In this article we are going to list the 15 largest industrial companies in the US. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 largest industrial companies in the US. Before we get started, let’s first try to understand what an industrial company is. After all, all companies operate in either individual or multiple industries right, so isn’t this just a list of the biggest public companies in the world, filtered for the US? Well, not really. An industrial company is a company which is engaged in the production of capital goods which in turn are generally used in either manufacturing or construction. Among the businesses that these companies engage in are the production and selling of machinery, supplies and equipment which are basically used for the production of other goods, and aren’t products geared towards the end consumer.
The biggest industrial companies in the US are involved in various sectors which include aerospace, lumber production, tools, defense, construction, waste management, cement and metal fabrication among many others. In the United States, the sector has become smaller than what is used to be, as the manufacturing sector decreased comparatively in scope while the services sector has increased by leaps and bounds. However, the sector is characterized by many small dynamic firms even though we also have some major companies which we will take a look at later. Further, wages paid in the sector are quite high compared to other sectors and there is a lot of potential for the growth of the sector too. 8.5% of the total number of employed Americans belong to the manufacturing sector, and even though employment in the sector has reduce by a third since the 1980s, it has also increased production by at least 2.5 times through automation, technology and greater efficiencies. The industry is also responsible for providing employment indirectly to many other people as well. In fact, in 2013 17.1 million jobs were directly linked to manufacturing.
Also, there is little doubt that the industrial sector has a lot of growth in store, with at least 1.1 million jobs already being added since 2008. And while there may be some stagnation in the biggest cities such as Houston, Chicago or Los Angeles, there is significant growth being observed in smaller cities which are witnessing more and more manufacturers being established. By 2025, there are estimates that more than 2 million more jobs may be established in the industrial sector as well as adding $530 billion, with electronics, automation and aerospace driving this growth.
Of course, in 2020, there has been little to cheer about in most sectors and industries and the industrial sector did not escape the wrath of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen nearly 95 million cases and over 2 million deaths, and the worst part is, both figures are expected to be severely understated. Since the industrial sector is dependent on many different industries which have all been affected by the lockdowns and the recessions and depressions that followed the lockdowns not just in the US, but across the globe. And as cases and deaths continue to soar in the US, so does the uncertainty and the exact impact of the pandemic on the industry will only be ascertained later on.
However, if anyone can survive the effects of the pandemic, it will be the biggest industrial companies in the US, which are absolute giants in their industry. The combined revenues of these companies exceed $380 billion, while their profits are a massive $26 billion, despite just one company making a loss of nearly $5 billion. They also have assets worth more than $676 billion and provide direct employment to close to a million people. The market cap of these companies at March 2020 was more than $480 billion. To rank these companies, we have used their assets, revenues, profits, market cap and employees, with all the information being taken from the Fortune 500 list for industrial companies in the US. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the giants in this industry, starting with number 15:
15. Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK)
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 6,695
Total profit of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 696
Total assets of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 6,113
Market value as of March 31, 2020 (in millions of dollars): 17,533
Total employees of the company in 2019: 23,000
The company is responsible for providing industrial automation as well as information technology, and has a presence in at least 100 countries globally.