AMERICA’S 50 LEADING 3PLs: IT’S CLEAR THIRD-PARTY LOGISTICS COMPANIES ARE NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER.
The logistics industry has faced more than its fair share of challenges over the past year.
As economies were brought (literally) to a halt by lockdowns and transport restrictions, the process of moving goods from A to B became riddled with added complexity, cost and difficulty.
However, what the pandemic period has shown is just how critical the likes of third-party logistics (3PL) companies are to keeping all of our lives moving forward. Logistics workers have been among the unsung heroes who have often been on the frontline as the virus swept (and continues to sweep) its way across many parts of the world.
The first part of this year’s top 50 takes a broad sweep of just some of the companies that continue to go above and beyond to go keep industries functioning–manufacturing, defense and ecommerce among them.
Next is a look at some specific specialties that make particular 3PLs standout. Here, we list companies that thrive on technology, specialize in multimodal offerings and offer service to the more remote states in the USA.
The third and final chapter of our top 50 charts some of the industry leaders that can provide inspiration to women seeking careers in logistics. The number of women truck drivers industrywide has grown 68% since 2010, with a 30% rise between 2018 and 2019. While this sort of trajectory is promising, women still only make up 10% of our long-haul drivers, meaning there is still plenty of work to do. We look at a handful of firms with inspirational female leaders and managers helping to steer their progress.
3PLs BY SECTOR
Holman Logistics: Established in 1864, Holman Logistics has been a longstanding partner for manufacturing firms through the decades. Its manufacturing support services include material inventory management, quality control, shipping and receiving, and workforce management. Holman works closely with many well-known brand manufacturers of both CPG and durable goods. www.holmanusa.com
UTXL: During its 24 years of service, Kansas City-based UTXL has arranged more than 1 million shipments with a 98% on-time delivery rate. Many of its customers are longstanding clients in the manufacturing space, from building products suppliers to automotive parts producers. www.utxl.com
Defense and aerospace
Phoenix Logistics: Based in Orlando, Florida, Phoenix Logistics has been providing engineering, manufacturing, IT, and logistics and supply chain services to the defense, aerospace, and industrial markets for 30 years. The company serves OEMs, Tier 1 and 2 suppliers, and government customers worldwide, including the US military. www.phxlogistics.com
Neovia: Located in Irving, Texas, Neovia provides flexible solutions designed exclusively for the time-sensitive, service-critical requirements of the aerospace and defense industry. Its suite of services comprises inventory forecasting, warehousing, performance monitoring, replenishment and deployment, network design, supplier management and performance-based logistics. www.neovialogistics.com
Whiplash: Formerly known as Port Logistics Group, California-based Whiplash specializes in omnichannel ecommerce fulfillment services, offering seamless integration with the world’s most powerful and revered ecommerce platforms. Real-time order and inventory insights are key features of its solution, which are powered by an open API and backed up by experienced support personnel. www.whiplash.com
Rakuten SUPER LOGISTICS: Supported by a one- to two-day U.S. ground delivery network with sites spanning east to west, Rakuten SUPER LOGISTICS positions itself as an expert capable of empowering ecommerce retailers. Its solutions integrate with giant online retail platforms, including Amazon, shopify, eBay and Walmart. www.rakutensl.com
GEODIS: With a direct presence in 67 countries and a global network spanning 120 countries, GEODIS supports a huge number of retailers with their online operations. The company recently launched an extended GEODIS eLogistics service in the U.S. to provide best-in-class ecommerce fulfillment solutions to emerging direct-to-consumer brands. The service will operate from three key locations in Indiana, California and New Jersey. www.geodis.com
Food & drink
Arrive Logistics: With more than 1,300 employees and over 70,000 unique carriers, Arrive Logistics serves customers through several specialized divisions. The Arrive Fresh team is a centralized, experienced team that is uniquely equipped to solve the challenges of moving produce, meat, seafood, dairy and nursery freight. www.arrivelogistics.com
McLane Global Logistics: The McLane family has been a proud partner of the U.S. food industry for more than 120 years. Based out of a 285,000-square-foot distribution center in Houston, Texas, the firm offers a complete package of food logistics services. This includes food grade warehousing such as organic certified storage and temperature-controlled facilities, fulfillment, re-packing, transportation and technology services for importing, exporting and domestic business. www.mclanegloballogistics.com
TRIOSE: In its 20-year history, TRIOSE has supported more than 10,000 healthcare locations with their supply-chain operations. The company offers a broad range of smart, full-service supply chain solutions to hospitals and healthcare systems across the United States, leveraging a mix of technology- and human-based support mechanisms to assist clients. www.triose.com
Cardinal Health: Healthcare logistics has been a specialty of Cardinal Health since 1995. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, and is also a global manufacturer and distributor of medical and laboratory products, as well as a provider of performance and data solutions for healthcare facilities. www.cardinalhealth.com
3PLS BY SERVICE SPECIALTY
R2 Logistics: R2 Logistics prides itself on leveraging several technology platforms to better serve its customers. Its Transport Management System (TMS) is flexible and scalable, offering features such as KPI reporting, automated decision making and provision of actionable data to underpin supply chain optimization efforts. www.r2logistics.com
GSC Logistics: With locations in Oakland, Tacoma and Seattle, GSC Logistics has been operating for some of the USA’s largest retailers and manufacturers since 1988 and occupies some of the most strategic gateways on the West Coast. Its offering is based around high-performance technology and platforms which help its clients to mitigate costs through proactive planning and fleet scalability solutions. www.gsclogistics.com
Transportation Insight: Transportation Insight empowers shippers and carriers with hybrid digital logistics services backed by proprietary technology, data and deep industry human expertise. Based in North Carolina, the firm enables its customers, which typically operate in retail and manufacturing industries, to harness the power of big data to inform strategic supply chain decisions. www.transportationinsight.com
