Logistics leaders optimistic

by MM&D staff

PHILADELPHIA: The 18th Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics Providers has revealed logistics companies experienced improved economic conditions in 2010, with 88 percent of companies surveyed in North America meeting or exceeding their revenue projections, as compared with only 50 percent in 2009.

The survey was presented today at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Global Conference by survey author, Dr. Robert Lieb, Professor of Supply Chain Management at Northeastern University, and Joe Gallick, senior vice-president of sales for Penske Logistics. The findings analyze responses from 36 third-party logistics company CEOs across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific whose companies were responsible for generating approximately US$58 billion in revenue in 2010.

Economic conditions appeared to slightly improve for third-party logistics companies surveyed in 2010 in North America. None of the companies was unprofitable and none of the CEOs believed the regional third-party logistics industry operated at a loss for the year. In Europe, economic conditions continued to be challenging for third-party logistics companies with only 55 percent of those surveyed meeting or exceeding their revenue growth projections for the year, as opposed to 90 percent of companies surveyed in Asia-Pacific. Growth projections are most optimistic in Asia, with companies expecting to grow 15.8 percent in the next year, as compared to 10.8 percent expected in North America and 8.4 percent in Europe.

“CEOs continue to grapple with industry dynamics such as a stagnating economy, pricing pressures, rising costs and the impact of regulatory changes,” commented Lieb. “These are similar to the trends we’ve been seeing in years past, and we are confident the industry can adapt.”

“This year’s survey indicates the logistics industry has largely adjusted to the new economic realities and are now investing in growth,” Gallick said. “Companies are leaner and more adaptive than just a few years ago. Today, logistics companies are better positioned to help serve their customers as catalysts for supply chain transformation and innovation, which ultimately drives their own growth prospects.”

Thirty-six CEOs completed surveys via an Internet-based questionnaire during the summer of 2011. Companies participating in the annual survey included: Cardinal Logistics, DSC Logistics, DHL Exel Supply Chain, Genco Supply Chain Solutions, Kuehne+Nagel Logistics, Menlo Logistics, Penske Logistics, Schenker, Schneider Logistics, Transplace, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, UTi Integrated Logistics, Caterpillar Logistics Services, Agility Logistics, Werner Logistics, Yusen Logistics, MIQ Logistics, CEVA Logistics and Wincanton. The survey is underwritten by Penske Logistics.