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4 Stocks to Gain as E-commerce Drives Retail Logistics Demand

Invest in companies like ArcBest (ARCB), Matson (MATX), Atlas Air Worldwide (AAWW) and Covenant Logistics (CVLG) as e-commerce continues to drive the...

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

When coronavirus compelled social distancing last year, people resorted to shopping for goods online. Even when brick-and-mortar stores began to gradually reopen as restrictions were eased, the popularity of online shopping continued.

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Consumers preferred having the goods delivered at their doorsteps and avoided coming in contact with the virus by not stepping out. Logistics companies catering to the retail segment also turned around as they braved supply chain-related challenges and adjusted to the new normal.

Along with doorstep delivery, e-commerce also offers other benefits like a vast catalog of goods that consumers can easily navigate and choose from, personalized product recommendations, and so on. These conveniences should allow e-commerce to sustain its popularity. The rising availability of the Internet worldwide should also see more people adopting e-commerce for shopping. Per a report by Research and Markets, the global e-commerce market is set to witness a CAGR of about 16% from 2021 to 2026.

This also means that e-commerce retail logistics should also witness growth as higher demand for online shopping will translate into an increased need to deliver such goods to consumers. Reflective of this, a report by Grand View Research stated that the global e-commerce retail logistics segment may witness a CAGR of 12.5% from 2021 to 2028.

Companies have been adjusting to the rising number of products ordered online and are devising ways to deliver them more efficiently. The usage of supply chain management software, which also encompasses logistics, has been on the rise as an effective way of controlling costs and improving customer experience.

The Grand View Research report stated that last-mile delivery in e-commerce is set to boost the growth of the overall retail logistics market. This is because last-mile delivery is the stage where the product reaches the consumer and is also the most expensive. Per a Business Insider article, last-mile delivery comprises 53% of the overall shipping costs. Companies are using technologies to improve their last-mile delivery services like finding the optimal route for the fastest delivery, offering real-time tracking options to customers, and so on.

Reverse logistics is also growing in demand as e-commerce platforms offer easy return policies to their customers since it helps in retaining customers and improves the overall customer experience. In fact, Allied Market Research stated that the reverse logistics market is set to witness a CAGR of 5.1% from 2021 to 2028, with the expansion of e-commerce being one of the major factors, as mentioned in a GlobeNewswire article.

4 Stocks to Buy Now

The demand for e-commerce logistics is set to grow further as the popularity of online shopping continues unabated. This makes it a good time to invest in logistics companies that stand to benefit from this potential. We have handpicked four such stocks that carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

ArcBest Corporation ARCB provides freight transportation and integrated logistics services. The company offers supply chain solutions to retail shippers that help them meet their logistics demands and the services include, final-mile delivery, warehousing, and so on.

Shares of ArcBest have risen almost 62% year to date and it currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 22.2% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 95.7%.

Matson, Inc. MATX, together with its subsidiaries, provides ocean transportation and logistics services and its Ocean Transportation segment transports dry containers of mixed commodities, refrigerated commodities, footwear, e-commerce, other retail merchandise, among others.

Shares of Zacks Rank #1 Matson have gained 49% year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 40.3% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. AAWW, through its subsidiaries, provides outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services and serves express delivery providers, e-commerce retailers, and airlines.

Shares of Atlas Air Worldwide have risen 34.2% year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 20.6% over the past 60 days. This Zacks Rank #2 company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 10.2%.

Covenant Logistics Group, Inc. CVLG, together with its subsidiaries, provides transportation and logistics services. The company serves transportation companies, such as parcel freight forwarders, less-than-truckload carriers, traditional truckload customers, including manufacturers, retailers, and food and beverage shippers, and so on.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 company have risen 58.5% year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 30.9% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%.



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