Inbound Logistics Magazine's Market Research Shows Third-Party Logistics Provider Growth, Indicating Economic Improvement

Survey Reveals 3PL and Shipper Challenges and Opportunities; Identifies Editors' Top 100 3PLs and Readers' Top 10 Favorites

Sep 05, 2013, 10:00 ET from Inbound Logistics

NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- An Inbound Logistics magazine survey of approximately 300 third-party logistics (3PL) providers reveals that 90 percent of 3PLs grew their client base by at least five percent over the previous year, with the same percentage reporting at least five percent sales growth in the same period. Logistics sector growth serves as an economic indicator, because manufacturers are requiring more transportation and logistics services to manage increased output.

The new market research also reflects shifts in how shippers buy 3PL services, from transaction-based offerings to more comprehensive relationships that encompass the full spectrum of supply chain functions. Working together, shippers and 3PLs are using strategies such as intermodal transportation and managed technology services to face challenges.

Other key takeaways from the Inbound Logistics report:

  • Sixty-four percent of shipper respondents value customer service over cost when measuring a 3PL's value. Poor customer service accounts for more than half of failed partnerships, respondents say.
  • Moving overseas operations close to or back to the United States is a supply chain strategy for 29 percent of respondents.
  • Fifty-seven percent of 3PLs cite technology investment as their greatest challenge, while 63 percent of shippers find cutting costs their primary obstacle.

Published in Inbound Logistics, the report also includes the Top 100 3PL Providers list, selected by the magazine's editors. These companies offer services central to solving transportation, logistics, and supply chain challenges, and have achieved well-documented customer successes. The Top 100 list – and the accompanying decision support tool on Inbound Logistics' website – directs logistics technology buyers to market-leading solutions.

The final component of the survey is the Readers' Choice Top 10 3PL Excellence Awards, in which IL readers cast 9,276 votes for the 3PLs that best serve their needs.

About Inbound Logistics
Inbound Logistics is the pioneering educational publication of demand-driven logistics practices, or supply chain management. IL's educational mission is to guide businesses to efficiently manage logistics, reduce and speed inventory, and neutralize transportation cost increases by aligning supply to demand. More at

Media Contact:
Catherine Overman

SOURCE Inbound Logistics