New 3PL survey presented at annual CSCMP conference

The findings analyze responses from 31 large third-party logistics company CEOs across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific whose companies were responsible for generating approximately $45 billion in revenue in 2011.

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A recent survey of 3PL industry leaders contained some revealing forecasting news.

According the 19th Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics Providers, 74 percent of the North American logistics companies surveyed achieved or exceeded revenue projections in 2011. At the same time, however, companies that failed to meet their financial projections were up sharply from 14 percent in 2010, to 26 percent in 2011.

This disconnect, said survey author, Dr. Robert Lieb, can be attributed to forecasting models “that don’t work anymore.”

“We hear companies say that they want to hire again, and invest in new technology, but at the same time, remain ‘capital lite.’”

Lieb, a professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University, unveiled the survey at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Global Conference in Atlanta today.

“The difficulties facing the European market today mirror the economic instability North American logistics companies faced a few years ago,” stated Lieb. “Globally, industry growth and company profitability continue to increase, but at a much slower rate. As we move forward, CEOs are being cautious, forecasting lower revenue growth projections over the next three years.”

J. Paul Dittmann, Ph.D. and executive director of the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, shared similar observations with LM in an interview.

“The economics of global outsourcing is changing due to labor cost increases, fuel volatility, and currency changes,” he said.  “Companies will have to reevaluate their outsourcing models in this environment, and the transportation professional will be central to this discussion.”

Dittman added that for those global moves being made today, supply chain professionals must find ways to speed the flows to reduce inventory requirements and improve customer service.

“They must also be world class in import/export excellence, constantly finding ways to avoid cost increases,” he said.
Joe Gallick, Senior Vice President of Sales for Penske Logistics – which sponsored the survey – also participated in the CSCMP presentation.

The findings analyze responses from 31 large third-party logistics company CEOs across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific whose companies were responsible for generating approximately $45 billion in revenue in 2011. The report was co-authored by Dr. Kristin Lieb, Assistant Professor of Marketing Communications, Emerson College


Thirty-one CEOs completed surveys via an Internet-based questionnaire during the Summer of 2012.  Companies participating in the annual survey included: Agility Logistics, Cardinal Logistics, Caterpillar Logistics, DHL Exel Supply Chain, DSC Logistics, Genco Supply Chain Solutions, Kuehne + Nagel Logistics, Inc., Menlo Logistics, MIQ Logistics, Penske Logistics, DB Schenker, Transplace, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, UTi Integrated Logistics, Werner Logistics, CEVA Logistics, and Rhenus Contract Logistics.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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