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- James Coombes
The pandemic and subsequent congestion in North American and European ports has brought into stark relief how difficult it is to manage supply chains dependent on containerized freight. That’s been a boon for third-party logistics providers, which have seen shippers large and small turn to them for access to capacity, origin and destination services, and sourcing and modal optimization. But what exactly is it, from a technology perspective, that moves the needle for shippers and the 3PLs that cater to them? Can the market continue to support an industry with tens of thousands of players, or will software and technology platforms start to consolidate functions into fewer ecosystems? At the heart of these questions is the role technology can play in allowing 3PLs to differentiate or in creating common experiences that allow certain 3PLs to get scale.