Top Third-Party Logistics Companies: 2024 Guide

Navigate the complex logistics landscape with our authoritative ranking of the top third-party logistics companies for 2024. This guide provides a clear snapshot of the leading service providers, their global operations, and their forward-thinking third-party logistics solutions that elevate them above the rest.

Key Takeaways

Third-party logistics (3PL) providers offer essential services like warehousing and distribution to e-commerce businesses, focusing on efficient product delivery and allowing clients to concentrate on their core operations.

International 3PL companies like UPS Supply Chain Solutions, DHL Supply Chain, FedEx Supply Chain, Kuehne + Nagel, and DB Schenker Logistics provide comprehensive global logistics solutions with extensive networks, emphasising customer focus and sustainability.

Technological advancements in the 3PL industry, including automation and data analytics, are transforming logistics by improving efficiency and risk management, while sustainability initiatives are becoming increasingly important to reduce environmental impact.

Understanding Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

Third-party logistics companies are service providers that offer outsourcing services to eCommerce businesses, enabling them to delegate order fulfillment responsibilities to the 3PL provider. This involves handling activities such as warehousing and distribution that require significant infrastructure. The primary reason businesses opt to outsource logistics operations to 3PL companies is to achieve efficient delivery of products, quick and safe order fulfilment, the ability to regain focus on core business operations, and to enable eCommerce businesses to concentrate fully on the selling aspect.

Third-party logistics companies such as Shipwire offer commerce and fulfillment services, FedEx Fulfillment provides comprehensive logistics services, and DCL Logistics specialises in fulfilment and shipping. Others, like Red Stag Fulfillment and SkyPostal, focus on specialised services such as ecommerce order fulfilment and final mile delivery.

Many 3PL companies have a substantial international presence. For instance:

  • Shipwire operates a network of more than 145 warehouses covering Europe, Asia, Australia, and the United States.
  • J. Cain & Co. provides services reaching across Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • BoxMe provides services reaching several countries in Southeast Asia.

Top Third-Party Logistics Companies in 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of logistics, staying abreast of the top players is instrumental in making informed decisions for your supply chain needs. Armstrong & Associates, a renowned authority in the industry, annually curates a comprehensive list ranking the top global third-party logistics providers (3PLs).

Their rankings are based on the gross logistics revenue/turnover of these companies in the year prior. This list serves as a benchmark, showcasing the market leaders in the logistics realm, highlighting their capabilities, and providing insights into their standing within the industry. See A&A’s complete list of the Top 50 Global Third-Party Logistics Providers for the year 2022 here.

Global Reach: Top 5 International Third-Party Logistics Companies

In the globally interconnected commerce landscape, the role of international third-party logistics providers is paramount. These companies have a vast reach, serving businesses across the globe, and offer comprehensive logistics solutions.

We’ll examine the contributions of the five leading international 3PL companies to the global logistics industry.

UPS Supply Chain Solutions

UPS Supply Chain Solutions is a global logistics leader offering a wide range of services, including supply chain management solutions such as:

  • Transportation management
  • Supplier management
  • Logistics and distribution
  • Freight forwarding
  • Customs brokerage

With a widespread global network spanning over 14,000 origins and destinations across the world, UPS Supply Chain Solutions has established itself as a preferred partner for businesses seeking a reliable 3PL provider.

DHL Supply Chain

Recognised as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Third-Party Logistics, DHL Supply Chain is a global logistics provider that sets itself apart with its commitment to small and mid-sized companies as well as e-sellers. The company is also known for its environmental stewardship, implementing eco-friendly solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other local air pollutants.

DHL’s recent sustainability milestones include:

  • Hosting the Era of Sustainable Logistics Global Summit 2023
  • Delivering over 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines
  • Introducing a new tool to aid customers in curtailing their carbon emissions.

FedEx Supply Chain

FedEx Supply Chain offers a wide range of services, including:

  • Supply chain services
  • Value-added services like kitting, repacking, and handling
  • Sales and marketing services
  • Information technology services
  • Customer service
  • Fulfilment services

With a significant presence in more than 220 countries and territories, FedEx Supply Chain is a global partner for businesses seeking comprehensive logistics solutions.

