Logistics firms did better in 2010, survey shows

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Logistics companies experienced improved economic conditions in 2010, with 88 percent of companies surveyed in North America meeting or exceeding their revenue projections, as compared with only 50 percent in 2009, according to the 18th Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics Providers sponsored by Penske Logistics.

The survey findings were released earlier this week at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Global Conference by survey author Dr. Robert Lieb, professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University, and Joe Gallick, senior vice president of sales for Penske Logistics.

The findings analyze responses from 36 third-party logistics company chief executive officer across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific whose companies were responsible for generating about $58 billion in revenue in 2010.

Among the survey’s other findings:
• In Europe, economic conditions continued to be challenging for third-party logistics companies, with only 55 percent of companies surveyed meeting or exceeding their revenue growth projections for the year, as opposed to 90 percent of companies surveyed in Asia-Pacific;
• Growth projections are most optimistic in Asia, with companies expecting to grow 15.8 percent in the next year, as compared to 10.8 percent expected in North America and 8.4 percent in Europe;
• 25 percent of the North American 3PL CEOs reported that some of their customers had experienced a loss of sales in Japan due to the tsunami and earthquake in the region. Thirteen percent of the European CEOs reported similar experiences, as did 50 percent of the CEOS surveyed in the APAC region; and
• Sixteen of the 36 CEOs reported their companies launched new sustainability initiatives during 2010.