Quest for Quality 2023: Third Party Logistics (3PL)

The Logistics Department dedicates a fairly large portion of its coverage to the highly dynamic Partial Logistics (3PL) market – and for good reason. Over the past ten years, it would be hard to find a segment of the logistics market that has seen more merger and acquisition activity or game-changing technology investment.

“As e-commerce began to boom, and as more shippers turned to service providers to improve inventory management and on-time deliveries, 3PLs poured investment into robotics and warehouse automation to meet these expectations for fast, reliable delivery at the right cost,” says contributing editor Karen Thuermer. “All of these ingredients provided an easy recipe for market growth.”

Indeed, Thuermer notes that 3PLs have been riding a wave of dividends, with the largest 3PLs posting significant profits over the course of 2022, despite uncertain economic conditions. According to leading 3PL analyst Armstrong & Associates (A&A), the 3PL market in the United States alone in 2022 will see revenues of more than $405.5 billion — the fourth-best year of growth ever since A&A began estimates in 1995.

“E-commerce continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace,” says Thuermer. “However, all indications are that 3PLs will continue to invest aggressively in robotics and automation in warehouses to meet growing customer expectations for fast, reliable delivery and an abundance of product choices in an effort to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.”

According to Logistics Department readers, the 26 3PLs that will take home the 2023 Quest for Quality gold have managed to rise above the fray to deliver world-class service. In fact, this year’s 3PL class saw some of the highest weighted scores ever.

Averitt (61.30) and DB Schenker Americas (61.16) lead in the 3PL Transportation Management category this year, two of the highest weighted scores recorded in this year’s survey. The 3PLs had nearly identical results across the board on the way to these impressive totals.

In the 3PL Value Addition category of 2023, Avritt (58.42) and Penske Logistics (57.23) placed the two highest scores in the category which saw nine winners overall.

Overseas logistics companies (transportation management)

(bold indicates the leading in the attribute class)

Source: Logistics Department, Perlis Research Group (PRG)

Overseas logistics companies (value added)

(bold indicates the leading in the attribute class)

Source: Logistics Department, Perlis Research Group (PRG)


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