Kuehne + Nagel

Founded in 1890, Kuehne + Nagel is a Swiss-based logistics company that has evolved over the years to deliver IT-based logistics solutions. The company provides a variety of services, including road transport, project logistics for unique cargo projects, and online pricing and booking services for full container loads.

In its commitment to sustainable logistics, Kuehne + Nagel has been honoured with various accolades, including the ‘Excellence Award 2022’ from Lufthansa Cargo and the title of ‘Sustainable Forwarder of the Year 2023’ at the Freightweek Sustainability Awards.

DB Schenker Logistics

DB Schenker Logistics, the logistics division of Deutsche Bahn AG, is a German rail line company offering a wide range of services, including:

  • Land transport
  • Ocean freight
  • Air freight
  • Contract logistics
  • Supply chain management

The company’s operations span over 794 locations across 60 countries, enabling it to provide comprehensive logistics solutions on a global scale.

Regional Powerhouses: Top 5 Third-Party Logistics Companies in North America

Focusing on North America, we will explore the region’s leading third-party logistics companies. These companies are known for their regional expertise, vast networks, and tailored services that cater to the unique demands of the North American market.

Ryder Solutions Inc.

Ryder Solutions Inc.:

  • Headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida
  • US-based company offering transportation and supply chain management services
  • Led by CEO Robert E. Sanchez
  • Employs a significant workforce of more than 48,000 employees
  • Works on a global scale, making it a preferred choice for businesses seeking a reliable logistics partner

Penske Logistics

Penske Logistics is known for its technology-based solutions, such as their proprietary logistics automation platform ClearChain® Control and other innovative tools developed from over 25 years of industry expertise. These technologies contribute to enhancing truck driving safety and optimising supply chain management.

The company also oversees more than 25 million square feet of warehouse space by utilising cross-docks and multi-client warehousing for operation and management.

NFI Industries

NFI Industries, a privately owned company, offers a comprehensive range of logistics services, including:

  • Distribution
  • Transportation
  • Global logistics
  • Logistics real estate services

The company, which was established in 1932 and is based in Camden, New Jersey, generated revenue of $3.84 billion in 2019.

Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics specialises in cold chain logistics and temperature-controlled warehousing. The company offers a range of services including:

  • Supply Chain Analysis
  • Freight Management
  • Consolidation Programs
  • Warehousing and Inventory Management

These services ensure that products are stored and transported within a temperature-controlled environment.

Additionally, it operates a family of brands such as Burris PRW Plus, Honor Foods, and Trinity Logistics.


Americold is a leading provider of temperature-controlled warehousing and distribution services. The company ensures the maintenance of temperature control in their logistics process by cross-docking fast-moving products into waiting trailers or staging them appropriately on their temperature-controlled docks.

Americold operates in territories within the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina.

European Leaders: Top 5 Third-Party Logistics Companies in Europe

Europe is home to some of the world’s leading third-party logistics companies, known for their extensive regional networks and comprehensive logistics solutions. We’ll analyse the five dominant 3PL companies in the European logistics landscape.


DACHSER Group SE & Co. KG sets itself apart through:

  • Its unwavering customer focus
  • Strategic logistics solutions
  • Comprehensive supply chain services
  • Its worldwide Gateway network supported by DACHSER Air & Sea Logistics

The company was established in 1930 by Thomas Dachser and is situated in Kempten, Germany.

In 2005, Bernhard Simon, the grandson of the founder, assumed leadership as head of the Management Board.


DAMCO, a subsidiary of the A.P. Møller Mærsk Group, operates in more than one hundred countries globally. The company provides a variety of logistics services, such as contract logistics, freight forwarding, and other execution options such as onsite, offsite, offshore, and multi-shore solutions. DAMCO employs approximately 1,200 individuals worldwide, making it a preferred choice for businesses seeking a reliable logistics partner.


GEFCO Group, an international industrial logistics company, offers multimodal transportation and warehousing services. The company operates in 45 countries and caters to industries including automotive, aerospace, defence, healthcare, energy, food, fashion, and life science.

It provides a variety of services, including road transport, project logistics for unique cargo projects, and online pricing and booking services for full container loads.

SNCF Logistics

SNCF Logistics, a French state-owned railway subsidiary, provides a range of services, including:

  • Ocean transportation
  • Terminal operations
  • Logistics solutions
  • Multimodal solutions

The company was established as a state-owned enterprise on 1 January 2020.

