Global Contract Logistics 2021

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Global Contract Logistics 2021 contains comprehensive analysis of the current state of the contract logistics market, including market growth rates for 2021 through to 2025, analysis of warehousing trends and developments and comparative profiles of leading contract logistics providers.


Use the report to plan for the rest of 2021 through to 2025:

  • Plan which sectors to divert resources towards to capture new growth and which to pivot away from to avoid downside risks
  • Set expectations for market growth based on the latest data and projections and plan how to sustain your business
  • See how other LSPs are dealing with core operational problems with labour shortages and transport crunches, to keep operations moving


This report contains:

  • Market sizing including 2021, 2020 and 5 year post Covid-19 growth rates – 2020 – 2025
  • Comparative profiles of the largest contract logistics companies including market position, value added services, revenue & volumes and sustainability practices
  • The future of smart warehousing
  • M&A activity in the logistics industry
  • Benchmarking warehouse operations: operations and customer metrics
  • Logistics technology trends for 2021
  • 3D Printing – a 2021 update
  • Global Contract Logistics - Top 10's

This report contains:

  • Market sizing including 2021, 2020 and 5 year post Covid-19 growth rates – 2020 – 2025
  • Comparative profiles of the largest contract logistics companies including market position, value added services, revenue & volumes and sustainability practices
  • The future of smart warehousing
  • M&A activity in the logistics industry
  • Benchmarking warehouse operations: operations and customer metrics
  • Logistics technology trends for 2021
  • 3D Printing – a 2021 update
  • Global Contract Logistics - Top 10's

Key Findings:

  • The global contract logistics market contracted 3.3% in 2020
  • Momentum has returned to the market in 2021, Ti forecasts 6.5% growth this year
  • Ti’s COVID Recovery Tracker shows the market will be 2.9% larger at the end of 2021, compared to pre-pandemic levels
  • Rapid technological change and demand for more sophisticated and responsive services will drive growth, alongside recoveries in manufacturing and consumer confidence
  • By 2025, Ti forecasts a global contract logistics market 24% larger than before Covid-19
  • Shifting demands and the need for greater sophistication are likely to drive renewed M&A activity in the market in the years ahead

Key Questions the report asks and answers:

  • How is the market expected to grow over the next 5 years?
  • Which regions have outperformed others in 2020, and 2021 so far?
  • How has Covid-19 transformed warehousing trends and automation practices?
  • What is the future for warehousing? And which technologies will dominate the industry?
  • How has recent M&A activity transformed the market? Who are the leading players?
  • What are the key logistics technology trends for the next 12 months?
  • What sustainability efforts are the leading industry players adopting?

Professor John Manners-Bell

Prof John Manners-Bell is Chief Executive of Ti, Honorary Visiting Professor at the London Metropolitan University’s Guildhall Faculty of Business and Law and an adviser to the World Economic Forum. He has over 25 years’ experience working in and analysing the global logistics sector. John started his working life as an operations manager of a logistics company based in the UK. Prior to establishing Ti in 2002, he worked as an analyst in consultancies specialising in international trade, transport and logistics. He also spent a number of years as a manager of UPS, in a strategic marketing and communications role. John holds an MSc in Transport Planning and Management from University of Westminster and is an Associate of King’s College London where he studied Classics and Theology. 

Ken Lyon

Ken Lyon is Managing Director of Virtual Partners Ltd and has over 30 years of experience in the transportation industry. Ken specialises in the use of advanced information systems to manage the operations of 3PL (Third Party Logistics), 4PL and Lead Logistics Providers and their trading partner networks. Over the past few years he has helped start-ups concerned with supply chain technologies and before that, he spent 10 years as a Director and VP of information services at UPS, helping to establish its Logistics and supply chain services Group. Ken was recently appointed Chairman of the Board for an international logistics software group and also sits on the board of Ti. During the past 25 years, he has participated in conferences and conventions for the US Department of Defense, Government of Singapore, The JOC, Nikkei and many others. Ken is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport and a member of the US OSD sponsored Highlands Forum.

Holly Stewart

Holly joined Ti as a researcher in 2018. Whilst at university she gained much experience in both primary and secondary research, as well as enhancing her analytical and evaluation skills. Studying History developed Holly’s interest in politics and geopolitics. After graduating, Holly worked in product development, dealing with suppliers and customers from around the world, including in Asia Pacific and Europe. Since working at Ti, she has worked on and gained interest in emerging markets logistics and peak season. As part of her role as a researcher Holly contributes to logistics briefings and GSCi, in particular, provider profiles, countries and regions.

