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.

2019 3PL Study highlights ongoing changes in shipper-3PL dynamics

​Data for the survey was based on feedback from 651 usable responses from shippers, or users of 3PL services, and non-users of 3PL services, as well as 3PL sector respondents.

By ·
{scmr_abstract}
By ·

The intersection of supply chain technology, changing online consumer spending habits, data management, delivery preferences, and other factors are all serving as game changers in how 3PLs are continually striving to better serve shippers.

That is a key takeaway from the 2019 22nd Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, which was released today by Infosys Consulting, Penn State University, Penske Logistics, and Korn Ferry at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Edge conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Data for the survey was based on feedback from 651 usable responses from shippers, or users of 3PL services, and non-users of 3PL services, as well as 3PL sector respondents.

Looking at shipper-3PL relationships, the study found that 91% of surveyed shippers said that their relationships with 3PLs “generally have been successful,” with 98% of 3PLs indicating their customer relationships have generally been successful. What’s more, 89% of shippers and 98% of 3PLs were in accord that 3PL usage had translated into improving customer services “to the ultimate customers.” And 73% of 3PL users and 91% of providers stated that 3PLs provide new and innovative ways to improve logistics effectiveness.

In an interview, Joe Carlier, senior vice president of global sales for Penske Logistics, said that when looking at the state of the 3PL sector in 2018, there appears to be a perfect storm effect in play.

“Since the beginning of the year, there has been a host of disruptions impacting the industry, starting with the ongoing driver shortage,” he said. “But this year with manufacturing output increasing, GDP growth, low unemployment, and capacity tightening up the way it is, everything is coming together. One of the drivers behind capacity was obviously the ELD mandate. There are a host of things all coming together…but I cannot recall a time in which so many disruptors have come together at the same time.”

Carlier also cited how the role of technology and the rapid deployment of new technologies, while helpful, can create “noise” as well, in trying to figure out what is needed, what adoption rates are going to be, and costs and benefits, which, he said, are serving as contributors to a unique time in the 3PL sector.    

That was made clear in the study, which explained that shippers are “increasingly” aware” that if they lack the technological capabilities to meet their goals, they need to partner with those that do. And it added that as the amount of available data increases, shippers and their 3PL partners need to be able to take information and make it relevant, something that is being reflected in technology investments to analyze shippers’ operations, with 93% of shippers stating that IT capabilities are a necessary part of 3PL expertise, and 55% of shippers indicating they are satisfied with 3PL IT capabilities.

Penske’s Carlier said that from a 3PL perspective, the further upstream a 3PL can be, the more strategic and effective its decisions can be, specifically when addressing technologies like a WMS or a TMS and really understanding the needs within a shipper.

“There are a lot of times where that relationship doesn’t work, and I think it is really because of both parties are not really spending the time to really understand the business requirements,” he said. “If you are deploying a TMS or a WMS but don’t understand the throughput, there is no artificial intelligence that is going to know exactly what the business needs are….so the further upstream 3PLs can get to understand those business requirements and the business rules that are affecting shippers, the more perfected that relationship can be. There are collaborative decisions through each one of those steps as you are looking at the supply chain in totality.”

With the changes, or shifts, in consumer buying habits, including what the study called a blend of in-person and online purchases, that, in turn, require quicker responses than in the past, the study’s takeaways showed some interesting contrasts.

One focused on agility, with 42% of shipper respondents having not made required changes to improve their agility over the last five years, and 51% saying they are open to new ideas to create more opportunities for 3PLs to introduce and implement innovations.

Other notable takeaways from the 2019 Third-Party Logistics Study include:

  • how 72% of shippers and 71% of 3PLs agree that shippers/customers recognize the need for capable last-yard logistics services, with 53% of shippers saying they effectively manage last-yard logistics needs and only 34% agree that their customers effectively manage these needs;
  • 4% of shippers said they are high-performing in omni-channel retailing, 38% are inconsistent, 36% have no capability; and 18% said they are competent, and 3% of 3PLs said they are high-performing, 24% said they are competent; 14% are efficient, 31% said they had no capability; and 28% said they were inconsistent;
  • to meet omni-channel goals, 72% of shippers are investing in enterprise resource planning software, 56% are investing in warehouse management systems, 38% are investing in transportation management systems; and 38% are investing supply chain visibility and 24% are investing in WMS add-ons like labor management, analytics, and slotting organization;
  • the most common supply chain disruptions shippers face are increased transportation costs (77%), transportation and logistics network disruptions (76%) and increases in supplier costs (67%); and
  • looking at shipper-3PL data sharing, the study found that 61% of shippers and 54% of 3PLs said issues with data sharing between the two parties led to customer satisfaction issues, as well as late payments, not renewing a contract, and negative word of mouth

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

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
2019 Top 5 Trends of Enterprise Labeling
This year’s sixth annual Top 5 Trends in Enterprise Labeling report outlines significant shifts in labeling that are impacting businesses and global supply chains at an unprecedented level.
Download Today!
From the January-February 2019
If history is our guide, economies take a turn every nine years. Yet time and again, a strong business cycle and fading memories convince us the good times will go on forever. Ten years after the great recession, we surveyed 100 manufacturing firms to find out if businesses are ready to fight through the next recession.
Truck Driver Shortage: No one behind the wheel
Intermodal to the rescue
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
Leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) in Manufacturing
Is Digital Transformation a risk or an opportunity? This webinar will detail Manufacturing industry challenges and how using IoT can address these challenges through optimizing logistics, improving processes and gaining meaningful insights.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Supply Chain Management Issues Confronting Us This Year
A variety of fresh challenges will surface for global traders in January and beyond
Global Supply Chain Pricing May Face New Pressures in 2019
The global economy started 2018 with strong, synchronized growth, but the momentum faded as the year...

IHS Markit’s New Economic “Predictions” for 2019 and Impact on Global Supply Chains
The U.S. will remain “above trend,” while other key economies will experience further...
Global Kuehne + Nagel Indicators Signal Global Supply Chain Resilience
So far this year, international merchandise trade has risen by 10.6%. Emerging markets and North...