This year marked a unique time for third-party logistics (3PL) warehouses. While most 3PLs grew order volumes, profits and customers, some headwinds exist, including operating at or above warehouse capacity, lowest warehouse vacancy rates in history, significant supply chain backlogs and a workforce shortage, according to 3PL Central.
- 85% of 3PL warehouses experienced order volume growth in 2021, with 23% growing order volumes by more than 50%.
- 48% reported struggling to find and retain qualified workers, while also citing significantly increasing labor costs.
- 45% of respondents operate in the mid-market with two to five warehouses. These mid market warehouses were four times more likely to experience medium-to-high level order volume growth vs. other respondents.
- 84% of 3PLs have implemented a warehouse management system (WMS) as the central hub of technology for their business, with the average 3PL having three or more systems integrated to their WMS (e.g., shopping carts, marketplaces, order management systems, etc.).
- 53% of 3PLs fulfill orders less than 90 minutes after receipt, with speed of order fulfillment linked closely with annual order volume growth.