Photo: Ryder

Photo: Ryder

Third-party logistics in the U.S. experienced “a mediocre year” in 2016, according to a new report prepared by market-research and consultancy firm Armstrong & Associates Inc.

For the year, 3PL net revenues grew 2.1% over 2015 to $73.5 billion. Overall gross revenues increased 3.5%, expanding the total U.S. 3PL market to $166.8 billion. 

A&A pointed out that major merger and acquisition activity “changed third-party logistics from mid-2014 through 2015” and then the pace slackened markedly last year. The firm noted that the biggest M&A deal was FedEx’s acquisition of TNT Express in the second quarter. 

Also in 2016, A& A found that the domestic transportation management segment of the 3PL market increased 5.3% in gross revenue and 7% in net revenue as 3PLs in this arena “tightened up operations in an effort to compensate for ample truck capacity.” 

Meanwhile, the international transportation management sector, which experienced strong growth 10 years ago, last year grew 2.6% in gross revenue-- but its net revenue fell 1.9%. Like the DTM segment, ITM was “negatively impacted by too much air and ocean capacity in the market. 

The dedicated contract carriage field grew by 3.5% in 2016 with segment leader Ryder up 14%. The value-added warehousing and distribution segment increased 1.9% in the face of tight capacity and warehouse utilization. 

A&A also stated that global 3PL revenues reached $802 billion in 2016 and sad they are “on track to exceed $962 billion in 2020.” That estimate is based on activity in seven major regions comprising 190 countries. 

Information on the cost of the report and how to order it may be accessed here.