Pandemic Demands Cause Major Shift in Supply Chain Provider Relationships

CLDA Media Contact

Andrea Obston

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TIA Media Contact:

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MAY 25, 2021 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways shippers and 3PLs connect with last-mile transportation providers. Many shippers and third-party logistics (3PL) companies formed new strategic partnerships in the face of these changes to combat same-day delivery expectations fueled by the “Amazon Effect” during lock-down.

That was the conclusion of a new whitepaper entitled The Age of Amazon: Why 3PLs & Last-Mile Delivery Fleets Must Draw Closer. The whitepaper is a joint project of the Customized Logistics & Delivery Association (CLDA), the trade association for final-mile delivery companies, and the Transport Intermediaries Association (TIA), the voice of the third-party logistics (3PL) industry.

“The last-mile sector has growing opportunities for 3PLs to broaden their menu of supply chain services by creating partnerships with local fleets operated by CLDA members,” said Steve Howard, president of CLDA. “That’s why we partnered with TIA to create this whitepaper and offer it to every member of the supply chain.”

“The final-mile logistics is an important relationship for our members and is a multi-billion-dollar industry that plays an integral role in the supply-chain, noted Anne Reinke, TIA President & CEO TIA “We brought together the expertise of the two associations’ members as well as industry analysts to highlight that relationship and to pinpoint trends where 3PLs and last-mile delivery providers can join together to compete against Amazon’s market dominance.”

The whitepaper points to four areas where these two players in the supply chain can and have worked together to meet the increasing demands of consumers.

E-Commerce: With people spending more time at home during the pandemic, online sales increased by 44% in 2020 to reach 21.3% of total retail sales. Delivery of heavy goods purchased through e-commerce channels is an area of opportunity the whitepaper cites for fleets that can meet specialized delivery requirements such as setup and reverse logistics for items such as medical devices, exercise, and home office equipment.

Medical Lab Logistics: Laboratory tests for blood and tissue samples are conducted 13 billion times a year in the United States and have time-sensitive and specialized handling and delivery requirements. Last-mile providers have seen their medical business increase significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, including work transporting vaccines with hospital networks.

B2B: Freight opportunities in the B2B last-mile sector abound for pallet-sized LTL freight and heavier items that have unique service requirements such as after-hour deliveries to business and residential customers. These are best met by a combination of 3PL and last-mile providers. Motor carriers and 3PLs are chasing opportunities in the last mile of this sector to offer blended warehousing and delivery services that smooth order fulfillment for customers that experienced supply chain disruptions from COVID-19.

Special Projects: Last-mile fleets that operate facilities near large urban centers, like New York City, are seeing demand increase from shippers, 3PLs, and motor carriers to utilize their local delivery services. These customers are dropping off large-volume truckload and LTL shipments at their docks. Last-mile carriers separate volume loads into smaller shipments and make urban deliveries on repeat schedules, such as distributing shipments to retail stores.

Drawing on the expertise of industry analysts and members of both associations, the whitepaper also identified a number of additional facts about the supply chain:

  • In the United States, approximately 15,000 registered 3PLs generate about $90B in annual revenue primarily by managing truckload and LTL freight transactions.
  • The fourth quarter of 2020 was the strongest in the history of the last-mile segment.
  • Last-mile fleets serviced 21% more stops in 2020 than in 2019.
  • Much of the growth came after the April 2020 pandemic dip to reach a total of one-half billion delivery stops by year’s end across more than two dozen industry sectors.
  • Overall, the last-mile delivery market in North America is expected to reach $44.88 billion from 2020 to 2024 at a compound annual growth rate of over 14%.
  • Amazon continues its dominance as the world’s largest third-party logistics (3PL) provider, reaching 60% market share in the U.S.
  • Amazon currently delivers to 72% of all Prime customers within 24 hours.

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About the Customized Logistics and Delivery Association

The Customized Logistics and Delivery Association (CLDA) is a non-profit professional association that connects and leads members of the time-critical logistics and delivery industries. The association serves the needs of its 2,900 essential service members who are logistics professionals, carriers, shippers, drivers, air cargo logistics providers, 3PLs and vendors servicing today’s supply chain companies. The CLDA gives its members access to a diverse network of logistics professionals looking to create new business opportunities and share decades of practical insights. They provide an avenue for amplifying members’ voices on key issues and helps them participate in the regulatory discussions shaping the industry. The CLDA keeps members informed and educated on trends, current issues and best practices.

CLDA’s Final Mile Forum & Expo is expected to be the logistics industry’s first national conference to be held in-person following the COVID-19 pandemic. It will take place June 23-25 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and will feature educational sessions, networking events, and a front-row seat to the industry’s latest innovations.

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About the Transportation Intermediaries Association

Whether you are a seasoned veteran of the annual TIA 3PL Policy Forum or a potential first-time attendee, join your fellow TIA Members in helping shape the future of the industry in the nation’s capital. The 2021 TIA 3PL Policy Forum is a hybrid event featuring in-person and virtual registration options and will take place September 28-29, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Over 100 TIA Members participated in the 2019 Policy Forum, where they met with over 200 Members of Congress and their staff to support the 3PL industry, the Motor Carrier Safety Selection Standard, and the USMCSA trade deal.

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The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is the professional organization of the $214 billion third-party logistics industry. TIA is the only organization exclusively representing transportation intermediaries of all disciplines doing business in domestic and international commerce. TIA is the voice of transportation intermediaries to shippers, carriers, government officials, and international organizations.

TIA is the premier organization for third-party logistics professionals in North America and abroad. Membership at TIA adds value to your business and provides resources for growth.
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