More than 39% of retailers and manufacturers across Europe are seeking a single pan-European logistics contractor while some 65.2% will look for such a provider in five years time, according to a new survey by market analysis company Analytica. The research – European Supply Chain Director Survey 2003: Decision Making and Outsourcing – also suggests:-
- That significant improvements could be made in the tendering process.
- That once a contract is won, the third-party logistics provider (3PL) is not pro-active enough.
- That two-thirds of companies only approach between one and five 3PLs.
- That the majority of outsourced logistics contracts are national.
Deciding on which 3PL to use is usually based on internal information, says the research. The internal information comprises experience of having employed the 3PL in the past, information that has been sourced from a colleague, or that the the 3PL is being used elsewhere in the company.
Analytica senior analyst Paul Chapman says: “It’s a fact that around three-quarters of all logistics contracts are awarded on a national basis. Clients of 3PLs are increasingly looking for a single, consistent, pan-European provider of logistics services, but according to them, there aren’t any. Perhaps this is the reason why companies are looking at 4PL solutions instead.” He continues: “They also want to see more IT innovation and value-added services. 3PLs are responding well, but apparently not fast enough for some clients.”
The research also highlights that supply chain directors want to see: more of a partnership approach with logistics providers as well as for providers to work closely with their clients to create innovative solutions and to generate costs savings out of the supply chain.