CEVA Logistics

CEVA Logistics, based in Baar, Switzerland, operates in over 160 countries and offers a range of logistics services, including:

  • Dry storage
  • Warehousing
  • Automotive logistics
  • Complex supply chain solutions on a global scale
  • LTL and FTL transportation services for domestic and international shipping

The company’s robust presence in the automotive logistics sector, industry recognition as leaders by Gartner, and its ability to provide complex supply chain solutions on a global scale distinguish it in the logistics industry.

Asian Giants: Top 5 Third-Party Logistics Providers in Asia

Asia, being the largest and most populous continent, has a diverse logistics industry with numerous top-tier third-party logistics providers. We’ll investigate the five top 3PL providers significantly advancing the Asian logistics industry:

Nippon Express

Nippon Express, a Japanese logistics company, is recognised globally due to its:

  • Extensive presence in over 49 countries/regions
  • Substantial global workforce of 73,000 employees
  • Streamlined transport solutions process
  • High-grade 3PL services
  • Unique transport options throughout their global network
  • Transportation services utilising railways

CJ Logistics

Originating as Chosun Rice Warehousing Co., Ltd. and Chosun Shipping Co., Ltd. in 1930, CJ Logistics transformed into CJ Korea Express and amalgamated with CJ GLS before ultimately re-branding as CJ Logistics in 2017. The company provides tailored logistics solutions for industries such as:

  • food
  • distribution
  • fashion
  • healthcare
  • cosmetics

CJ Logistics offers contract logistics services and forwarding and operates in various international locations such as Canada, Mexico, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates.

Nippon Yusen (NYK)

Nippon Yusen (NYK), established in 1885, provides a range of services, including:

  • Ocean transportation
  • Terminal operations
  • Logistics solutions
  • Car transportation

The company predominantly caters to global logistics operations, indicating an extensive geographical coverage.

Kintetsu World Express

Kintetsu World Express sets itself apart from other third-party logistics companies by providing specialised logistics service packages tailored to large and demanding industries. The company operates in various international regions including:

  • Japan
  • Taiwan & Korea
  • The Americas
  • Europe
  • Middle East & Africa
  • East Asia
  • South East Asia & Oceania

Agility Logistics

Agility Logistics, a publicly traded global logistics company based in Kuwait, provides services in the transportation, management, and distribution of goods, along with logistics, storage, and infrastructure services.

The company possesses an extensive transportation network in the Gulf region, boasting the largest warehousing footprint in the GCC.

Local Third-Party Logistics Solutions

While the global and regional third-party logistics providers have the advantage of a larger network and diverse resources, local 3PL providers often offer more personalised services and understand the specific regional needs better. For businesses operating within a specific region, partnering with a local 3PL provider can provide several advantages.

Companies like Redhawk Logistics offer regional and national shipping services within the United States and Canada, which can be beneficial for businesses operating within these regions. Redhawk Logistics determines the cost of their service by considering both freight service and shipping rates. These factors contribute to the overall pricing of their offered services. The selection of a 3PL company based on location ensures smooth and efficient delivery operations, making it a crucial factor for businesses.

Amidst this landscape, Tap'in stands out as a local 3PL provider that exemplifies tailored solutions on a different scale. Unlike industry giants, Tap'in specialises in crafting customised strategies for national and international drinks businesses.

Their niche focus on the drinks industry offers a unique advantage, enabling them to provide nuanced and precise logistical support. This specialisation extends beyond standard logistics, allowing Tap'in to deeply understand the intricate demands of the beverage sector. Whether navigating complex regulations or optimising supply chains, Tap'in's expertise and local connections offer businesses a competitive edge.

Now, when it comes to accessing the vibrant hospitality scene in London & South East England, Tap'in's tailored services are invaluable, enabling companies to tap into this dynamic market with precision and expertise.

Choosing the Best Third-Party Logistics Partner for Your Business

The task of selecting an appropriate logistics partner can be intimidating due to the abundance of options. It can pose a challenge to identify the 3PL provider that will best fulfill your business’s specific needs. However, understanding your business requirements and conducting thorough research can help in making an informed decision.

