Big challenges for 3PLs

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Some companies outsource as a matter of course, while others have been taking supply chain operations back in-house. David Hindson, director of marketing and strategy for TDG, discussed two supply chain concepts; the ‘lean and mean’ system and ‘supply chain re-engineering’.

Contract logistics has come a long way since the 1980s, when distribution was a backwater and not really considered a profession at all. Nowadays, contracts are shorter, margins are being squeezed and some companies are even considering bringing their distribution operations back in-house.

Hindson said that when considering outsourcing operations, working practices needed to be challenged. He predicted that 3PLs not adopting either ‘lean and mean’ or supply chain re-engineering, would disappear. He said: “Implementing either strategy will be a major challenge for us or any of our competitors.”

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