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Global Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • ID: 4756808
  • Report
  • May 2021
  • Region: Global
  • 330 Pages
  • Mordor Intelligence


  • Agility Logistics
  • Ceva Logistics
  • DB Schenker
  • DSV
  • Geodis
  • Kuehne+Nagel Inc.
The Global Third-Party Logistics (3PL) market was valued at around USD 1trillion in 2020, and it is expected to reach more than USD 1.75 trillion by 2026, registering a growth rate of 8% during the period (2021-2026).

Due to COVID - 19, In North America, the retailers and brands were facing various short-term challenges pertaining to the supply chain activities through retailers, distributors, and suppliers of third-party logistics across North America. As a result, countries such as the US and Canada limited the volume of logistics services. However, owing to the ease of lockdown restrictions along with emphasis towards the effective restoration of food industry-related supply chain operations has mitigated the negative influence of the COVID-19 over the market growth.

Further, the presence of domestic suppliers has ensured the continued demand for third-party logistics across the North American region. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of small & medium enterprise owners faced financial difficulty owing to the limited movement or transportation of goods across the European region.

The factors driving the growth are the increasing outsourcing of major transportation and logistics services and growing e-commerce penetration whereas the loss of control over the shipping functions is a major restraint to the market.

Increase in demand for shipping cost reduction and focus on timely delivery management, reduction on company's assets and permitting focus on core business, and advantage in managing seasonal variations are projected to drive the third party logistics market during the forecast period.However, lesser control of manufacturers on logistic service and delivery process may adversely impact the third party logistics market in near future.

Shippers are continuing to leverage what 3PLs offer, allowing them to optimize the supply chain, minimize costs and create value, and align expectations as a key to achieving success for both parties. The high-end technology integration by 3PLs, industry expertise, and cost reduction are some of the reasons, owing to which, the outsourcing of services is increasing. This outsourcing of services clearly indicates that the demand for 3PLs is on a rise and is driving the market.

Mobile technology is revolutionizing 3PL. Many 3PL companies have already begun to use mobile devices and apps to improve agility. Devices fitted with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips are not only capable of transmitting their location, but they also have the potential to hold data about themselves, so that they can be instantly tracked and identified. Using mobile apps installed on their mobile phone, customers will be able to order, process, and track freight shipments at any time.

Key Market Trends

E-Commerce Driving the Growth of the Market

The rapid growth of e-commerce is driving the demand for 3pl services across the globe. The unrelenting growth of e-commerce is fundamentally changing the third-party logistics (3PL) landscape. With the increasing consumer expectations for on-time and accurate deliveries and in order to stay competitive, more e-commerce retailers are outsourcing mission-critical components of their distribution and fulfillment operations to 3PL partners.

Many of the e-commerce retailers are small in size and cannot afford to have in-house logistic services. Therefore, services such as supply chain management, warehousing, consolidation service, and order fulfillment are outsourced to 3PL companies. However, the major e-commerce retailers such as Amazon and Alibaba are developing their own logistics infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the growth of e-commerce and change of consumer expectation is also presenting challenges to the 3PL companies in terms of reducing the parcel delivery times, increasing efficiency, adoption of latest and advanced technologies, etc. A huge transformation is taking place in the last-mile delivery, with companies looking at alternatives, such as delivery lockers, pickup points, crowdsourced deliveries, drone deliveries, and autonomous vehicles. The evolution of technology is reshaping the entire supply chain and reinventing the parcel industry. Technology is becoming a crucial enabler in increasing efficiency and reaching consumer expectations.

Asia Pacific Leads the Global 3PL Market

Asia Pacific region is the largest 3PL market in the world and is also the fastest-growing region. It is estimated that there are over 10,000 third-party logistics service providers operating in China. Many are small and mid-sized providers. China accounts for a significant share of the overall APAC 3PL market. China leads the 3PL market in the region with more than 60% market share. Southeast Asia region is the emerging hotspot in the Asia Pacific with fast-growing economies and increasing e-commerce penetration. India is also one of the key markets which are expected to grow strongly over the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

The market is highly competitive and fragmented with several large companies strategically forming alliances with mid-sized or small-sized companies to leverage their regional capabilities in logistics. Major regional players have been observed to venture into new regions, allowing the companies to improve their geographic reach. New competitors are entering the 3PL market with customized and industry-specific services.

Some of the major players include Agility, CEVA Logistics, DB Schenker, and DHL, among others. The 3PL players have been showing the willingness to partner with other players to reduce cost and leverage on mutual competitive advantage. Hence, the market observes a high volume of partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions. The Asia-Pacific region has a high concentration of new and emerging players. Major regional players have been observed to venture into new regions, allowing the companies to improve their geographic reach.

The global 3PL market players are also observing a shift in technology with the development of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain, among others. The introduction and implementation of these new technologies have further intensified the market competition. Additionally, the technology adoption also helped reduce operational costs and improved efficiency.

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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • Agility Logistics
  • Ceva Logistics
  • DB Schenker
  • DSV
  • Geodis
  • Kuehne+Nagel Inc.

1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Technological Developments in Logistics Sector
4.3 Insight on E-commerce Business
4.4 Demand From Other Segments, such as CEP, Last Mile Delivery, Cold Chain Logistics Etc.
4.5 General Trends in Warehousing Market
4.6 Industry Attractiveness- Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.6.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.6.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.6.3 Threat of Substitute Products
4.6.4 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.7 Market Drivers
4.8 Market Restraints
4.9 Market Opportunities
4.10 Impact of COVID - 19 on the Market
5 MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value)
5.1 Service
5.1.1 Domestic Transportation Management
5.1.2 International Transportation Management
5.1.3 Value-added Warehousing and Distribution
5.2 End User
5.2.1 Consumer and Retail (E-commerce, Apparel and Garment Sectors, Perishables, etc.)
5.2.2 Automotive
5.2.3 Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
5.2.4 Other Industrial Activity Sectors (Manufacturing, Food and Beverage, Telecommunication, and Construction )
5.3 Geography
5.3.1 North America United States Canada Mexico
5.3.2 South America Brazil Argentina Rest of South America
5.3.3 Asia Pacific India China Singapore Japan South Korea Vietnam Australia Rest of Asia-Pacific
5.3.4 Middle East & Africa South Africa United Arab Emirates Saudi Arabia Egypt Rest of Middle East & Africa
5.3.5 Europe Germany Spain France Russia United Kingdom Rest of Europe
6.1 Overview (Market Concentration, Major Players)
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 Agility Logistics
6.2.2 Ceva Logistics
6.2.3 DB Schenker
6.2.4 DHL
6.2.5 Nippon Express
6.2.6 Yusen Logistics
6.2.7 Kerry Logistics
6.2.8 CH Robinson
6.2.9 AmeriCold Logistics
6.2.10 FedEx Corporation
6.2.11 Kuehne+Nagel Inc.
6.2.12 MAERSK
6.2.13 DSV
6.2.14 Panalpina
6.2.15 Geodis*
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Agility Logistics
  • Ceva Logistics
  • DB Schenker
  • DHL
  • Nippon Express
  • Yusen Logistics
  • Kerry Logistics
  • CH Robinson
  • AmeriCold Logistics
  • FedEx Corporation
  • Kuehne+Nagel Inc.
  • DSV
  • Panalpina
  • Geodis
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown