Dr. C. John Langley initiated this study in the mid-nineties as to capture the evolution of the third-party logistics providers as they worked to transition from vendors of individual services to logistics partners offering integrated services and building meaningful, collaborative relationships with their customers.
Today, the capabilities of both shippers and 3PLs have improved significantly. The Annual 3PL Study has grown as well, becoming a widely anticipated, heavily referenced index on the state of the 3PL industry.
In addition to expanding to become a year-round process, the study's evolution includes steadily expanding global reach, increased accessibility, expansion to include perspectives from both shippers and 3PLs, and the addition of supporting sponsors. The study now includes four streams of research: surveys, desk research, focus interviews and intensive, one-day facilitated shipper workshops. Each year the study examines special topics more closely.