Here's Where Distributors Rank on Forbes’ 2023 List of America’s Largest Private Companies - Modern Distribution Management

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Here’s Where Distributors Rank on Forbes’ 2023 List of America’s Largest Private Companies

See which industrial, commercial and building supply distributors charted on Forbes' annual list of the largest privately-owned companies by revenue.
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Alongside producing MDM’s annual Top Distributors feature, I’m always on the lookout for other rankings lists that involve industrial, commercial and building supply distributors that are on MDM’s radar.

Forbes is a frequent source for these kinds of lists, as the global media company’s biggest claim to fame is its various lists of companies either by size or reputation. These lists serve as a constant who’s-who in different industries, and as a nice accolade for those listed companies to tout.

Released Nov. 14, the latest such feature from Forbes is its annual America’s Largest Private Companies list, which straightforwardly ranks privately-owned companies based in the U.S. with revenue of at least $2 billion in their most recent fiscal year. Forbes’ methodology noted that most of the companies on the 2023 list have no plans to change their private status. See the full methodology here.

Related: Digi-Key Leads Distributors on Forbes’ Best Employers Lists (February 2023)

Related: Here’s Which Distributors Made Fortune’s 2023 ‘Most Admired’ List (February 2023)

There are 258 companies on this year’s private companies list, up from 246 last year. Forbes noted that 85% of the companies used a calendar 2022 fiscal year, while others have fiscal years that ended as recently as October 2023. Forbest began tracking private companies in 1985.

Taking the top three spots on the 2023 list were Cargill ($177 billion), Koch Industries ($125 billion) and Publix Super Markets ($54.5 billion).

I scanned this 2023 America’s Largest Private Companies list to look for distributors of industrial, commercial and building supplies, which are noted below with their headquarters, most recent fiscal year revenue and employee count — according to data Forbes collected. They are detailed below, along with medical and foodservice distributors.

Plenty of distributors populated the list through its first half, but surprisingly, I didn’t find any in the second half that I would describe primarily as a distributor. Medline Industries was the first to appear, at No. 14, while ABC Supply was the first of MDM’s 2023 Top Distributors to appear, at No. 21. Fellow MDM Top Distributors Graybar, SRS Distribution, 84 Lumber, CED and DigiKey also charted.

Distributors on Forbes’ America’s Largest Private Companies list for 2023

14. Medline Industries (Northfield, Illinois): $21.2 billion; 36,000 employees

  • Manufacturer and distributor of essential medical supplies

15. Gordon Food Service (Grand Rapids, Michigan): $21 billion; 22,000 employees

  • Food distributor for restaurants, healthcare and schools

21. ABC Supply (Beloit, Wisconsin): $18.5 billion; 18,000 employees

  • Distributor of roofing, siding and other building supplies. No. 2 on MDM’s 2023 Top Building Materials/Construction Distributors list

41. Univar Solutions (Downers Grove, Illinois): $11.5 billion; 9,700 employees

  • Distributor of chemicals and ingredients

48. Graybar Electric (St. Louis, Missouri): $10.5 billion; 9,400 employees

  • Distributor of electrical supplies. No. 3 on MDM’s 2023 Top Electrical, Data & Security Distributors

55. SRS Distribution (McKinney, Texas): $9.6 billion; 10,850 employees

  • Network of independent roofing and building supply distributors. No. 5 on MDM’s 2023 Top Building Materials/Construction Distributors

64. 84 Lumber (Eighty Four, Pennsylvania): $8.75 billion; 6,700 employees

  • Distributor of building materials. No. 4 on MDM’s 2023 Top Building Materials/Construction Distributors

65. Dot Foods (University Park, Illinois): $8.6 billion; 6,300 employees

  • North America’s largest food industry redistributor, specializing in delivering LTL orders

83. Uline (Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin): $7 billion; 9,000 employees

  • Distributor of shipping, packaging and industrial supplies

87. Kehe Distributors (Naperville, Illinois): $6.5 billion; 6,800 employees

  • Distributor for grocery stores, supermarkets, and online vendors

104. D&H Distributing (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania): $5.62 billion; 1,628 employees

  • Distributor of IT and electronics products

106. American Tire Distributors Holdings (Huntersville, North Carolina): $5.5 billion; 4,500 employees

  • Distributor of tires, custom wheels, service equipment and shop supplies

107. Consolidated Electrical Distributors (Irving, Texas): $5.5 billion; 7,500 employees

  • Electric-equipment wholesaler. No. 4 on MDM’s 2023 Top Electrical, Data & Security Distributors List.

121. DigiKey (Thief River Falls, Minnesota): $5.1 billion; 5,135 employees

  • Distributor of electronic components and automation products. No. 4 on MDM’s 2023 Top Electronics Distributors List.

Check out the full list here

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