Coyote Logistics: A ‘tech + humanity’ approach underpins the 3PL offering from Coyote Logistics, something which enables it to keep up with rapidly evolving supply chain trends. For instance, its new pricing framework doesn’t incentivize volume and gross margins, but instead provides accurate rates and optimal matches for customers based on AI and machine learning. www.coyote.com
Werner Enterprises: Supported by cutting-edge technology, Werner Enterprises is on its way to becoming the first North American carrier to move its entire tech stack and operations to the cloud. This includes the implementation of MasterMind, a new cloud-based transportation management system, and Carrier’s EDGE, a self-service digital platform designed to increase available freight visibility. www.werner.com
CT Logistics: Thanks to a range of in-house software systems, CT offers customized services and programs which combine to present a comprehensive, global supply chain solution for customers. The firm has been in operation since 1923 and has moved with the times in order to remain relevant. Today, many of its applications and services are available as SaaS (Software as a Service) and BPaaS (Business Process as a Service) via the cloud. www.ctlogistics.com
Lynden: Lynden offers complete 3PL services in, out and within Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, as well as many locations around the globe. The company is regarded as a particular expert in Alaska shipping and has been operating in the state since 1954, servicing a diverse array of industries including energy, mining, construction, seafood, retail and manufacturing. www.lynden.com
Carlile Transportation: While not fitting the typical profile of a 3PL, Carlile Transportation is a go-to for companies looking to reach many of the remote and inaccessible parts of Alaska. As well as transport, the company also provides warehousing and brokerage services, among other solutions, for small businesses. www.carlile.biz
Echo Logistics: Since its founding in 2005, Echo has built strong partnerships with over 50,000 carriers, creating a robust network that allows the company to move over 16,000 shipments every day for more than 35,000 clients. With its multimodal transportation solutions, the firm serves corporations of all sizes, from small and medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies. www.echo.com
A.N. Deringer: In 1919, Alfred Neel Deringer founded the firm that today employs more than 450 supply chain professionals. It is the largest privately-held customs broker in North America, providing solutions over land, air and sea thanks to its formidable network of multimodal transit options. www.anderinger.com
DACHSER: Since the founding of this family-owned enterprise in 1930, DACHSER has evolved into a global market leader in system logistics. With a presence in 24 locations around the world, the firm employs well over 650 staff and handled more than 214,000 tons of cargo in 2020, utilizing its multimodal capabilities, including air, sea and rail freight services. www.dachser.com
3PLs empowering women in logistics
NFI Industries: Having been in business since 1932, NFI prides itself on being a champion of sustainability, with the wellbeing of its people and communities at top of mind. It remains a family-owned business, and was recently recognized by the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) as one of the best companies for women to work for in transportation. www.nfiindustries.com
Langham Logistics: Langham Logistics stands proud as the only women-owned 3PL with GMP storage and distribution facilities in both the Midwest and Southwestern regions of the United States. The company was co-founded by President & CEO Cathy Langham, who opened two franchises for trucking and air freight three years after graduating from the IU Kelley School of Business before setting up Langham with her brother and sister. www.elangham.com
Kenco Group: In business for more than seven decades, Kenco Group is the largest woman-owned 3PL company in the United States. Its purpose is simple: “to empower our people and customers through connected solutions.” Jane Kennedy Greene sits as chairwoman of the Board of Directors, which is headquartered in Tennessee, while the company has operations in 30 U.S. states and Canada. www.kencogroup.com
Knichel Logistics: Knichel Logistics is a woman-owned, non-asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services, including intermodal, trucking, specialty equipment and various ancillary services. The company was founded by Kirsty Knichel, her siblings and father William, who she took over from as president & CEO in 2009. Today, she owns a majority stake in the business and hopes her success will inspire other women to step into the industry. www.knichellogistics.com
BAT Logistics: In March 2021, the Women in Trucking Association announced its fourth annual list of Top Women to Watch in Transportation, with BAT Logistics’ Ashley Jankowski among them. She currently serves as vice president and was selected along with her peers for their significant career accomplishments in the past 12 to 18 months as well as efforts to promote gender diversity. www.batlogistics.com
J.B. Hunt: As it celebrates passing 60 years in business J.B. Hunt defines itself as a people-first company founded on innovation, disruption and service. Co-founder Johnelle Hunt has become one of the most influential women in the transportation industry after setting up J.B. Hunt with her husband in 1961. She regularly speaks in front of female audiences, using her story to inspire others into pursuing a career in the 3PL industry. www.jbhunt.com
Odyssey: Several of Odyssey’s senior management are women. Last year, Lindsey Shellman, vice president of WIN Business Services–a web-based tool that helps shippers manage their freight with just a few keystrokes–was named one of Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s Women in Supply Chain. “As a supply-chain leader, it is my responsibility to provide equal opportunities and create a work environment where women can contribute and excel,” she stated in response. www.odysseylogistics.com
ReedTMS Logistics: Addressing issues of gender and racial equality is a key part of ReedTMS Logistics’ mission, and the company routinely features in the Women in Trucking Association’s best companies to work for lists. In 2019, two of its female managers also gave a keynote presentation on the topic of creating an inclusive company brand at WIT’s Accelerate Conference and Expo. www.reedtms.com
U.S. Xpress: Women in management positions at U.S. Xpress are making significant contributions to the success of the business and their customers. Vice President of Customer Experience Julie Van de Kamp was named one of Women in Trucking’s 2020 Top Women to Watch in Transportation, and she also headed a leadership panel hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Women in Supply Chain Initiative to mark Women’s History Month earlier this year. www.usxpress.com
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