A majority of companies around the globe employ third-party logistics (3PL), yet customers still cite operating performance, cost management and service delivery as ongoing concerns in their use of 3PL. That is just one of the findings in the eighth annual report on third-party logistics trends and issues released recently during the Council of Logistics Managements annual conference. The study results were released by consulting firm Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Georgia Institute of Technology and FedEx Supply Chain Services. The study involved 400 logistics and supply-chain executives from the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, China, Japan and South Africa. It found that three quarters of North American (78%) and Western European (79%) respondents use 3PL services, as well as 58% of Asia-Pacific respondents. Other key findings show:
- The four most frequently oursourced activities to 3PL providers are warehousing, outbound transportation, customs brokerage and inbound transportation.
- The top four reasons why respondents in North America and Asia-Pacific did not use 3PL services were that logistics was a core competency (44%); logistics were too important to outsource (40%); costs would not be reduced (32%); and control would diminish (32%).
- Western European respondents spend a larger portion of their logistics dollar or euro on 3PL services (65%) than do those in North America (49%) or Asia-Pacific (50%).