Third Party Logistics (3PL) operators are companies that work with shipping businesses to manage logistic operations like warehousing, forecasting, transportation management software, freight bill auditing, freight rate negotiation, etc. Globalised business operations and rising trend of outsourcing secondary business activities like logistics in order to focus on core business operations are perceived to be the main reasons behind the same.
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Hexa Research found that Asia Pacific contributed to more than 29% of the total global demand for 3PL in 2013. This was mainly due to growing warehousing and distribution facilities in countries like Indonesia, China, India, Singapore, Thailand, etc. The US is witnessing emergence of technologically advanced logistics software solutions and, along with Mexico, a steady decline in labor and transportation costs. These factors will contribute to high growth of North American 3PL market by 2020. Although, Europe’s 3PL market was adversely affected by the eurozone crisis, it is expected to witness a revival in future mainly due to increasing demand from automotive and life science sectors.
The study reveals that Dedicated Contract Carriage (DCC) will experience rapid growth in the trucking and distribution industry. Leading retailers like Target, Kroger, Wal-Mart, etc. are relying on DCC for increasing truck capacity and lowering costs. Domestic Transportation Management (DTM) segment is also expected to exhibit consistent growth. Value-added warehousing is likely to be highly demanded in pharmaceutical and refrigerated applications in future.
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Hexa Research identifies FedEx, DHL, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Kuehne + Nagel and J.B. Hunt to be the main players in the global 3PL market. The market is fragmented with various established players and new entrants vying for the same customer base. The study concludes that companies that are able to facilitate better material tracking, flexibility, security, etc., by employing the most advanced IT and automation systems, will attract a sizeable chunk of the global 3PL market in future.
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