Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Big Data is Highlighted in 2017 21st Annual Third-Party Logistics Study

2017 Annual 3PL Study takes wide-ranging look at role of 3PL in different supply chain areas

By ·

Latest News

Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
The State of the DC Voice Market
DHL launches Global Trade Barometer
Get the lay of the land with Modex 2018 show map
Breaking Through On Yard Visibility
More News

Latest Resource

Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
All Resources
By ·

Many trends and themes related to the third-party logistics (3PL) sector focusing on the roles they play in serving supply chain managers were highlighted in the 2017 21st Annual Third-Party Logistics Study.

The study was released last week by Capgemini Consulting, Penn State University, and Penske Logistics at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Data for the study was based on responses from 194 usable responses from both shippers, or users of 3PL services, and non-users of 3PL services, as well as a separate, related version of the survey by 148 respondents from the 3PL sector.

Not surprisingly, technology continues to increase in importance and the role it plays. That was highlighted with the study highlighting the role of big data and analytics, with 98 percent of 3PL’s indicating that improved, data-driven decision-making is essential to the future success of supply chain activities and processes, which was supported by 93 percent of shippers. What’s more, 86 percent or 3PLs and 81 percent of shippers noted that effective use of big data will become a core competency of supply chain operations. 

Penske Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology, Tom McKenna explained at CSCMP that big data has continued to grow in importance over the years, with 3PLs and shippers leveraging big data to drive insights and improve supply chain visibility, too.

“There is now less of a technical concern in regards to big data in terms of collecting, capturing…and storing that data,” he said. “Platforms are out there today for that. Three years ago, we were still struggling a bit with the architecture for the technical aspects, but now the movement has really shifted to what can be done with it, and there is more of a focus on that.”

Some of the biggest focus areas related to big data cited in the study for shippers included: improving integration across the supply chain; improving data quality; improving process quality and performance; increasing levels of data transparency; improving customer interaction and service; and improving logistics optimization.

Even though there are many supply chain benefits that come with big data, McKenna made it clear it also comes with concerns regarding data privacy and security, too.

A common theme of this annual study centers on what it refers to as the IT Gap, which is defined as shipper’s opinions on whether they feel information technologies are a necessary element of 3PL expertise and whether they are satisfied with their 3PL providers’ IT capabilities.

The IT gap in the earlier years of this study was wide, but in recent years it has narrowed, with 91 percent viewing IT as a necessary element of 3PL expertise and 65 percent of shippers indicating they are satisfied with 3PL IT capabilities. This represents a significant gain from 2002, when the IT gap was first measured in the study, with a mere 27 percent of shippers saying they were satisfied with 3PL IT capabilities.

Another prevalent theme noted over the years focuses on 3PL and shipper partnerships in tandem with the strategic nature of relationships, and this year was no exception.

This was outlined with 91 percent of shippers and 97 percent of 3PLs indicating they have successful relationships that are bringing about positive results, which is up from 2012, which showed that 88 percent of shippers and 94 percent of 3PLs cited successful relationships.

What’s more, the study took that data a step further in explaining that strategic shipper and 3PL relationships create value throughout the supply chain. And 75 percent of shippers and 93 percent of 3PLs indicated that using 3PL services has led to over all logistics cost reductions, and 86 percent of shippers and 98 percent of 3PLs said that has led to improved customer service.

“Both [shippers] and providers, whether we are talking about innovation in asset-based services or the growth of non asset-based providers and the forces they are all under-whether it is regulatory or imbalanced supply and demand or capacity-related-are seeing success in meeting these challenges through 3PL collaboration,” said John Langley, professor of supply chain management at Penn State University.

Download: The 21st Annual, 2017 Third-Party Logistics Study


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Article Topics

3PL · Big Data · CSCMP · Supply Chain Management · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
Download Today!
From the December 2017
This is a comprehensive guide to services, products and educational opportunities targeted specifically to supply chain professionals. As with years past, we’re also featuring several articles we trust will offer food for thought in your supply chain throughout the coming year.
Transportation Trends: The last mile, history repeating
Economic Outlook: A Complex and Uneven Scenario for Global Supply Chains
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
The Perfect Formula for Determining the Right Amount of Inventory
This webcast explains how the science of theoretical minimums, a new approach to inventory optimization, provides a simple and elegant way to reduce cost and increase customer service levels by monetizing time delays across the extended supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Atradius Issues New Report on Supply Chain Risk in North America
The U.S. shows strong economic performance, but the looming risk that leadership in Washington will...
2018: The year we make meaningful progress on digital transformation
Perhaps it would have been better to describe it as a digital evolution – more of an ongoing...

Industrial and Supply Chain Real Estate Expected to Soar in 2018
Strong economy and insatiable demand for online shopping behind industrial real estate resurgence
Ongoing Supply Chain “Disruptions” Indicated in Latest Ti Survey
According to Logistics Surveys 2017, the express industry has already undergone transformation, not...