What does the future of the 3PL industry look like?

Posted by Harriet Mills on Oct 8, 2015 7:58:47 AM

dreamstime_crystal ballFor 3PLs, the market is always changing. A global economy and increased competition mean successful providers must find innovative solutions to handle customers' needs more quickly and efficiently than ever before. As the industry has risen to meet these challenges, still more obstacles await in the future.

Like any other industry, many of the future challenges and opportunities facing 3PL providers will be tied to technology. A survey of 400 logistics and supply chain executives, conducted by Eyefortransport, found that C-suite professionals are focusing on just what role future technology options will play. These technologies include drones, 3D printing, driverless vehicles and augmented reality.

In addition to covering an interesting subject, the survey also revealed that executives expect their 3PLs to serve as thought leaders in the area. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed said they expected their 3PL to have at least some knowledge in the field of augmented reality. Meanwhile, 30 percent said they expect that their logistics provider would be knowledgeable about drone delivery.

This research presents a unique opportunity for 3PLs to embrace new technologies and present themselves as experts in a developing market. And for those that do, the potential to grow their business is very real, especially for 3PLs that are able to capitalize on increased commoditization opportunities.

The Eyefortransport survey revealed that 55 percent of respondents said they have recently switched or intend to switch 3PLs. Companies that grow their technology expertise and can combine it with superior customer service and logistical capabilities have the potential to reap the rewards of these changes and find new measurements for success in a market that is always changing.

What do you think the biggest change in logistics will be in the next decade?

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Tags: Careers & Culture