Transportation News

2013 Top 50 Global & Domestic Third-Party Logistics Providers

Finding the right third-party logistics provider (3PL) always involves considerable due diligence - it may also mean leaving an existing partner for a set of collaborators that can deliver on the promise of a seamless global network.

WSI Resources


  • C.H. Robinson helps companies simplify their global supply chains. Skilled logistics employees apply a deep knowledge of market conditions and proven processes to solve transportation problems. Integrated technology gathers data from all parts of the supply chain and provides full visibility to orders…

  • LEGACY Supply Chain Services is a third party logistics (3PL) provider. For over four decades, they’ve enhanced operations performance for businesses of all sizes by optimizing distribution and warehousing, domestic transportation brokerage, global freight forwarding, customs brokerage, and…

  • Ryder System, Inc. is a leading provider of commercial transportation, logistics, and supply chain management solutions, serving customers throughout North America, Europe and Asia. When it comes to your supply chain, it’s not enough to partner with a provider that understands logistics. Improving…

  • SEKO provides complete Supply Chain Solutions, specializing in transportation, logistics, forwarding and warehousing. We also lead the industry with innovative and customizable IT solutions, which provide a seamless flow of information and give our growing customer base true supply chain visibility.

  • WSI (Warehouse Specialists, Inc) is one of the largest privately held logistics companies in the U.S. For nearly 50 years, we have grown steadily to span a nationwide distribution network with global logistics reach. WSI delivers reliable, integrated logistics and supply chain optimization to increase…

  • Company Quicklook

Leading industry analysts and consultants maintain that the landscape for global and domestic 3PLs may be shifting this year, but shippers can hedge their bets by vetting asset-based and non-asset players when planning future networks.

A healthy service provider portfolio, say our analysts, includes a bit of both.

In fact, this year’s list of Top 50 Global 3PLs, compiled by market consultancy Armstrong & Associates, validates the observation that shippers need a variety of options when it comes to moving freight this year.

“Shippers would prefer to work with a few providers, but the performance scale of operations often requires them to hire several 3PLs in order to optimize global procurement,” says Evan Armstrong, the consultancy’s president. “In the domestic arena, it’s more centralized.”

On the domestic front, both Coyote Logistics and XPO Logistics have broken the $2 billion revenue barrier through acquisition, creating two “mega” freight brokers to rival 3PL domestic transportation management (DTM) market segment leader C.H. Robinson Worldwide.

“With other major competitors such as Total Quality Logistics and Echo Global Logistics growing rapidly as well, this intense competition will continue to heat up,” says Armstrong. “In the end, it will mean increased operational performance levels for shippers and further consolidation within the small freight broker ranks.”

While the 3.5 percent year-over-year U.S. 3PL market growth in 2013 was sluggish, mirroring the overall economy, DTM led all 3PL market segments again in 2013, according to Armstrong’s research. Gross revenues were up, as was the cost of purchasing transportation capacity. However, the ongoing driver shortage continues to pressure DTM gross margins and net revenue growth.

“Amazon Effect”

Evan Armstrong

Since 2011, Armstrong and his team have been monitoring the “Amazon Effect” on the third-party logistics market as part of its strategy consulting work.

Related: What is the Amazon Effect?

They’re finding that it’s becoming increasingly important for value-added warehousing and distribution-centric 3PLs with significant business in the retailing industry to anticipate continued growth by Amazon and position—or reposition—their companies within the market as more business shifts from brick-and-motor stores to internet order fulfillment operations.

“International transportation management (ITM) saw another slow-growth year. Expeditors International, Kuehne + Nagel, and Panalpina all had year-over-year revenue gains of 2.9 percent or less,” Armstrong observes. He also notes that more focus in Asia has been on building reliable regional value-added warehousing and distribution (VAWD) networks versus export activity.

