Third Party Logistics Survey Reveals High Marks

Third-party logistics (3PL) is alive and well according to the 2013 17th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study. Most shippers (89 percent) and 3PL providers (94 percent) view their business relationship as successful.

Initiated by Dr. C. John Langley, a clinical professor at Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University, the annual survey has grown along with the 3PL industry. Sponsorship of the 3PL survey expanded to include Capgemini Consulting, Penn State University, and the Panalpina Group.

The following provides additional information and key findings from the survey.

Survey Respondents

Survey respondents represent shipping managers and executives of both users and non-users of 3PL services. Representatives from the 3PL industry responded to a separate, related survey.

  • There were over 2,300 suppliers and 3PL respondents from North America, Europe, Asia, and other countries
  • Nearly 50 percent of 3PL users predict sales in excess of $1 billion (€750 million)
  • 37 percent of respondents represent companies from the lowest total sales category, suggesting an increase in respondents from emerging economies

Key Findings

Certain findings showed consistent results when compared with the 2012 survey.

  • More shippers (65 percent) are using 3PL services, up one percent from the 2012 survey
  • Only 22 percent are returning to insourcing some of their 3PL services, down 2 percent from the prior survey
  • Most shippers (58 percent) continue to reduce the number of  3PL partners, down one percent from 2012 results

Additional findings include:

  • Most shippers (56 percent) report year-over-year benefits with the use of 3PLs
  • The majority of shippers (71 percent) are satisfied with openness, transparency and communication
  • Shippers identify weather as the biggest source of supply chain disruption

The full report covers topics including 1) the current state of 3PL market, 2) supply chain innovation, 3) the IT gap, 4) supply chain disruption, 5) talent management, and 6) strategic assessment.

The full report is available for downloading at Capgemini Consulting’s site.

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