Surveys Find 3PLs Hitting Their Stride Amid Economic Uncertainty

The 21st Annual Surveys of Third-Party Logistics Provider CEOs, which this year included the CEOs of 27 of the world’s largest 3PLs, found that approximately 75 percent of the companies involved in the surveys were profitable in 2013.

The CEOs were also asked to project regional 3PL industry revenue growth rates for the next three years. North American CEOs projected average revenue growth rates of 6.54 percent; European CEOs projected average revenue growth rates of 4.17 percent; and CEOs in the Asia-Pacific region projected average revenue growth rates of 10.4 percent.

An encapsulation of key survey findings are as follows:

♦ 3PL Revenue Growth Projections
Nearly three quarters of these companies either met or exceeded their regional revenue projections in 2013.

♦ Near-Shoring Trend Continues
In the North American region, near-shoring activities are growing, with over 75 percent of North American CEOs reporting that some of their customers have shifted some of their operations from China to Mexico.

♦ E-Commerce Growth
CEOs in all three regions noted not only the substantial growth in e-commerce over the past year, but also the long-term growth potential of that marketplace and the opportunities that growth might provide 3PLs. Nearly all of the 3PLs already support some e-commerce customers with services ranging from warehousing through fulfillment and reverse logistics.

♦ Supply Chain and Logistics Industry Trends and Insights:
 Capacity Issues in North America: Nearly 70 percent of North American 3PL CEOs reported capacity shortages across modes
Mergers and Acquisitions: These companies project relatively little revenue growth related to mergers and acquisitions during the next three years.
—Sustainability: Companies remain committed to environmental and sustainability issues, but the emphasis has shifted to maintaining and expanding existing sustainability programs (55 percent) over launching new programs (29.6 percent).
—Growth in Eastern Europe: Five of the eight European CEOs surveyed operate in Russia, and they cited growing opportunities to support healthcare and retail industries there.
—Amazon and the 3PL Industry: The 3PL CEOs acknowledged the impact that Amazon has had on the field of supply chain management, particularly in terms of raising customer service level expectations and focusing on shipment visibility.

Get all the details of the survey, sponsored by Penske Logistics.

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