Armstrong & Associates Top 50 Global 3PLs

2013 Gross Logistics Revenue (USD Millions)*
Third-Party Logistics Provider
  1. $31,432
    DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding
  2. $22,587
    Kuehne + Nagel
  3. $19,732
    DB Schenker Logistics
  4. $17,317
    Nippon Express
  5. $12,752
    C.H. Robinson Worldwide
  6. $8,517
    CEVA Logistics
  7. $8,140
  8. $7,738
  9. $7,293
  10. $7,263
    SDV (Bolloré Group)
  11. $6,627
  12. $6,266
    Toll Holdings
  13. $6,080
    Expeditors International of Washington
  14. $5,828
  15. $5,492
    UPS Supply Chain Solutions
  16. $5,300
  17. $5,224
    J.B. Hunt (JBI, DCS & ICS)
  18. $4,441
    UTi Worldwide
  19. $4,415
  20. $4,042
    Yusen Logistics
  21. $3,923
    IMPERIAL Logistics
  22. $3,433
    Hellmann Worldwide Logistics
  23. $3,374
    Unyson Logistic
  24. $3,212
  25. $3,119
    Burris Logistics
  26. $2,850
    Schneider Logistics & Dedicated
  27. $2,782
    Norbert Dentressangle
  28. $2,718
    Kintetsu World Express
  29. $2,575
    Kerry Logistics
  30. $2,546
    Pantos Logistics
  31. $2,293
  32. $2,280
    Ryder Supply Chain Solutions
  33. $2,090
    FIEGE Group
  34. $2,000
    Coyote Logistics**
  35. $2,000
    XPO Logistics**
  36. $1,900
    BDP International
  37. $1,745
    NNR Global Logistics
  38. $1,695
  39. $1,621
    Total Quality Logistics
  40. $1,611
  41. $1,555
    Nissin Corporation/Nissin Group
  42. $1,586
    APL Logistics
  43. $1,580
  44. $1,540
    Menlo Worldwide Logistics
  45. $1,509
  46. $1,470
    BLG Logistics Group
  47. $1,400
  48. $1,387
    FedEx Supply Chain/FedEx Trade Networks
  49. $1,301
  50. $1,290
*Revenues are company reported or Armstrong & Associates, Inc. estimates and have been converted to USD using the average exchange rate in order to make non-currency related growth comparisons. **34 & 35 Tied.

“This has benefited Kerry Logistics and Toll Holdings who have significant operating networks in China and Southeast Asia,” says Armstrong. “As a sign of this shift, Kerry Logistics, the leading VAWD 3PL in Greater China, was spun off from its parent Kerry Properties Limited via an initial public offering in December 2013.”

Armstrong & Associates Top 50 U.S. Domestic 3PLs

2013 Gross Logistics Revenue (USD Millions)*
Third-Party Logistics Provider
  1. $12,752
    C.H. Robinson Worldwide
  2. $6,080
    Expeditors International of Washington
  3. $5,492
    UPS Supply Chain Solutions
  4. $5,224
    J.B. Hunt (JBI, DCS & ICS)
  5. $5,046
    Kuehne + Nagel (The Americas)
  6. $4,600
    Exel (DHL Supply Chain - Americas)
  7. $4,441
    UTi Worldwide
  8. $3,374
    Unyson Logistic
  9. $3,119
    Burris Logistics
  10. $2,850
    Schneider Logistics & Dedicated
  11. $2,838
    DB Schenker Logistics
  12. $2,641
    CEVA Logistics (The Americas)
  13. $2,280
    Ryder Supply Chain Solutions
  14. $2,188
    Panalpina (The Americas)
  15. $2,000
    Coyote Logistics**
  16. $2,000
    XPO Logistics**
  17. $1,900
    BDP International
  18. $1,621
    Total Quality Logistics
  19. $1,580
  20. $1,540
    Menlo Worldwide Logistics
  21. $1,509
  22. $1,400
  23. $1,387
    FedEx Trade Networks/FedEx Supply Chain Services
  24. $1,301
  25. $1,290
  26. $1,200
    Cardinal Logistics Management
  27. $1,189
    Swift Transportation
  28. $1,138
    Werner Enterprises Dedicated & Logistics
  29. $1,091
  30. $1,007
    Damco (The Americas)
  31. $1,000
  32. $993
    APL Logistics (The Americas)
  33. $968
    Penske Logistics
  34. $884
    Echo Global Logistics
  35. $821
    Yusen Logistics (Americas)
  36. $807
  37. $803
    Transportation Insight
  38. $800
    Jacobson Companies**
  39. $800
    Neovia Logistics Services**
  40. $798
    England Logistics
  41. $795
    Agility (The Americas)
  42. $755
    ModusLink Global Solutions
  43. $734
    Ingram Micro Logistics
  44. $721
    Hellmann Worldwide Logistics (The Americas)
  45. $648
    New Breed Logistics
  46. $615
    U.S. Xpress Enterprises
  47. $580
    Kenco Logistic Services
  48. $574
    Crane Worldwide Logistics**
  49. $574
  50. $570
    DSV (The Americas)
*Revenues are company reported or Armstrong & Associates, Inc. estimates and have been converted to USD using the average exchange rate in order to make non-currency related growth comparisons. **15 & 16, 38 & 39, 48 & 49 Tied.

