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Fourth-Party Logistics (4PL) Market Size - By End-User (Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Retail, Automotive, Manufacturing), By Operational Model (Synergy Plus Organization, Solution Integrator, Industry Innovator), By Solution, By Mode & Forecast, 2024 – 2032

  • Report ID: GMI10155
  • Published Date: Jul 2024
  • Report Format: PDF

Fourth-Party Logistics Market Size

Fourth-Party Logistics (4PL) Market size was valued at USD 69.8 billion in 2023 and is estimated to register a CAGR of over 6.5% between 2024 and 2032. The increase in complexity of global supply chains, driven by extensive cross-border trade, accelerates the demand for advanced logistics solutions. This complexity spurs demand for 4PL providers who can offer integrated and comprehensive supply chain management services. These providers utilize advanced technologies and strategic oversight to streamline operations, ensure compliance with international regulations, and enhance overall efficiency.

Fourth-Party Logistics (4PL) Market

As a result, businesses are increasingly turning to 4PL providers to navigate the challenges of global trade and optimize their supply chain performance. For instance, in December 2023, XPO Logistics acquired 28 service center locations from Yellow Corporation as part of a bankruptcy auction. This strategic move is aimed at enhancing XPO's logistics network across North America by expanding its footprint in key markets such as Atlanta, Brooklyn, Columbus, Greensboro, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Nashville, Portland, and Central Pennsylvania.

Additionally, the emergence of technologies such as logistics automation, data analytics, and cloud computing are transforming the logistics industry. 4PL providers leverage these advancements to offer data-driven insights and optimize supply chain performance. Companies are shifting towards efficient and streamlined supply chains to enhance productivity. For instance, in June 2024, Kuehne+Nagel highlighted their advancements in digital logistics. They are leveraging AI and big data analytics to optimize supply chain management, aiming to enhance efficiency and reduce costs for their clients.

The 4PL market faces numerous challenges including a high dependance on external partners and limited control over their business operations. By outsourcing to a 4PL provider, businesses relinquish some control over their supply chains. This can be a concern for companies that require tight oversight or have unique operational needs.

Businesses become heavily reliant on the 4PL provider to deliver promised services. Any disruptions or issues with the provider can directly impact on the company's operations and customer satisfaction. The increasing use of digital technologies and data sharing in 4PL logistics raises concerns about data security and privacy, thus hindering market growth.

Fourth-Party Logistics Market Trends

Enterprises and consumers are increasingly prioritizing environmentally friendly practices. 4PL providers are developing sustainable solutions that minimize transportation emissions, optimize packaging, and promote environmentally responsible sourcing. With the rise of e-commerce and omnichannel retailing, there has been a sharp increase in customer expectations for fast, reliable, and transparent deliveries. The service providers are adapting by offering solutions for faster order fulfillment, improved visibility into deliveries, and flexible return processes.

Businesses are increasingly focusing on their core competencies and outsourcing their logistics operations to 4PL providers. To fulfill business requirements, these companies are focused on developing strategies to mitigate risks, including diversifying supply sources, implementing real-time monitoring systems, and improving contingency planning. Further, the rise of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the operations of 4PL. These advancements are enabling real-time data visibility, predictive analytics, and automated processes, leading to more efficient and optimized supply chains.

Fourth-Party Logistics Market Analysis

Fourth-Party Logistics (4PL) Market Size, By Solution, 2022 – 2032, (USD Billion)

Based on solution, the market is divided into supply chain optimization, transportation management, inventory management, warehouse management, order fulfillment, freight forwarding, and distribution management. The supply chain optimization segment was valued at over USD 16 billion in 2023. There has been a constant increase in customers’ demand for greater transparency and visibility into their supply chains, which can be integrating advanced technologies. These technologies provide end-to-end visibility and enhance the ability to track shipments, manage inventory, and predict disruptions.

Organizations are constantly focused on multiple ways to reduce operational costs. 4PL providers offer cost-effective supply chain solutions by leveraging economies of scale, optimizing processes, and enhancing resource utilization. Further, increased globalization and international trade have led to the supply chains being more complex. As a result, companies are increasingly shifting towards 4PL providers to manage their global logistics operations, which require sophisticated supply chain solutions. For instance, in June 2024, UPS Supply Chain Solutions expanded its network and enhanced its capabilities to cater to the burgeoning globalization and international trade, offering specialized services for returns management and last-mile delivery.

Fourth-Party Logistics Market Share, By End User, 2023

Based on end-user, the fourth-party logistics market is categorized into food & beverage, healthcare, retail, automotive, manufacturing, and others. The crop farms segment is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 8.5% from 2024 to 2032. The rising consumer preference for fresh, organic, and perishable food items such as dairy, meat, seafood, and fresh produce has driven the need for efficient logistics solutions that can handle temperature-sensitive products. In addition, the F&B industry is subject to strict regulations regarding food safety, labeling, and traceability. 4PL providers have the expertise and infrastructure to navigate these complexities, ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations across different countries.

Further, demand for just-in-time inventory management is boosting the growth of the food and beverages industry in the 4PL market. Consumers now expect F&B products to be readily available through various channels, including brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers, and direct-to-consumer platforms. 4PL providers offer solutions that integrate these channels, ensuring efficient product distribution across all touchpoints. For instance, in July 2024, Lineage Logistics launched new technologies for cold storage and transportation. These innovations aim to optimize food safety and efficiency, supporting the growing demand for high-quality food logistics services.

