3PLs Doing Well So Far This Year
A benchmarkign report released a few days ago by the Transportation Intermediaries Association shows that 3PLs made solid gains in the first quarter of 2015, despite the harsh winter.
The report was based on monthly data on business conditions in the 3PL sector submitted by TIA members. The data includes the number of shipments by mode, total billing, gross margins, and near-term business forecasts.
“The report shows that 3PLs continue to grow, expand, and change their businesses,” said TIA president and CEO Robert Voltmann. “3PLs continue to broaden their services. The percent of 3PLs offering intermodal and LTL continues to increase each quarter and 100 percent of all 3PLs report activity in truckload.”
Total revenue in the first quarter of 2015 for TIA study participants stood at $2.72 billion, up 7.3 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Total shipments, at 1.5 million were up 7.1 percent on an annual basis. Truckload was up 11.3 percent at 1.1 million shipments, while intermodal, at 240,000, and less-then-truckload (LTL), at 126,000, were down two percent and four percent, respectively.
Truckload dominated 3PL revenue at 73 percent in the first quarter; intermodal was next at 16 percent; and LTL stood at nine percent.
First quarter profit margins, at 15.2 percent, increased by 180 basis points, the largest quarterly increase since 2009. Truckload profit margin, at 15.5 percent, was up 190 basis points; LTL, at 18.5 percent, was up 50 basis points; and intermodal, at 9.9 percent, was up 100 basis points.
Fuel expenses in the first quarter dropped more than $1.00 per gallon, or 26 percent, the largest decrease for any quarter in the report’s history.