Armstrong says that while the internet services and retailing 3PL market sub-segment is only a small portion of the Fortune 1000 domestic spend with 3PLs, it has grown 140 percent from 2007 to 2013.

“Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla in the e-retail market, and as it deploys its own local delivery fleets and continues to expand its value-added warehousing and distribution network, it will drive strategic change,” says Armstrong. “Those 3PLs that could be most affected include DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding, FedEx SupplyChain, GENCO, OHL, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, and the smaller e-commerce fulfillment niche players like eBay Enterprise (formerly GSI Commerce) and Innotrac.”

While Amazon outsources very few functions to 3PLs, Menlo Worldwide Logistics has been a key beneficiary from Amazon’s growth, having significant portions of business awarded to it in 2013, he adds. “It’s this kind of resiliency that will be a key differentiator in the 3PL marketplace moving forward.”

Balancing Act

John Langley

Resiliency and balance are not mutually exclusive qualities, maintains John Langley Jr., Ph.D., at the Pennsylvania State University. Indeed he argues that the Armstrong rankings reflect more global diversity of gross revenue, thereby challenging the “80-20 Rule.” Also known as “The Pareto principle,” it states that roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.

“This translates into the way the economy is functioning now, with non-asset based 3PLs having much greater leverage for buying asset-based services,” says Langley.

He also observes that domestic trucking supply and demand drives a lot of pricing pressure these days, which encourages logistics managers to spread their business around. “Asset-based providers are having a resurgence,” says Langely. “At the end of the day, someone has to own the assets, and we see them now dealing more directly with retail and Fortune 500 shippers.”

Related: 2013 Third-Party Logistics Study (or 2014 Third-Party Logistics Study)

Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez, the founder and president of Adelante SCM, a peer-to-peer networking community for logistics professionals, agrees that a balanced transport portfolio is ideal. “Logistics managers are trying to mitigate risk by using asset-based carriers for dedicated fleet control operations,” he says. “This is not only true in the truckload segment, but also in intermodal. Shippers have to weigh the benefits of flexibility against the advantages of having predictable routes.”

Non-asset based players resemble “technology providers,” more than ever, Gonzalez adds, noting that increased focus on customer relationship management is redefining the 3PL arena.

“Not just regionally, or domestically, but all around the world, he says. “While someone has to own the physical assets, many 3PLs are becoming much more reliant on cloud computing to provide seamless transparency for the shipper. Asset-based giants are also realizing the advantages of adapting to new IT technologies.”

Gonzalez maintains that through the years, service providers and software vendors have “busted out of their boxes” via mergers and acquisitions, new business models, and new product development to pursue new growth opportunities, and to provide manufacturers and retailers with more complete “end-to-end” supply chain solutions.

