3PL logistics industry revenue worldwide 2010-2018

Between 2010 and 2018, 3PL revenue fluctuated with the amount reaching just under 932 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.

Global 3PL market

Third-party logistics (3PL) refers to the outsourcing of the logistics operations of a firm for either distribution, warehousing, or fulfilment services. Usually smaller and medium-sized firms benefit from 3PL services more. Compared to integrated logistics, 3PL has several desirable characteristics for a firm to use, such as cost and time savings, low capital commitment, focus on the firm’s operation and flexibility. In a simple term, division of labor amongst different markets and firms. Between 2010 and 2018, the global 3PL industry generated more and more revenue, reaching roughly 932 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. During that period, the Asia Pacific 3PL market was the largest one worldwide in a regional comparison, which made over 358 billion U.S. dollars. Expanding interconnectedness of the global economy contributes immensely to the enlargement of revenue streams in the 3PL market. In 2019, DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding, Kuehne + Nagel, Nippon Express were the three leading 3PL providers globally based on gross logistics revenue. For instance, Nippon Express generated approximately 20 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

Nippon Express is the third leading 3PL firm in the world

Based in Tokyo, Japan, Nippon Express was founded in 1937 and provides global logistics services. At first, Nippon Express was established as a semi-government logistics service in Japan, which over many years turned into a public limited company while expanding its global operations and dominance. One of the main specialization of the company include 3PL services and the company generated most of its revenue from the 3PL services provided. In 2019, the company was the seventh leading airfreight forwarder based on the volume of freights transported globally. During the same period, Nippon Express’s sales amounted to 19.1 billion U.S. dollars.

Revenue of the global third-party logistics (3PL) industry from 2010 to 2018

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In cooperation with
Armstrong & Associates
Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

2010 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Values up to 2018 were taken from previous editions.

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Statistics on "Third-party logistics (3PL) industry worldwide"

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