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.

Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant” Provides Fresh Perspective on 3PLs

Researchers note that the 3PL industry is “progressing along a maturity spectrum,” and trying hard to accommodate increasing shipper requirements through a combination of acquisition and organic growth strategies. However, not all are at the same place in their “journey.”

By ·
By ·

Gartner’s annual “Magic Quadrant” report was released recently, on the eve of its supply chain conference in Phoenix, Ariz. The aim of the report is to provide a qualitative analysis into a market and its direction, maturity and participants.

Greg Aimi, Gartner’s director of supply chain research and co-author of the “Magic Quadrant,” says that supply chain managers are still pressing for consolidation in their 3PL portfolios, but not until providers can demonstrate that they have a truly global network.

“For this to happen,” says Aimi, “there must be a significant air and forwarding capability. Furthermore, 3PLs in the Asia Pacific region have yet to get started with western acquisitions—but I assume they will.” He adds that the report revealed that logistics managers are seeking out a high-degree of industry vertical expertise and specialized solutions, thereby driving a number of “tuck-in” M&As.

“At the same time, the technology area for 3PLs is just getting started,” adds Aimi. “Let’s just forget that they were laggards when it came to unifying software systems to a single global platform in the past. Today, global operational transparency requirements and digital business drivers from their shipper customers are just going to increase the need for 3PLs to be top dogs when it comes to tech and innovation.”

According to Aimi, this is the second iteration of the Magic Quadrant for North American 3PLs. Since the first report, Gartner made significant changes in the criteria definitions to better identify what makes a 3PL valuable to shippers seeking a North American regional provider.

Researchers note that the 3PL industry is “progressing along a maturity spectrum,” and trying hard to accommodate increasing shipper requirements through a combination of acquisition and organic growth strategies. However, not all are at the same place in their “journey.”

According to Gartner, there’s a transformation underway across today’s supply chain industry, and perceptions of supply chain service providers are changing. Relationships historically have been transactional, pragmatic and “physical-activity oriented.”

Researchers note that 3PLs contributed by competing head-to-head in low-margin pricing wars and assumed the role of an interchangeable commodity. Consequently, the idea of leveraging specialized services seemed out-of-reach…until recently.

“As acceptance has grown for an increased amount of logistics outsourcing, companies are realizing that their performance is more dependent on not only their 3PL providers’ capabilities and execution, but also the manner in which they are managed,” says Aimi. “This mandates a transition in the roles and responsibilities of tomorrow’s logistics professional from being a master of logistics execution to a master of provider orchestration; and it puts an importance on the relationship between customer and 3PL.”


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]

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 · Gartner · Supply Chain Management · 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...