“In the past, you had a box for freight forwarder, a box for broker, a box for warehouse operator, and so on,” Gonzalez says. “At the same time, logistics managers had a box for parcel shipping solution, a box for fleet management application, and a box for outbound transportation solution.” Today, he says, the boxes and labels of yesterday are giving way to a single amorphous category: providers of supply chain software and services.

“A logistics service provider can offer its own transportation management system while still being a 3PL and software vendor,” says Gonzalez. “It can also be a B2B connectivity service that facilitates the exchange of data, documents, and other information with carriers and other trading partners.”

Those distinctions, he argues, are becoming less important. For Gonzalez, the only question that still matters is the first one manufacturers and retailers must ask themselves when defining their supply chain strategies and initiatives: What are our desired outcomes?

Magic Quadrant

Greg Aimi

Analysts for The Gartner Group are more concrete when it comes to defining the role of the 3PL. For them, the logistics service provider (LSP) predominantly operates a business that moves, stores, or manages products or materials on behalf of a shipper without ever taking ownership of such products or materials.

In its annual Magic Quadrant for Global Third-Party Logistics report, Gartner considers 3PLs and LSPs to be synonymous. “Increasingly, 3PLs have extended their services beyond the basics, providing opportunities to increase their value and resolve additional customer supply chain challenges,” says Greg Aimi, Gartner’s director of supply chain research and Magic Quadrant co-author.

For example, these services include returns and repair processing, assembly and kitting, packaging, postponement, shipment consolidation, and cross-docking. In some cases, 3PLs also offer fourth-party logistics provider (4PL) or lead logistics provider (LLP) services. Customers use 4PL/LLP as a single management team to oversee and coordinate other 3PLs and carriers on their behalf.

Magic Quadrant for global third-party logistics providers

“Large multinational and global manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are requiring their 3PLs to offer a broader set of consistent and reliable services across more and more countries, and to integrate those services across end-to-end business processes so that they might be able to use them as a global preferred provider,” explains Aimi.

As a consequence, adds Aimi, the 3PL industry is progressing along a “maturity spectrum” in accordance with these new customer requirements, through a combination of acquisition and organic growth strategies.

“This Magic Quadrant is intended to chart the evolution of the largest 3PLs as they improve their ability to become a global preferred provider for their customers,” says Aimi. “Logistics and supply chain executives can use this research to better understand 3PLs and their capabilities when evaluating and selecting the right set of providers to meet their global logistics needs.”

Above the Radar

Aimi’s words of advice should resonate with the world’s largest logistics provider, DHL, which has just published the second edition of its Logistics Trend Radar.

The current report builds on the recent developments already identified in 2013, introduces new trends, and then sketches a future landscape for logistics professionals and the challenges they will face, but also outlines solutions that are underway—especially multi-channel retailing and predictive purchasing.

Some of the new trends the report highlights include omni-channel logistics, or the integration of different offline and online shopping channels; anticipatory logistics, or the application of big data analysis of customer product searches in order to send a shipment before the customer places an order; and crypto payment, the universal payment systems that allow global cross-currency payments to clear in seconds.

DHL Logistics Trend Radar

According to researchers, the Trend Radar report serves as a panoramic 360 degree view across the whole breadth of the logistics landscape. Based on this overview, the DHL research team will further explore selected trends in a “deep dive” format, based on research in cooperation with customers, research institutes, and industry experts.

“We combine our expertise with input from academia and other partners,” says Markus Kückelhaus, DHL’s director of trend research, adding that the Trend Radar paper is a good starting point for logistics professionals wanting to prepare their logistics network for future challenges.

