The long-standing gap between the importance shippers assign to 3PLs’ IT capabilities and their satisfaction with 3PLs’ current IT capabilities – which we call the IT Gap – has stabilized at roughly a 40-point delta. The reason may be an ongoing disconnect between how the two groups view 3PL IT investments: 3PLs are more likely to describe their IT investments as aggressive compared to shippers. Shippers say their relationships with 3PLs’ IT organizations are project-focused (46%), tactical (29%) or contentious (14%).
Shippers want 3PLs to offer comprehensive and easily integrated solutions, and just over half of 3PLs anticipate making large IT investments. But 3PLs cannot make the right IT choices until they have a clear picture of their customers’ supply chains. A collaborative approach between partners will further improve shipper satisfaction with 3PLs’ IT capabilities, drive increased innovation, and improve 3PL-shipper relationships.