Before a product can be displayed on a supermarket shelf or dispatched from a post office, it has to be transported from its point of origin to its destination. Depending on the weight, volume, and destination of goods, said cargo can be moved by land, air, or water. It could be said that the logistics industry is the backbone of the global economy. Right from the dawn of the industrial revolution, firms generated an increasing demand for the transportation of manufactured products, acting as a vital stimulus to modern economic coordination and growth. The key players in this industry include Deutsche Post DHL, United Parcel Service or FedEx. Additionally, online retailers such as Amazon and Japan’s Rakuten are keen to tap into the logistics market and further expand their supply chains.

Global logistics industry costs
9.3tr USD
Global 3PL market size
951.6bn USD
World's leading 3PL provider

Market size

How big is the logistics industry?
Logistics industry costs worldwide from 2010 to 2019 (in trillion U.S. dollars)
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The global logistics industry is worth over 9.3 trillion U.S. dollars. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest share of logistics costs, with China being the largest 3PL market in the world. As long as e-commerce is booming and the number of packages shipped is growing, the logistics industry will continue to grow.

Logistics industry worldwide
Reverse logistics
Cold chain logistics

Market segments

The 3PL market is becoming more and more competitive
Revenue of the global third-party logistics (3PL) industry from 2010 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars)
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In recent years, more companies have chosen to outsource their secondary operations in order to focus on core activities to third-party logistics (3PL) providers, who already have the know-how and resources to manage and simplify their supply chains. The global and domestic markets for outsourced logistics services are constantly evolving; consequently, it is becoming fundamental that 3PL providers and users become more and more efficient in terms of processes, relationships, and technology.

3PL industry worldwide
Asia-Pacific is the largest 3PL market
3PL revenue in the U.S.

Industry trends

The fight for the last mile
Biggest challenges for logistics providers in last mile delivery in 2020
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As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, last-mile deliveries have become a blessing in retail and e-commerce, as users are switching from traditional stores to ordering from the comfort of their own homes. This shift from retail to e-tail leaves one big opportunity for logistics companies: to deliver the increasing number of goods that are purchased online. The strategic battle for this last mile is set to be an arduous one, played out between online retailers and logistics companies alike.

Last-mile logistics worldwide
CEP market in the U.S.
CEP market in Europe

Industry leaders

A year to be remembered for shipping carriers
Courier, express and parcel (CEP) market volume in Europe from 2012 to 2019 (in million pieces)
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The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the shortcomings and, in some cases, the strengths of players in the logistics market around the world. Despite a difficult year, last year was a busy one for courier companies like United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx, and DHL. Couriers were in high demand when retail stores were kept shut to curb the spread of the coronavirus and because consumer behavior shifted to online shopping, which meant delivering a record number of packages.

Deutsche Post DHL
United Parcel Service

Regional overview

China overtook the U.S. as the world's largest 3PL market
Third-party logistics (3PL) revenue in 2019, by major country (in billion U.S. dollars)
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The United States, China, Japan, and Germany are ranked among the most important markets for third-party logistics (3PL) services. After years of being the largest 3PL market, China overtook the U.S. market in 2019. The U.S. domestic market is now the world’s second largest 3PL market, generating 212.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenue from 3PL services. The largest 3PL companies in the U.S. are C.H. Robinson, XPO Logistics, and United Parcel Service (UPS).

Logistics industry in the U.S.
C.H. Robinson
XPO Logistics

Industry definition

In its broadest definition, the logistics industry involves shipping and the integration of information flow through supply chain management software. Within this sector, Statista provides the most relevant and up-to-date facts about third-party logistics (3PLs), postal and parcel services, freight haulers, and related infrastructure such as warehouses. Data on a global, regional, and country scale is available, integrated with information on the largest players and rankings.

More interesting topics from the industry "Logistics"


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