2024 State of the Third-Party Logistics Industry Report 

Welcome to the 2024 edition of the State of the Third-Party Logistics Industry Report!   

Last year’s report started with a reflection on how pandemic-related disruptions continued to plague the warehousing and third-party logistics (3PL) community—and how many experts predicted the situation would persist through 2023.  

A year later, we are all very thankful that the COVID chapter of human history is mostly over; vaccines are widely available, infection rates are down, and most people probably already lost—or discarded—their face masks. People are returning to public life—and in-person shopping, which has had some noticeable impacts on the logistics industry.  

Unfortunately, a new year means new challenges.   

As new complexities arise, Extensiv is working to help you prepare for the future. This year’s State of the Third-Party Logistics Industry Report consists of four sections outlining the key current challenges facing fulfillment today and forward-thinking solutions to equip your 3PL organization to thrive amidst turbulence.  

Find highlights and 3PL industry best practices below from each section of the report.  

Rising Costs
Shipping Landscape
Modern Fulfillment
Embracing Tech

Prefer to have someone walk you through the key points?

Watch our webinar to hear our key takeaways



Grappling with the Rising Cost of Doing Business 

Arguably the most alarming trend in global economics overall is the persistent rising costs of everyday life. Everything is more expensive than it used to be, and consumers and business owners alike can feel the pressure this creates on their wallets. 

Diversify revenue streams: Explore new services, verticals, or markets to diversify revenue sources. This could include expanding into new geographical areas (more on that later) or offering in-demand value-added services.  

Download to learn more about how global economic trends affect the third-party logistics sector—and how 3PLs can achieve business growth while minimizing costs in 2024. 

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Navigating the Shipping Landscape Chaos 

The rapid rise of parcel shipping as a key mode of transportation following the pandemic-fueled ecommerce boom was quite unexpected. Simply put, no one—particularly any of the carriers—was equipped to handle the drastic increase in parcel volume, and they have struggled to catch up ever since, creating a shipping landscape defined by chaos.  

Expand and diversify your carriers: Multicarrier shipping strategies are critical for risk mitigation and obtaining leverage for negotiating carrier rates. A “one size fits all” carrier and shipping strategy limits your customers’ ability to control their shipping costs while maintaining a high level of customer service.  

Access the full report to see how the shipping industry can get back on track in 2024, and how 3PL providers should prepare to navigate this landscape. 

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Exploring the Geographic Spread of Modern Fulfillment 

Striving to mitigate the threat of supply chain disruption while optimizing logistics costs calls for rethinking the geographic spread of modern fulfillment on both an international scale and throughout North America. Even for 3PLs focused on domestic operations, major global current events will influence approaches to both expansion and risk mitigation.  

Study the market: If you want to expand into multi-nodal, geographically dispersed operations, you must understand the market(s) you want to join. Adapting to regional market differences will enable you to customize services accordingly and (most importantly) make informed decisions about how you disperse inventory across locations.  

Access the full report for insights into why and how 3PLs can participate in exploring, and reshaping, the geographic spread of modern fulfillment. 

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Embracing Cutting Edge (Software) Technologies 

The opportunities for efficiency gains, cost reduction, and enhanced customer satisfaction that come with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are immense. By harnessing their power, 3PL providers can transform challenges into opportunities, driving innovation and excellence in their operations.  

Start collecting data now: Even if the technology you have now does not have any AI-powered functionality yet, it probably will soon. Or you may be considering switching to a software platform that does. In any case, to enter the world of AI, you need data to start the ML process; collecting that data now will make this adoption smoother and quicker.  

Download the report to learn more about how leveraging these and other cutting edge software technologies like data analytics and systems integrations will position your 3PL to lead in the rapidly evolving logistics landscape.  

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Reflecting on the lessons of the past year, we see that adaptability has been key to navigating these turbulent times. The industry has faced multiple years of unprecedented challenges, and quite frankly, it does not seem like 2024 will bring a return to "precedented" times. Yet, despite (and sometimes because of) these trials, the logistics world has also uncovered new opportunities for growth and innovation. As we look forward to the rest of the year, it’s clear that 3PLs must continue to focus on strategic planning, leveraging technology, and building agile business models to stay competitive.  

About Extensiv  

Extensiv is a visionary technology leader focused on creating the future of omnichannel fulfillment. We partner with warehouse professionals and entrepreneurial brands to transform their fulfillment operations in the radically changing world of commerce and consumer expectations. Through our unrivaled network of more than 1,500 connected 3PLs and a suite of integrated, cloud-native warehouse management (WMS), order management (OMS), and inventory management (IMS) software, we enable modern merchants and brands to fulfill demand anywhere with superior flexibility and scale without painful platform migrations as they grow. More than 25,000 logistics professionals and thousands of brands trust Extensiv every day to drive commerce at the pace that modern consumers expect.