This article reports on a 2003 survey of large U.S. manufacturers who were asked about their use of third-party logistics (3PL) suppliers and whether they cut back on their use during the recession. The 3PL industry continues to evolve and it continues to be an important element of large manufacturers' strategies in handling their supply chains. Usage is up substantially in 2003, to 83 percent of the 66 survey respondents. A little over 70 percent had been using 3PL services for more than five years, the fourth consecutive year a majority of respondents had reported such usage. The typical user buys multiple logistics services from its provider. A table shows the range of services reported in this survey and the previous three. Many see benefits in sharing their 3PL providers with their major vendors and customers. IT elements are also very important in the packages. While impacts of these services are generally reported as positive overall, respondents noted that occasionally there was no impact from a certain service, but that they did not expect positive impacts along all the lines of their supply chain operations. The globalization of 3PL services was confirmed by the survey, but 3PL providers seemed more immune than standard businesses to economic downturns. Some reported increased business. Among the highest-scoring services in terms of benefits were warehouse management, freight payment services and direct transportation. And some 39 percent reported sharing all or some of their 3PL services with vendors and 57 percent reported doing so with customers. The authors end with a list of implications for potential users and suppliers.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01001773
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2005 12:00AM