Global 3PL Management: Factors to keep top of mind

Global third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are not a dime a dozen; in fact, there are only a few truly global supply chain managers—and they are a part of large, diverse global transportation networks.

By ·

Global third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are not a dime a dozen; in fact, there are only a few truly global supply chain managers—and they are a part of large, diverse global transportation networks. Most of the major players, such as UPS, FedEx, DHL and DB Schenker, all have IT platforms interfacing with their customers to provide global visibility from origins to destinations; they’re experts at Customs clearance around the globe; and they’re active in all transportation modes and regularly adjust between ocean, air, trucking and same-day delivery to best accommodate individual orders.

However, global shippers need to keep in mind that supply chain management capabilities—even those managed by the most expansive global 3PLs—vary greatly between countries. The biggest challenge is often managing expectations within a region’s physical limitations.

Managing geographical expectations

Advanced economies generally have better highways, ports and railways as well as better communication systems and technology. Political changes can especially complicate matters, but those issues are normally limited to emerging market and developing economy countries.

As a general rule, logistics costs as a percent of GDP are lower in advanced economies and higher in emerging market/developing countries. Not surprisingly, the countries with the largest economies dominate infrastructure statistics.

The United States has the most miles of highways, railways and pipelines. Meanwhile, China, with the second largest economy, has the third largest amount of highways and railways. India is second in the total miles of roadways; however, only 2% to 3% of India’s roadways are modern highways. Even some of these, like Highway 9 from Mumbai to Pune, have uneven surfaces and transportation obstacles.

These persistent infrastructure challenges create opportunities for modern, sophisticated 3PLs. Global shippers who seek to succeed in today’s landscape should remember the following: Even when a global supply chain is managed by an experienced and expansive global 3PL, many regions and countries have limitations such as infrastructure, technology and carrier service levels. It’s important to manage expectations based on your areas of operation and seek out “true” global 3PLs that know the lay of the land. 

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.

Latest Whitepaper
Is It Time For a New Network Strategy?
A successful supply chain network design gives companies a competitive advantage, pinpoints ways to significantly reduce costs, improves service levels, reduces overall cycle times, streamlines all processes and systems used, and more.
Download Today!
From the May 2019 Logistics Management Magazine
May is our Technology Issue, and we’ve devoted the majority of our pages this month to the evolution of the technology toolbox that’s now within our grasp.
The Digital Supply Chain Takes Shape
Top 30 U.S. Ports 2019: Trade tensions determine where cargo goes next
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Technology Roundtable: Are you ready for what’s next?
In this webcast LM's group editorial director Michael Levans gathers four top supply chain management technology analysts to discuss how some of the hottest software and technologies is helping logistics and supply chain management professionals streamline their operations to meet the pressing demands of digital commerce and manage through the tightest labor market in a generation.
Register Today!
35th Annual Salary Survey: Compensation matters more than ever
While job satisfaction remains the primary reason for today’s logistics managers to stay with one...
2019 Rate Outlook: Pressure Builds
In 2019, the world economy will enter a third straight year of broad-based growth, but many...

2019 Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market Update: Keeping pace with the times
The transportation management systems market is growing right along with the number of challenges...
The Logistics News that Shaped 2018
Every year at this time, group news editor Jeff Berman combs through the mountain of news that was...
blue ice packs

насосы дозаторы

корпусная мебель