CEO Survey: Trends in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Penske - 2010 3PL CEO Survey Last week, Penske Logistics  and Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration jointly released the 17th Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics Providers at the annual conference of Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).   The conference was attended by over 3,100 supply chain professionals from 41 countries.

The survey of 31 CEOs from leading third-party logistic providers provides a view into important trends and issues within the Supply Chain Management industry.  The surveyed companies represent important players in the supply chain market ecosystem within North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. 

I took a look at the report and here are my key takeaways:

  • Revenue Outlook is Improving.   25 of the 31 CEOs surveyed reported their companies were profitable during 2010.  Three reported they broke even and another three reported their companies were unprofitable.  The CEOs in all three regions were considerably more bullish about future revenue growth prospects of not only their companies, but also the regional 3PL industry that the previous year’s survey findings.
  • Progress Being Made In Sustainability.  While there is still much more work to be done with regard to sustainability, there seems to be some progress.  Fourteen of the 31 companies reported that they began new green initiatives during the past 12 months and all but 6 of the companies now have formal sustainability groups within their companies.
  • Near-Shoring As A Trend.   27 of the 31 CEOs report that manufacturing customers have begun to move toward “near-shoring” options during the past year.  Drives of this trend include quality control issues and a desire to reduce fuel usage (both for cost reasons and to help curtail carbon emissions)
  • Focus on Risk Management.  The report findings indicate CEOs have been busy implementing new business practices related to risk management/risk sharing; business continuity planning; performance based contracts; and enhanced vendor qualifications.   Pressure on 3PLs to share risk with their clients has increased, with 28 of the 31 CEOs reporting that their companies now have performance-based contracts with many of their clients.
  • Opportunities for Growth.  CEOs in all three regions ranked the overall growth of the market for outsourcing services as the most important opportunity.   Other opportunities include differentiating on sustainability capabilities and opportunities related to expansion of service offerings.

The full report is available for download at

One thought on “CEO Survey: Trends in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

  1. There’s constant change and modifications in the Supply chain management business. that’s what industrial engineers are always after to improve.

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