How has 2013 treated Third Party Logistics providers?

Third Part Logistics Study

In short, surprisingly well. According to the 2300 or so respondents analysed in the 2013 17th Annual Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Study, 3plsmore than 65% of 3PL service providers saw increased use of their services. The economy is still tight, but that seems to favour 3PL companies and the companies who use their services. Just as they predicted, they can generally offer equal or better service than in house logistics departments, with lower costs, especially for smaller scale clients. As more and more small participants claim market share for themselves, 3PL providers are more in demand than ever.

Shipping Demands in Supply Chain

The 3PL study indicates that shipping demands are becoming more and more complex, giving the more innovative and flexible providers a competitive advantage. Especially when compared to relatively static in-house services, 3PL providers are able to look at the trends affecting the needs of all their clients, and offer the kinds of services that their clients need, often before they know they need them.

3PL providers seem to have the edge in supply chain innovation, because the shifting demands of their various clients force them to stay nimble. Once, it was feared that this additional expense would make it difficult for them to remain competitive, but it seems that in practice it keeps them on the cutting edge of development, and more than pays for itself.

Some types of shippers also seem to be turning to 3PL providers for risk mitigation in greater numbers. This is just one of the factors driving differentiation between the various 3PL providers, causing each to specialise in certain services and giving each their own particular strengths. As a result, it is more important than ever for shippers and other 3PL service consumers to choose their logistics partners very carefully.


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