Extracted 09AUG2011 from http://www.worldtradewt100.com/articles/3pls-the-next-big-idea-march-2005
The overpowering presence of China continues to have tremendous repercussions in the North American market. China has become such an important player, with so many products being sourced and manufactured there, that companies doing business with China are looking for a logistics partner with experience and operations in the country. This is forcing many 3PLs to begin establishing a presence in China either through acquisitions, start-ups or joint ventures...
With competitive pressures coming from every angle, companies will continue to look for broader service offerings from their logistic providers. They want partners who can not only provide a full range of logistics services, but who can analyze and identify areas for process improvements.
As a result, the 3PL landscape is changing. The industry has seen many consolidations over the past few years, and this is expected to continue as logistics providers focus on expanding their supply chain capabilities. For customers, this means access to a 'one-stop shop.' For logistics companies, it means that the small- to mid-sized providers will struggle to fully service their customers and compete with the larger conglomerates. At the same time, it also does leave some room for specialty niche players to serve specific market functions.
The one unifying thread throughout all the issues is that of people. At a time when change is the only constant, you are only as good as your people. The complexity of the supply chain demands high level expertise and solid relationships, which reside in the human resource part of the equation.