U.S. 4PL Market Size, 2022 -2032, (USD Billion)

North America dominated the global fourth-party logistics market with a major share of over 35% in 2023. U.S. government has made substantial investments to enhance port capabilities and supply chain reliability. These investments give North America a competitive advantage in logistics by ensuring efficient transportation and storage facilities. The booming e-commerce sector in the region has amplified the demand for efficient logistics solutions.

Further, North America's geographical position between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans provides a natural advantage for international trade. There is a strong focus on innovation within the nation’s logistics sector. For instance, in February 2024, C.H. Robinson's new technology streamlines the process of scheduling appointments for freight pickups, significantly enhancing logistics efficiency.

European nations have a long history of international trade, leading to a dense network of interconnected supply chains. European Union regulations and trade agreements have facilitated seamless movement of goods across borders. Europe’s central location between major global markets (North America, Asia, and Africa) makes it a key logistics hub. As demand for integrated logistics solutions grows, facilitated by advanced digital technologies and real-time data analytics, European nations are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the global 4PL market.

The Asia Pacific region has experienced substantial economic growth, which has fueled demand for advanced logistics solutions. High growth in online shopping and digital marketplaces in countries such as China, India, and Japan drives the need for sophisticated logistics and fulfillment solutions. Significant investments in logistics infrastructure support the growth of the fourth-party logistics market in Asia-Pacific. The APAC region is a major manufacturing hub for various industries. As manufacturing activities continue to grow, it creates opportunities for robust supply chain management solutions.

Fourth-Party Logistics Market Share

DHL Supply Chain, TMC (C.H. Robinson), and CEVA Logistics (CMA CGM) hold a significant market share of over 25% in 4PL industry. The major players are focusing on leveraging advanced technologies and strategic partnerships to enhance their service offerings. They are investing heavily in digital solutions to improve supply chain visibility, data analytics, and automation. By integrating these technologies, they aim to provide more efficient and reliable services, ensuring end-to-end supply chain management. These companies are also expanding their global reach through acquisitions and partnerships, enabling them to offer comprehensive logistics solutions across multiple regions and industries.

Additionally, these key players are prioritizing sustainability and resilience in their operations. They are adopting green logistics practices, such as optimizing transportation routes to reduce carbon emissions and implementing energy-efficient warehousing solutions. The focus on sustainability helps them meet regulatory requirements and also appeals to environmentally conscious customers. In terms of resilience, they are developing more agile and flexible supply chain strategies to mitigate risks and handle disruptions, ensuring continuity and reliability for their clients. This approach helps them maintain a competitive edge in the evolving logistics landscape.

Fourth-Party Logistics Market Companies

Major players operating in the fourth-party logistics (4PL) industry are:

  • CEVA Logistics
  • DB Schenker
  • DHL Supply Chain
  • DSV Panalpina
  • Geodis
  • Kuehne+Nagel
  • Maersk (A.P. Moller - Maersk)
  • TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson
  • UPS Supply Chain Solutions
  • XPO Logistics

Fourth-Party Logistics Industry News

  • In April 2024, DB Schenkar announced initiatives focused on reducing carbon emissions and integrating renewable energy sources in their operations, reinforcing their commitment to environmental sustainability.
  • In September 2023, GEODIS acquired Polish 4PL provider PEKAES for €420 million, enhancing its presence in eastern Europe?. This acquisition was made to enhance its service capabilities in the logistics and supply chain sector.

The Fourth-Party Logistics (4PL) market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue ($Bn) from 2021 to 2032, for the following segments:

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Market, By Solution

  • Supply chain optimization
  • Transportation management
  • Inventory management
  • Warehouse management
  • Order fulfillment
  • Freight forwarding
  • Distribution management

Market, By Operational Model

  • Synergy plus organization
  • Solution integrator
  • Industry innovator

Market, By Mode

  • Air
  • Sea
  • Rail & road

Market, By End User

  • Food & beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Others

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • UK
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia
    • Nordics
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • Australia
    • South Korea
    • Southeast Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific 
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • MEA
    • UAE
    • South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Rest of MEA


Authors: Preeti Wadhwani

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market size of fourth-party logistics (4PL) reached USD 69.8 billion in 2023 and will witness over 6.5% CAGR between 2024 and 2032, due to the increase in complexity of global supply chains, driven by extensive cross-border trade.

Fourth-party logistics (4PL) industry from the food & beverages segment is anticipated to witness over 8.5% CAGR from 2024 to 2032, owing to surging consumer preference for fresh, organic, and perishable food items, such as dairy, meat, seafood, and fresh produce.

North America recorded over 35% of the market share in 2023, led by substantial investments to enhance port capabilities and supply chain reliability in the U.S.

CEVA Logistics, DB Schenker, DHL Supply Chain, DSV Panalpina, Geodis, Kuehne+Nagel, Maersk (A.P. Moller - Maersk), TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, and XPO Logistics

Fourth-Party Logistics Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2023
  • Companies covered: 20
  • Tables & Figures: 295
  • Countries covered: 23
  • Pages: 270
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