While revenue increased dramatically for the logistics operation XPO Logistics last year, its losses more than doubled as it pursues a long-term growth strategy that has included several purchases.

The Connecticut-based operation reported total revenue skyrocketed to $702.3 million in 2013 from $278.6 million in 2012, but it losses jumped to $48.5 million from $20.3 million during the same time.

For the final quarter of last year, revenue increased to $257.2 million from $108.5 million a year earlier, while losses came in at $10.6 million, compared to $9.3 million during the same time.

 “For the second straight quarter, we increased our gross margin percentage in every one of our business units,” said Bradley Jacobs, chairman and chief executive. Our freight brokerage operations improved gross margin by 110 basis points year-over-year, excluding the benefit of our last-mile acquisitions. And our expedited transportation and freight-forwarding units both generated double-digit growth in profitability. We achieved our company-wide targets of positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the quarter and an annual revenue run rate exceeding $1 billion.”

Jacobs says XPO’s multi-modal service offering is now one of the strongest in the industry, with leading positions in some of the fastest-growing areas of logistics. “Our acquisitions of Optima Service Solutions and NLM in the fourth quarter, and our recent agreement to acquire Pacer International, have strengthened our positions in last-mile logistics, expedite and intermodal,” he said. “In freight brokerage, the largest component of our 2013 revenue, we grew the business into the fourth largest provider in North America through acquisitions, cold-starts and recruitment. Our brokerage cold-starts are now on a combined revenue run rate of over $150 million, more than two and a half times the $60 million run rate of a year ago.”

During 2013 XPO grew into the fourth largest freight brokerage firm, the largest provider of last-mile logistics for heavy goods, and the largest manager of expedited shipments, with a new foothold in managed transportation, according to the company.

Last year XPO Logistics also:

  • Grew the number of deliveries facilitated per day to more than 20,000;
  • Opened three freight brokerage cold-starts in Cincinnati, Ohio; Richmond, Va.; and Houston, Texas – the company’s 10 freight brokerage cold-starts are currently on an annual revenue run rate of more than $150 million;
  • Completed six acquisitions: East Coast Air Charter, Covered Logistics, Interide Logistics, 3PD, Optima Service Solutions and NLM;
  • Rebranded the freight forwarding business unit as XPO Global Logistics and opened five cold-starts in Nashville, Tenn.; Montreal, Quebec; Orlando, Fla.; Dallas, Texas; and Salt Lake City, Utah.

More information is on the XPO Logistics website