3PLs and their customers appear to be misunderstanding each other's priorities.
For example, the recently published Global 3PL & Logistics Outsourcing Strategy Report 2011-12, from eyefortransport, found that:
36 percent of 3PLs believe lowest price is the most important factor for shippers when choosing a new 3PL, as opposed to best quality service (30 percent). Shippers, on the other hand, rate best quality service as the most important factor (64 percent) and lowest price as far less important than 3PLs expect (15 percent).
When it comes to the non-renewal of existing 3PL contracts, 3PLs overestimated the importance of their competitors offering a cheaper price by a dramatic 49 percent.
This kind of fundamental disconnect needs to be addressed so the industry can successfully face the challenges that lie ahead.
"This year's survey findings really reinforced some of the trends we've seen for the last 18 months," said eyefortransport's Executive Director, Katharine O'Reilly. "The insights are not really unexpected, but when you see figures like this, especially in areas where 3PLs and their customers are fundamentally misunderstanding each other's priorities, we really sit up and take note. These are gaps in understanding that need to be filled if the industry is to move forward and grow as it should."
In other findings:
59 percent of executives do not expect the global economy to return to pre-crisis levels until 2013 or later, and are feeling the impact of the Eurozone and US debt crises.
51 percent of executives see the greatest opportunities for 3PLs in the South and Latin American regions, up from 40 percent in 2010, and 27 percent in 2009.
Survey respondents identified the biggest challenges shippers face over the coming year: sustainability (16 percent), supply chain globalization (13 percent), the economy (12 percent) and cost control (10 percent).
The full report can be downloaded from http://events.eyefortransport.com/eu3pl/report.shtml