Results of the 17th Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics Providers have been released, and they show that most of the 3PL CEOs polled are considerably more bullish than they were last year. In total, 31 CEOs representing the North American 3PL marketplace, the European 3PL market, and the Asia-Pacific 3PL market participated in the survey, and CEOs from all three regions indicated that they were optimistic about future revenue growth prospects of not only their companies, but also the regional 3PL industry.
The report, conducted by Robert Lieb, professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University, and sponsored by Penske Logistics, also found that:
The majority (77 percent) of CEOs polled said they believe that an economic recovery has occurred in their region. 27 companies have started to rebuild their workforces. 15 indicated long-term strategy changes within their companies as a result of the recession, and 11 said the long-term prospects in the regional 3PL industries have changed as a result of the recession.
CEOs in all three regions ranked the overall growth of the market for outsourcing services as the most important opportunity.
Environmental sustainability remains a key concern. 14 of the 31 companies in the survey began new green initiatives during the year. 18 expanded existing sustainability programs. 25 now have formal sustainability groups within their companies. 12 of the 31 CEOs believe that their sustainability capabilities differentiate them from their competitors.
CEOs in all three regions identified similar industry dynamics. CEOs in both North America and Europe said the most important market dynamics are: price compression, the aftermath of the recession and the growing role of procurement in the 3PL selection process. In the APAC region, price compression was also ranked first, the role of procurement again ranked third, but the overall growth of the market for outsourcing services ranked second.
With regard to risk management, just over half (56 percent) of the North American 3PLs put new risk management programs in place in the past year. Half of the European firms did so, as did 71 percent of the companies from the APAC region.
The executive summary of the survey results is available here.