Logistics Surveys Reveal Industry Trends

As the year winds down to its final quarter, two 2011 logistics surveys offer a look back on the industry and identify emerging trends.

The Surveys

3PL Study: The recently released 2012 Third-Party Logistics Study: The State of Logistics Outsourcing, by Capgemini, Penn State, Panalpina and Heidrick & Struggles provides an in-depth look at the tactical side of logistics.

The findings revealed that of the over 4,500 respondents (logistics executives, shippers and 3PLs), most (64 percent) are using more 3PL-based services. However, the study also shows several respondents (59 percent) consolidated or reduced the number of 3PL partners.

The top five services respondents collaborated on include international transportation (78 percent), domestic transportation (71 percent), warehousing (62 percent), freight forwarding (57 percent), and customs brokerage (48 percent).

Capacity: Grubb & Ellis’ survey, Logistics: Market Trends United States First Half 2011 provides an overview of the U.S. industry.

The report identifies major challenges affecting logistics, including high gas prices, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, the potential default of large European economies and the debt issues of the U.S. economy.

In a plus for the logistics real estate market, the report revealed the U.S. market had 32.7 million square feet absorbed – a level not reached since 2007.  However, less than 7 million square feet of new logistics building is under construction with a vacancy of only 270,000 square feet, putting a strain on supply.

While the national decrease in vacancy rates is a positive for the real estate market, regional differences do exist that are not as favorable.