Given the current market, we expect freight volume to remain stagnant with consequently weak rate levels. The ambitions of carriers to rationalize capacity while new vessels and aircraft come on-line will lead to rate volatility. Third-party logistics providers are thriving in this environment because companies will examine their supply chains more thoroughly from a cost per unit perspective by working closer with their 3PLs for data analysis. Therefore, companies will elevate their focus on total cost of ownership, balancing transportation and logistics cost with inventory and cost of obsolescence.
In order for 3PLs to provide added value for customers, they must remain agile and responsive and work toward collaborative relationships with their customers. Collaborative relationships are built on a history of reliable service and trust. Together, customers and 3PLs should position target metrics such as landed cost, inventory reduction, cycle times, order rate and accuracy to maximize efficiency in supply chains.