Related Update: 2014/15 Top 50 Global & Domestic U.S. Third-Party Logistics Providers

Article Topics
Trends   Transportation   Third Party Logistics   Top 50 3PLs   All topics

1 Comments (displaying chronologically) Post a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login.

About the Author
Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]
Latest Transportation News
Separating Long-Term Supply Chain Technology Developments from Temporary Industry Disruptors
While technological innovations can revolutionize how supply chain businesses advance, it’s important for all participants to be a little bit skeptical when supposedly new game-changing technologies…

10 Reasons Being a Professional Truck Driver Is Better Than Driving for a Ridesharing Service
Even with great compensation, stability and a path for growth for years to come, job-seekers are turning to ridesharing and other positions over truck driving causing a huge driver shortage in the supply…

5 Ways Technology Will Forever Change the Automotive and Transportation Industries
Transportation technology is in the midst of a revolution, and new technologies are improving the efficiency of existing transportation methods, these new developments are poised to completely reshape…

Ensuring a Transportation Management System Can Provide Optimum Return on Investment
Time-consuming implementations and limited software capabilities are common reasons that technology sometimes doesn’t deliver the optimal return-on-investment.


24|7 Pro Team

The 24|7 Team is your direct pipeline to solutions for your business challenges. It's your opportunity to have supply chain and logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information.

The 24|7 Team will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

  Choose a topic for your RFP

Transportation RFP/RFI

The Transportation RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your transportation challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific transportation challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect software or system can be an indomitable challenge. Using this transportation/TMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

Warehouse/DC Management RFP/RFI

The Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your WMS challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific WMS challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect WMS solution can be an indomitable challenge. Using this WMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your WMS Request for Proposal list.

Supply Chain RFP/RFI

The Supply Chain RFP is your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and receive free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information. It simplifies finding a pool of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list. The companies in the Logistics Planner have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up, and your request is totally confidential.

Software/Technology RFP/RFI

The Software/Technology is your direct pipeline to solutions for your logistics information technology challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific technology challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request. Whether it's WMS, TMS, Mobile or Cloud, our pros can help.

The companies listed below have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up. Your request is totally confidential.

Executive Education RFI

The Logistics and Supply Chain Education RFI can help you identify the schools, coursework, continuing education, distance learning and certification opportunities available from leading logistics educational institutions.

Upgrade and improve your logistics and supply chain skillsets. Whatever route you choose—advanced degree, executive education, certification or distance learning—the time and money you invest in your education today can pay off in continued career success tomorrow. Contact leading universities and professional institutions for the information you need to prepare for the future.

Third Party Logistics RFP/RFI

This 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Information (RFI) can help you find the 3PL and 4PL providers that can meet your specific 3PL service challenges and needs. The 3PL companies below will provide free, no-obligation third-party logistics advice, solutions, and information.

Ask your 3PL questions, you'll get answers. Simply complete the information, and detail your 3PL challenges. Then, check off the third-party logistics companies that you want to review your request.

1. Choose an RFI topic.
2. Enter your contact information and challenge.
3. Select companies and optional categories.
4. Submit.


Your Information

Your Challenge, Problem or Request *


Select Transportation Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • One Network
  • Pitt Ohio
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SEKO Logistics
  • SMC3

Select Relevent Categories

  • Air Freight
  • Intermodal
  • Motor Freight
  • Ocean Freight
  • Rail Freight
  • TMS

Select Warehouse/DC Management Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Swisslog
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies

Select Relevent Categories

  • Auto ID & Data Capture
  • Automation
  • Conveyors & Sortation
  • Lift Trucks
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • Pallets & Containers
  • Shelving & Racking
  • WMS

Select Supply Chain Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • 3PL Central
  • Amber Road
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies

Select Relevent Categories

  • Global Trade
  • Inventory Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability

Select Software/Technology Companies

  • Select All

  • 3GTMS
  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Swisslog Logistics
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Zebra Technologies

Select Relevent Categories

  • ERP
  • Sales & Operations
  • Sourcing/Procurement
  • Optimization
  • Transportation Mgmt
  • Warehouse Mgmt

Select Executive Education Choices

  • Select All

  • Graduate Courses
  • Online/Distance
  • Executive Education
  • Certifications
  • Undergraduate
  • Seminars
  • Associations
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows

Select Third Party Logistics Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Purolator
  • SEKO Logistics
  • Westfalia Technologies


24|7 Company Profiles