Figure 1 reveals the percentage of shipper respondents to the survey, including both users (48%) and non-users (11%) of 3PL services and the percentage of 3PLs (41%). The non-user responses are helpful because they provide valuable insights on why some organizations have elected not to use 3PLs as well as non-user perspective on several other relevant topics throughout the study.
Shipper respondents are typically senior managers, directors, vice presidents and above from a mixture of different industries. Figure 2 reflects the ten most prominent industries reported by users of 3PL services, accounting for almost 90% of the overall respondents. Manufacturing represented the single largest industry category at 19%, while Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail and Consumer Brands collectively formed the largest cluster at 21%.
Figure 3 groups shippers according to geographic location. A high concentration of shippers recorded their base location in the United States (65%). For the first time, more respondents reported Asia (13.92%) as their base location over Europe (7.59%), and overall, there was a noted drop in European respondents over prior years.
Shipper respondents represented a diverse group based on total annual sales with no significant variance year over year in any one response cluster (see Figure 4). Just over half of shippers (54%) reported $1 billion in sales or greater this year. This was up slightly from last year, when 49% of shippers reported $1 billion in sales or greater.
3PL executives and senior leaders responded to a similar, yet separate version of the survey. Since 3PL respondents tend to service multiple geographically areas, the study team asked them to select all major geographies for which they provide service (see Figure 5). North America continues to be the single largest service area at 78%, but all major geographies are represented.
3PL respondents service a diverse group of industries ranging from consumer-packaged goods (CPG) (59%) to financial services and insurance (FSI) (5%) and government organization at the federal, state and local segments (5%), as shown in Figure 6. Overall, 3PL respondents work primarily with those industries that have a direct-to-consumer element such as retail, consumer brands, CPG, consumer electronics, and food and beverage.
3PL respondents represented a diverse group based on total annual sales with more variance year over year than shipper respondents. Just 29% of 3PLs report $1 billion in sales or greater this year, compared to 54% of shippers, see Figure 7. Additionally, 38% of 3PLs report less than $100 million in total annual revenue.