Entrepreneur Ben Gordon says the conventional Internet wisdom -- that the intermediary is dead -- "is dead wrong."
Gordon, president of Web startup 3PLex.com, told Truckinginfo.com that for the past six months to a year, transportation people have been talking about how the Internet will kill many third party logistics providers, or 3PLs.
"Is the Internet going to replace the 3PLs?" asked Gordon rhetorically. "I think you're going see the case of the 3PLs strike back."
Not surprisingly, Gordon's Web venture, 3PLex.com is aimed at helping the 3PLs do just that.

"The mission of 3PLex is to provide third-party logistics companies and carriers with the technology to automate their business, connect to more business partners, and provide greater value-added services. As a result, our customers will realize productivity savings and growth into new markets and new customers," Gordon said.
Ben Gordon is just 27 years old; so is his partner, Harvard Business School classmate Tania Yannas. Their startup hasn't actually started up yet. But if confident talk counts for anything, Gordon will be a serious contender in the B2B web wars.
"If 3PLs can adapt to Internet technology and can capture the efficiencies that a company like 3PLex can provide, those companies are going to catapult themselves to the front line when it comes to being able to grow profitably,'' Gordon said.
"We had a 3PL come to us a month ago, a midsize 3PL. Their CEO said to us, 'I need to find a way to grow my business. I know the Internet it is both a huge threat and potentially a huge opportunity. I would like to work with you guys to figure out how we can take advantage of it.'
"Soon thereafter this 3PL landed a $75 billion account, a shipper. Part of the reason he was able to do that was because he was able to use the 3PLex.com technology to describe how he would be able to serve that shipper more effectively. This account will more than double the size of the 3PLs business. That's a great example of how the 3PL strikes back."
3PLex.com launched yesterday with business already in hand, including Romar Transportation Systems,
Inc., of Chicago, Ill.
"We brought in three 3PLs this month and we have 30 in the process,'' Gordon said.
And all of those 3PLs will bring their preferred carrier lists with them. Those carriers and any who sign up at the web site will benefit, according to Gordon.
"We offer carriers a couple of things," he said. "First the ability to automate communications with existing customers (member 3PLs), second, the ability to find new sources of freight. And third, analytical tools like fuel optimization and that allow them to run their business more intelligently and more profitably."