The annual Third-Party Logistics Study provides an objective look into the third-party logistics (3PL) industry both from a shipper perspective and from a providers’ perspective. Researchers also explore views and trends from leading organizations that do not currently utilize external services from a 3PL provider, which are noted in the study as non-users.
The study takes a deep dive into the ways in which shippers and 3PLs can collaborate to drive value. It looks at 3PL industry growth and development, what shippers outsource and what 3PLs offer, as well as why customers outsource to 3PLs and the types of value they attribute to those relationships. As part of the study, researchers investigate trends and issues that likely will be impactful for the future state of logistics outsourcing.
Some key takeaways include:
Overall, business logistics costs in the United States in 2020 fell 4 percent to $1.56 trillion, or 7.4 percent of 2020’s $20.94 trillion GDP. According to the State of Logistics Report, the drop was primarily driven by a 15 percent decrease in inventory carrying costs.
Costs for many transportation and warehousing services varied widely in 2020. The report found that transportation costs increased 0.8 percent, driven by a 24.3 percent increase in the parcel and last-mile segment from e-commerce and home delivery growth. Overall, e-commerce grew by 33 percent to $792 billion, representing 14 percent of all retail sales. Airfreight costs increased by 9 percent, motor was down 0.6 percent ocean was down 28.6 percent, and rail was down 11 percent overall.
Costs have continued to fluctuate throughout 2021 and are currently trending up.
Covid-19 drew worldwide attention to the supply chain. Disruptions occurred throughout the supply chain, highlighting weaknesses and the need for contingency planning and risk mitigation strategies.
In this year’s study, researchers took a deeper look at the effect the pandemic had on shippers and their logistics providers, as well as how their experiences have shaped their plans. To download the full study, click here.