Download now: 3PL Subway Map Europe 2016

Fourth release of 3PL Subway Map Europe

Manufacturers and retailers welcome the ongoing consolidation in the fragmented logistics industry. they want logistics service providers to offer full service on a global scale and are demanding more technological innovation. these are the main conclusions from Supply Chain Movement’s annual study as the basis for the 3pl subway map europe 2016, which shows the specific services of the most important logistics service providers.

By Martijn Lofvers


Last year was one of the busiest on record in terms of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the logistics industry. The major acquisition of the American UTi Worldwide by the Danish firm DSV was officially declared last January and announced last October. The largest acquisition in Europe last year was of the Dutch TNT Express by FedEx. These mergers and acquisitions are reflected on the Supply Chain Movement 3PL Subway Map Europe.

In order to be included on the 3PL Subway Map Europe, logistics service providers with offices in several European countries have to provide information about revenue share and number of customers per service line. Furthermore, Supply Chain Movement has asked these companies which competitors they come across regularly during logistics tenders.

In the Eyefortransport 2016 Global Logistics Survey, most logistics service providers (LSPs) stated that the consolidation taking place was helpful as it was making sense of a fragmented industry. However, 23% of respondents were concerned about the heated M&A activity, suggesting this was going to increase competition in the logistics space. A further 13% of respondents said they were looking to make acquisitions to improve their own position in light of other M&A moves. Eyefortransport is currently seeing major consolidation occurring in the shipping industry and expects to see further moves as logistics providers look to take advantage of e-commerce, cross-border trade and shifting global demand.

Technology threat

Manufacturers and retailers had a generally positive outlook on the prospect of consolidation. In fact, 39% of them indicated that this was a positive move because they preferred full-service logistics providers with wider geographic reach. A further 9% thought this was a positive move as it would simplify the fragmented industry.

It is interesting to see what kind of challenges LSPs are facing in the changing logistics landscape. In the global survey by Eyefortransport, 11% of respondents felt that technological advancements in the form of automation and intelligent software were a potential threat to their business. In fact, technology ranked only slightly behind commoditisation, which has traditionally been seen as one of the major threats to the industry.

Shortfall in innovation With only 27% of respondents reporting to have gained new business through innovation in the last twelve months, how is innovation going to bear the brunt of business-generating power sought by LSPs? When asked where their LSPs fall short most often, customers responded with ‘innovation’. In addition, when benchmarking their logistics providers, only 8% of respondents rated the importance of innovation and it was ranked in fourth place.

Effectively, shippers (manufacturers and retailers that have products in need of transport) either don’t value innovation from their LSPs or don’t see innovation from them. LSPs place themselves towards the laggard end of the scale when it comes to adopting new cutting-edge technologies, a sentiment echoed to an even greater extent by their customers.

21% of respondent shippers expected their LSP to be able to provide expertise and services in the area of predictive analytics in the future, with a further 15% expecting their LSP to already have expertise in this area and to provide services in the near future. This contrasts significantly against the other listed technologies, where LSP expectations were more muted.

Download: 3PL Subway Map Europe 2016

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