John Wiehoff

President, CEO, and Chair, C.H. Robinson Worldwide
John Wiehoff

Last year, C. H. Robinson acquired Canada-based Transera International Holdings, a freight-forwarding company that specializes in moving international oversize cargo for the mining and energy industries. The purchase gave the Eden Prairie–based Fortune 500 (Nasdaq: CHRW), already one of the world’s largest providers of third-party multimodal transportation and logistics services, its first foothold in Dubai.

“Short term, a majority of our business is in the U.S., about 85 percent,” Wiehoff says. Long term, he adds, C. H. Robinson has aggressive growth goals. At last count, the company has 224 offices spread across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. It manages about 6.5 million shipments a year.

C. H. Robinson’s third-quarter results, released in October, show a company that’s making the right moves. For the nine months ending September 30, C. H. Robinson’s operating income was up 13.9 percent over the same period the year before—$429.2 million on gross profits of more than $1 billion (the latter an increase of 11.9 percent). C. H. Robinson’s long-term compounded annual growth goal is 15 percent for gross profits, operating income, and earnings per share.

Since its initial public offering in 1997, C. H. Robinson’s average annual gross profit growth has been more than 19 percent, and earnings per share nearly 24 percent. Can it keep those kind of numbers rolling in ’09?