It can be beneficial for businesses to review and consider client testimonials to gauge the 3PL provider’s capabilities and reliability. Moreover, third-party logistics providers offer an extensive array of customisation options to develop personalised solutions for a business’s operations, enabling businesses to formulate a specialised set of services that aligns with their specific requirements.

In the pursuit of efficient logistics, it's crucial not to overlook the potential benefits that local 3PL providers can bring to the table. Their intimate understanding of regional intricacies, coupled with a commitment to tailor-made solutions, presents a compelling case for businesses seeking more than just standard logistics. Whether it's Redhawk Logistics in North America or Tap'in specialising in the beverage industry within London & South East England, these local 3PLs offer a level of personalised service that larger entities might struggle to match.

By harnessing their localised expertise and dedication to bespoke solutions, businesses can optimise their supply chains, enhance efficiency, and gain a competitive edge in their respective markets. Thus, exploring the offerings of local 3PLs is a strategic move for any business aiming to elevate its logistical operations to new heights.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Partnering with a Third-Party Logistics Company

Partnering with a third-party logistics company brings several benefits, including:

  • Lowered initial costs
  • Access to advanced logistics solutions
  • Increased customer satisfaction from improved service delivery
  • Specialist risk management expertise for better handling of logistics exceptions

However, there are also potential drawbacks of forming a partnership with a third-party logistics provider. These include a diminished level of control over logistics operations and the possibility of encountering communication challenges stemming from the indirect oversight of the supply chain process. Therefore, businesses should weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

How Technology is Transforming the Third-Party Logistics Industry

Modern logistics industry heavily relies on technology. The third-party logistics sector is being transformed by advanced technologies like:

  • Data analytics
  • Innovative technology platforms
  • Robotics
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Machine learning
  • Automation technologies including sensors, robotic arms, drones
  • Comprehensive inventory management systems
  • The use of machine learning, RFID tags, barcodes, and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Automation is significantly impacting the operations of third-party logistics companies by:

  • Improving efficiency
  • Optimising inventory management
  • Managing peak season demands seamlessly
  • Reducing costs and risks significantly
  • Facilitating the adoption of advanced technologies

Technological capabilities hold great significance for 3PL companies as they facilitate the delivery of forward-looking solutions and cutting-edge features, which can empower businesses to attain a valuable competitive advantage.

Sustainability and Environmental Initiatives in Third-Party Logistics Companies

In the wake of increasing environmental concerns, sustainability has become a top priority for businesses. The logistics industry is no exception. With its operations significantly impacting the environment through:

  • Carbon emissions
  • Pollution
  • Noise
  • Occupation of urban space by transport infrastructure

Many third-party logistics companies are implementing various sustainability initiatives, including energy efficiency measures, CO2 reduction strategies, and assisting their clients in achieving supply chain sustainability goals. These endeavours are designed to decrease the overall carbon footprint and enhance customer recognition of environmentally friendly practices. Additionally, third-party logistics companies are considering acquiring environmental certifications such as ISO 14001, LEED, B Corp, EPA Energy Star, WaterSense, and EPA SmartWay, which serve as evidence of a company’s dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable operations.


To sum up, third-party logistics providers play a vital role in today’s global commerce landscape. With their comprehensive suite of services, ranging from supply chain management to freight forwarding and warehousing, they enable businesses to focus on their core competencies while ensuring efficient logistics operations.

While selecting a 3PL provider, businesses should consider factors such as the company’s reliability, scalability, technology adoption, expertise in the industry, and environmental initiatives. As the logistics industry continues to evolve, embracing technology and sustainability initiatives will be key to staying competitive and meeting customer expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which company is the largest 3PL in the world?

The largest 3PL company in the world is Kuehne + Nagel.

Who is the leading UK logistics company?

The leading UK logistics company is Royal Mail PLC. Royal Mail PLC is the United Kingdom's market leader in industrial transportation based on revenue.

What does a third-party logistics company do?

A third-party logistics company provides distribution, storage, transport, and fulfillment services to customers who outsource these operations, relying on the expertise of the 3PL provider. This allows for end-to-end management of specific services. Read more about what 3PL companies do in our full guide here.

What are the top third-party logistics companies globally?

The top third-party logistics companies globally include UPS Supply Chain Solutions, DHL Supply Chain, FedEx Supply Chain, