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2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investments and Consolidation Maintain Traction

The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh injection of equity investment is transforming the marketplace. At the same time, shippers may expect to see 3PLs continue to purchase high-tech “solutions” and hire young professionals for implementation.

By ·

Leading industry analysts maintain that the “mega-deals” witnessed over the past two years in the third-party logistics provider (3PL) sector have abated, but that certainly doesn’t mean that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will fall out of the picture.

According to Evan Armstrong, president of the consultancy Armstrong & Associates, the 3PL market is also still ripe for equity investment. “The one outstanding example of this was when Aerospace, Transportation and Logistics [ATL Partners] bought a controlling share of Pilot Freight Services late last year,” he says. “We also anticipate more M&A activity as 3PLs strive to expand geographic scale and provide integrated solution offerings.”

At the same time, says Armstrong, technological changes are having a dramatic impact on 3PL operations. Companies such as project44, MacroPoint and others are driving improved transit status data and carrier capacity information from transportation providers to lead logistics companies.

“This year’s electric logging devices [ELD] mandate could also be a boon for shipment tracking and carrier capacity monitoring information,” says Armstrong. “These types of advances allow for more process automation and increased operational efficiencies. They’re also increasing the quality of information available to customers of non-asset based transportation managers.”

Specifically, industries such as pharmaceuticals are increasing their digitalization needs, Armstrong’s research reveals, putting more emphasis on 3PLs to match these new technological demands. To better ensure counterfeit products are not being sold within established sales channels, for example, the pharmaceuticals industry has a 2017 mandate to begin capturing product serial numbers across its supply chains.

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By · July 5, 2017

Leading industry analysts maintain that the “mega-deals” witnessed over the past two years in the third-party logistics provider (3PL) sector have abated, but that certainly doesn’t mean that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will fall out of the picture.

According to Evan Armstrong, president of the consultancy Armstrong & Associates, the 3PL market is also still ripe for equity investment. “The one outstanding example of this was when Aerospace, Transportation and Logistics [ATL Partners] bought a controlling share of Pilot Freight Services late last year,” he says. “We also anticipate more M&A activity as 3PLs strive to expand geographic scale and provide integrated solution offerings.”

At the same time, says Armstrong, technological changes are having a dramatic impact on 3PL operations. Companies such as project44, MacroPoint and others are driving improved transit status data and carrier capacity information from transportation providers to lead logistics companies.

“This year’s electric logging devices [ELD] mandate could also be a boon for shipment tracking and carrier capacity monitoring information,” says Armstrong. “These types of advances allow for more process automation and increased operational efficiencies. They’re also increasing the quality of information available to customers of non-asset based transportation managers.”

Specifically, industries such as pharmaceuticals are increasing their digitalization needs, Armstrong’s research reveals, putting more emphasis on 3PLs to match these new technological demands. To better ensure counterfeit products are not being sold within established sales channels, for example, the pharmaceuticals industry has a 2017 mandate to begin capturing product serial numbers across its supply chains.

 


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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Article Topics

3PL · Third Party Logistics · All Topics
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