Third Party Logistics (3PL) Market Report

Third Party Logistics (3PL) Market Analysis By Service, By Transport (Roadways, Railways, Waterways, Airways), By End-Use (Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, Automotive), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2014 - 2025

  • Published Date: Feb, 2017
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-346-1
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014-2016
  • Number of Pages: 216

Industry Insights

The global Third Party Logistics (3PL) market size was estimated at USD 672.38 billion in 2015. Increased shipping demands and fluctuations in transportation capacities are enabling logistics providers to optimize their supply chain activities.

The third party logistics market is expected to evolve significantly, as outsourced logistics operations enable firms to gain competitive advantages by managing inventory, reducing capital expenditure (CAPEX), mitigating risks, and focusing on the core competencies of the business. The availability of industry-specific logistics services and the emergence of Big Data are expected to be the major drivers augmenting the industry growth. A rise in outsourcing by middle market companies (including retailers and wholesalers) owing to the lack of necessary internal control to address logistic challenges is expected to impact the market growth favorably over the forecast period.

U.S. Third Party Logistics (3PL) market, by service, 2014-2025 (USD Billion)

U.S. Third Party Logistics (3PL) market

The increased adoption of cloud-based services to enhance value, add flexibility to the outsourcing processes, and to incorporate technologies such as Transportation Management Systems (TMS), for route optimization and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) used in shipment tracking, are expected to play a pivotal role in differentiating service providers. However, uncertainties in several economies are dampening the interest of 3PL providers in making capital investments.

Service Insights

The Domestic Transportation Management (DTM) segment captured a market share of over 30% in 2015. Globalization has consequently increased domestic and international trades, resulting in end-users demanding increased efficiency in transportation and logistics activities to fulfill on-time delivery. Regardless of whether the supply chain is international or domestic, efficient management of a purchased transportation process, to reduce cost & complexity and improve control, is gaining momentum.

Continued growth in global economic activity and the increased supply chain management have led to a substantial increase in demand for international transportation management services. Moreover, the introduction of trade liberalization policies has boosted international trade, thereby propelling the demand for these services.

Transport Insights

The 3PL market via roadways was valued at over USD 390 billion in 2015. The increasing investments to develop road transport networks and growing number of government initiatives to boost freight forwarding have led vendors to adopt road transportation modes. A cohesive aim to develop the logistics infrastructures and growth in new road-concession models are propelling the growth of 3PL services through roadways.

For instance, in 2015, the Brazilian government announced the launch of the second phase of the Logistics Investment Program (PIL) to provide concessions for airports, highways, railways, and port investments. Additionally, emerging countries, such as India, offer huge opportunities to develop national highways and increase the reach of railways.

End-Use Insights

The manufacturing sector contributed significantly to the 3PL industry with a revenue share of over 20% in 2015. The outsourcing of logistics in manufacturing is gaining prominence due to increased numbers of manufacturing and production units in the emerging economies of India and Mexico. Further, the adoption of several business models, to follow an integrated approach toward providing products and services, is expected to have a positive impact on the growth of the third-party logistics market.

Global 3PL market, by end-use, 2015

Global 3PL market

Regional Insights

The 3PL market in the Asia Pacific region held over 30% of the revenue share in 2015. Economic growth in China and India is contributing to the demand for 3PL services. The growing e-commerce penetration, proposed GST implementations, and economy revivals are propelling the need for outsourcing logistics services in India. Further, growth in investments and participation of international logistics players, in the Asia Pacific region, are expected to impact the third-party logistics industry positively over the next nine years.

The North American region is expected to contribute significantly to the global market, owing to the decreased transportation and labor costs coupled with the increasing demand for logistics software. The increasing investments for route optimization and visibility, by the key vendors of the region, are expected to boost the demand for 3PL services.

Competitive Insights

The key industry participants include C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Kuehne + Nagel International AG, FedEx Corporation, DHL, and UPS Supply Chain Solutions. Logistics vendors are working toward balancing the risks associated with investments in single transportation modes, to contribute to the mergers and acquisitions that occurred in the recent years. Logistics providers are responding, positively, to rely on outsourcing services and provide operational and guidance capabilities regarding their logistic needs.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2015

Forecast period

2016 - 2025

Market representation

Revenue in USD Billion and CAGR from 2016 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and MEA

Country scope

U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, France, China, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

15% free customization scope (equivalent to five analyst working days)

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growths at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global Third Party Logistics (3PL) Market based on service, transport, end-use, and region.

  • Service Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2014 - 2025)

    • Dedicated Contract Carriage (DCC)/ Freight forwarding

    • Domestic Transportation Management (DTM)

    • International Transportation Management (ITM)

    • Warehousing & distribution

    • Value-added logistics services

  • Transport Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2014 - 2025)

    • Roadways

    • Railways

    • Waterways

    • Airways

  • End-Use Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2014 - 2025)

    • Manufacturing

    • Retail

    • Healthcare

    • Automotive

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion; 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • UK

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Australia

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • Middle East and Africa

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