Dila Cebeci

Dila joined the Ti team in late 2019, having graduated from the Transatlantic Masters program from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill earlier that year. Paired with her Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary American Studies from the Eberhard Karls University and professional experiences in the new media and communications she has been exploring and solidifying her interest in geopolitics, foreign relations, and international studies. The overwhelming overlap and relevance for the logistics sector has subsequently allowed her to utilise her acquired skills as a Research Analyst at Ti.

Andy Ralls

Andy is a quantitative analyst at Ti. He graduated from the University of Southampton with a Mathematics with Finance degree in 2014. In his studies, he chose a final year project on actuarial modelling and forecasting and enjoyed modules on statistical distribution theory, financial mathematics and macroeconomics. Andy has since worked for a top accountancy firm and for a wealth management company. These experiences give him a strong understanding of company accounts and investment products and has given him a wider understanding of the financial sector. Andy contributes to the GSCi portal, consultancy projects and authors news and briefs for Ti’s Logistics Briefing service. He also works on Ti Reports and contributes to market sizing and forecasting sections.


Full table of contents is available in the report brochure which can be downloaded via the form opposite.

New research from Ti shows growth ahead for Global Contract Logistics despite significant challenges in 2020

The global contract logistics market contracted by 3.3% in 2020, ending a decade-long growth streak, according to new research from Transport Intelligence (Ti). Momentum towards the end of the year prevented further declines as the COVID-19 pandemic receded in major markets across Asia Pacific, Europe and North America.

A pickup in manufacturing and production compared to early pandemic lockdown measures and a stronger levels of consumer spending bode well for the year ahead, but the potential for spending to reorientate away from goods expenditure and towards the services sector weakens prospects slightly. Nevertheless, the economic rebound will be sufficient to drive strong contract logistics growth in 2021 of 6.5%.

Ti’s COVID Recovery Tracker reveals the extent of the global contract logistics market’s recovery. The COVID Recovery Tracker (CRT) indicates that the global market will be 2.9% larger compared with pre-COVID-19 levels (the market size in 2019 at prices and exchange rates constant at 2020 levels).

The global contract logistics market is projected to grow at a real 2020-2025 CAGR of 5.1%, and the CRT for 2025 shows the market will be 24.0% larger when compared with 2019, signifying a robust rebound from the economic effects of the pandemic.

“The consequences of the COVID-19 shock to the global economy are difficult to predict, due to its unprecedented nature. However, global and regional developments will create varying degrees of recoveries. The US-China tensions are set to disrupt established supply chains in those regions,” said Andy Ralls, Senior Quantitative Analyst at Ti. “Meanwhile, Europe is still grappling with an effective rollout of its vaccine program, which curbs a rapid recovery, though comprehensive recovery funds will likely provide a lifeline to several economies,” he added.

Global Contract Logistics 2021 also takes a look at the market’s ongoing evolution. The report analyses the effects of M&A on its development and argues that the largest contract logistics players will look very different from today as investment activity and strategic imperatives drive investment activity on a global basis. Further change will also be driven by the wide-ranging technological development the logistics industry continues to see, with Global Contract Logistics 2021 showing that the development of robotics, sensors, 3D printing and wearable devices amongst others will have as profound an effect on operations as the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The global contract logistics market was dealt a number of blows during the Covid-19 pandemic, notably from the closure of retail and manufacturing locations as public health measures were implemented causing consumer demand to vanish. As Ti’s market size forecasts show, however, the rebound is expected to be strong. The rapid growth we expect to see in the market over the next five-years will be accompanied by an even quicker pace of technological change, and alongside this, 3PLs will have to react to increased demand for more sophisticated and responsive services,” said Nick Bailey, Head of Research at Ti.

This report is perfect for:

  • C-level executives at logistics companies and shippers
  • VP and Directors responsible for contract logistics services
  • Marketing managers at logistics companies
  • Logistics and supply chain procurement staff at shippers
  • Logistics and supply chain managers at shippers
  • Consultants working in the contract logistics market
  • Financial analysts with interests in the contract logistics market
  • Supply chain analysts at logistics companies
  • Investors
  • Knowledge managers

Report Brochure

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