WEST ALLIS, WI, June 14, 2016 – For third-party logistics, 2015 was a year dominated by mergers and acquisitions, ample carrier capacity, and sagging fuel prices.

3PL net revenues grew 4.5% in 2015 to $71.9 billion. Overall gross revenues had a muted 2.2% increase, primarily due to reduced fuel prices in 2015 versus 2014 and the resulting reduction in fuel surcharge revenue for non-asset domestic and international transportation managers. The total U.S. 3PL Market expanded to $161.2 billion.

Big M&A deals changed third-party logistics from mid-2014 through 2015. Brad Jacobs and his XPO Logistics team helped make 2015 the largest 3PL M&A year (with purchases including Con-way and Norbert Dentressangle) for deals over $100 million at 11, since A&A began tracking activity in 1999. The resulting M&A operations integrations have increased concentration on efficiency and profitability. They should add further emphasis on quality and “lean” process improvement initiatives.

For 2015, the domestic transportation management (DTM) 3PL segment lead the way with net revenue growth of 12.4%. DTM is the modern and sophisticated offspring of freight brokerage. International transportation management (ITM) rebounded with 4.8% net revenue growth. Dedicated contract carriage (DCC) net revenue saw muted growth of 4.0% due to ample carrier capacity in the market. While many 3PL warehouses were full in 2014 and 2015, pricing pressure has dominated the competitive landscape. Value-added warehousing and distribution (VAWD) had a meager 2.2% increase in net revenue for the year.

The big story in warehousing has been Amazon’s sequential growth in its fulfillment center operations. If all of Amazon’s warehouses, accounting for 100.6 million square feet of space were counted as 3PL VAWD space, it would be the third largest global VAWD 3PL behind DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding with 248 million square feet and XPO Logistics with 151 million square feet (through the combination of Norbert Dentressangle, Menlo Logistics, and New Breed Logistics). Amazon is also growing its internal freight forwarding and domestic transportation management skills, so we are awaiting the day when it truly goes to market as an integrated 3PL. It has already described itself as a transportation service provider in a recent 10-K filing.

The complete report and other A&A market research can be found at: https://www.3plogistics.com/product-category/guides-market-research-reports/.


Armstrong & Associates, Inc. (A&A) was established in 1980 to meet the needs of a newly deregulated domestic transportation market. Since then, through its leading Third-Party Logistics (3PL) market research and history of helping companies outsource logistics functions, A&A has become an internationally recognized key resource for 3PL market information and consulting.

A&A’s mission is to have leading proprietary supply chain knowledge and market research not available anywhere else. As proof of our continued work in supporting our mission, A&A’s 3PL market research is frequently cited in media articles, publications, and securities filings by publicly traded 3PLs. In addition, A&A’s email newsletter currently has over 30,000 subscribers globally.

A&A’s market research complements its consulting activities by providing continually updated data for analysis. Based upon its unsurpassed knowledge of the 3PL market and the operations of leading 3PLs, A&A has provided strategic planning consulting services to over 30 3PLs, supported 16 closed investment transactions, and provided advice to numerous companies looking to benchmark existing 3PL operations or outsource logistics functions.

For more information, please contact:
Evan Armstrong at +1-608-268-5860, or email Evan@3PLogistics.com.
Cheri Grabowski at +1-414-545-3838, or email Cheri@3PLogistics.com.

Armstrong & Associates, Inc.
10401 West Lincoln Avenue, Suite 207
West Allis, WI 53227 USA
Phone: +1-414-545-3838 Fax: +1-414-545-3906
Website: www.3PLogistics.com