Some surprising facts surface in recent 3PL survey

The 18th Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics Providers released at last week’s Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Global Conference revealed logistics companies experienced improved economic conditions in 2010

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Dr. Robert Lieb, Professor of Supply Chain Management at Northeastern University, told SCMR in an exclusive interview that there was more than met the eye in a recent 3PL survey.

The 18th Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics Providers released at last week’s Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Global Conference revealed logistics companies experienced improved economic conditions in 2010, with 88 percent of companies surveyed in North America meeting or exceeding their revenue projections, as compared with only 50 percent in 2009.

Joe Gallick, Senior Vice President of Sales for Penske Logistics (the survey’s underwriter) also helped gather the findings.

“What we discovered was quite surprising,” said Lieb. “We expected to see a disruption caused by the natural disaster in Japan last spring, but the industry proved to be remarkably resilient.”

Furthermore, he noted, growth projections are most optimistic in Asia, with companies expecting to grow 15.8 percent in the next year, as compared to 10.8 percent expected in North America and 8.4 percent in Europe.

“Another thing that jumped out at us was the widespread usage of social networking,” he said. “It now permeates the entire industry.”

Which may explain, added Lieb, the continuing reliance on collaboration and synchronization of the supply chain.

“We don’t see any signs that 3PLs and 4PLs will be merged into some kind of global ‘lead logistics supplier,’” he said. “As annoying as the acronyms may seem, they really do define two different business models. One player – or one technological ‘solution’ – can’t do it all.”

Key findings of the survey include:
*Logistics companies experienced improved economic conditions in 2010, with 88 percent of companies surveyed in North America meeting or exceeding their revenue projections, as compared with only 50 percent in 2009.
*In Europe, economic conditions continued to be challenging for third-party logistics companies with only 55 percent of companies surveyed meeting or exceeding their revenue growth projections for the year.

*Sixteen of the 36 CEOs reported their companies launched new sustainability initiatives during 2010.

 


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 pburnson@peerlessmedia.com.

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