Third-Party Logistics CEOs Expect Industry Growth

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Chief executives of the largest third-party logistics providers in North America are confident about the future revenue growth of their companies and industries, according to an annual survey.

North American CEOs expect their companies to grow by 10.77 percent over the next three years and their industry to grow about 6.54 percent on average over the next three years.

The annual survey included CEOs of the 27th largest 3PLs in North America, Europe and Asia and found that 75 percent of the companies involved were profitable, making about $46 billion in total revenue in 2013.

The survey was published in a report that found several industry-wide shifts, including a near-shoring trend that was growing in North America as 3PL customers moved manufacturing from China to Mexico due to rising wages. As a result, a third of North American companies reported increased volume and revenue.

The survey was written by Robert Lieb, professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business and Joe Carlier, senior vice president of sales for Penske Logistics and Kristin Lieb, professor of marketing communications at Emerson College. 

The survey was sponsored by Penske Logistics.

“Companies will look to 3PLs to optimize their services from warehousing to cross-border shipping in Mexico,” Penske’s Carlier said. “Those that have in-market experience navigating the nuances and complexities of the region will reap the most benefits.”

E-Commerce grew substantially in all three regions over the past year, which the CEOs surveyed felt would lead to long-term growth potential and new opportunities for 3PLs. However, Amazon is such a large player in e-commerce that while the company is a customer of some 3PLs, many CEOs suggested that it might become a significant competitor because of the logistics infrastructure the company has built.

“The e-commerce marketplace is very competitive and companies such as Amazon have also moved aggressively in providing logistics services for companies selling their products online,” Lieb said.

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