- Service improvements: Manufacturers indicated the specific 3PL service that yielded the greatest logistics services improvement was warehouse management services (22 percent), followed by rate negotiations (16 percent), shipment consolidation (14 percent), freight payment services (10 percent), and direct transportation services (10 percent).
- Cost benefits: Nearly 30 percent of the respondents indicated that warehouse management services had yielded the greatest cost benefits, followed by rate negotiations (16 percent), shipment consolidation (14 percent), freight payment services (10 percent), and direct transportation services (10 percent).
- Increased budget share: On average, the 3PL users surveyed gave approximately 30 percent of their logistics operating budget to 3PLs last year, and said that percentage will increase to 40 percent in three years.
- Market dynamics: The most important market dynamics in the 3PL industry are the continuing downward pressure on pricing, growing customer interest in outsourcing a broader array of logistics services, and increased pressure to internationalize company service offerings.
- Market opportunities: The most important opportunities were identified as expansion of integrated supply chain services, continued globalization, and further IT supply chain integration.
- Industry problems: The most pressing problems facing management in the 3PL industry are inadequate profitability, the ability to find and keep qualified employees, and difficulty delivering on promised to customers.
- 3PL industry growth projections: Despite the economic slowdown of the past several years, 3PL CEOs are still quite optimistic about the future with respect to company growth, but less so than last year. They are also considerably more conservative with respect to industry growth prospects over the same period. The average company revenue growth projection for next year was 16 percent, with the projected three-year company revenue growth average being 15 percent. In terms of industry growth projections, the CEOs projected the one-year growth rate for the industry to be 8 percent, while the three-year industry growth rate was projected to be 10 percent.
In the manufacturing survey, a questionnaire was mailed to the chief logistics executive of the 500 largest American manufacturing companies, and 66 executives responded.
In the 3PL industry CEO survey, a questionnaire was mailed to CEOs of 20 of the top global providers of 3PL services, and all 20 of the CEOs participated.