TIA report surveys 3PL landscape

by Array

FROM THE MM&D JULY/AUGUST 2011 PRINT EDITION: Total shipments among third party logistics (3PL) companies grew slightly in the first quarter of 2011—an encouraging sign given the fourth quarter is the traditional peak. That’s according to the Transportation Intermediaries Association’s (TIA) “3PL Market Report, First Quarter 2011”. The report consists of information from 39 TIA members who contribute the monthly data. Participants reported activity in six modes or services, with intermodal, TL and LTL accounting for 98 percent of that activity.

The uptick in shipments was small, at 0.1 percent, the report said. Intermodal shipment growth outpaced truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL), making up 72 percent of all activity. Meanwhile, LTL was the only mode with an increase in revenue per shipment and an increase in percentage profit margin. Total revenue was down slightly at 1.3 percent, driven by a decrease in revenue per shipment.

In comparing the first quarter of 2011 with the first quarter of 2010, total shipments grew 7.4 percent, with intermodal and LTL growing at twice the rate of TL. Total revenue per shipment increased by nine percent to US$1,631, with LTL the only mode with an increase in profit margin. Overall, profit margin decreased by 2.9 percent while costs per gallon increased 26 percent.

Looking ahead to the second quarter of 2011, 70 percent of participants expected more business from core customers. The expected increase is just over six percent. Capacity remains tight for all modes, the report says.

Along with fact-based information, the TIA 3PL Market Report seeks to gauge participants’ perceptions of where the market is headed in the near future. About 70 percent of those respondents expected to see more business from core customers in the short term.