrier group, DHL Express Group (composed of DHL Air, DHL International, Air Hong Kong, Polar Air Cargo, ABX Air, Southern Air, Aerologic, and EAT Leipzig) rose two positions in the Freight 50 rankings. The carrier reported a total FTK of 10.56 bn, which represents an increase of 15.1% year-over-year. In 2018, at the Farnborough Air Show, DHL Express announced the purchase of 14 Boeing 777s, part of a new strategy to modernise its fleet.

3. UPS Airlines

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, UPS Airlines is part of United Parcel Service, Inc. Founded in 1908, UPS is the oldest company in the Top Ten, and retained third place in the Freight 50 rankings, with a total FTK of 11.26 bn. This represents a 3.9% increase year-over-year. The Company as a whole reported a net revenue of $67.7 bn, according to Forbes, representing a continuation of a ten-year trend of continuous growth. Forbes also ranks UPS among the world’s top 100 most-innovative companies, and the world’s top 50 most-valuable brands.

2. Emirates Skycargo

The state-owned air freight carrier for the UAE, Emirates Skycargo remains in second place on the Freight 50, with a total FTK of 12.27 bn, representing a 0.4% decrease year-over-year. The carrier’s central hub in Dubai allows its 259-strong fleet to reach over 1.5 bn consumers in under eight hours. Current purchasing plans are underway for Emirates Skycargo to almost double its fleet size. According to Albawaba, “In response to increasing demand from its customers, Emirates SkyCargo introduced a range of air transport solutions specific to industry verticals including Emirates Pharma, Emirates Wheels and Emirates Fresh.” Emirates Wheels has transported close to 150 cars per month since the program’s inception.

1. FedEx Express

Founded in 1998, FedEx Express is both the youngest and largest air freight carrier worldwide, with a total FTK of 15.71 bn. Haulage decreased by 0.9% year-over-year, while revenue increased to $60.5 bn in 2016, and again to $63.8 bn in 2017, continuing an eight-year growth trend. FedEx employs 395,000 members of staff, with FedEx Express operating across twelve transport hubs globally. The carrier purchased an additional 24 Boeing 777 variants in 2018, maintaining their company’s position as the largest airline in terms of cargo haulage.

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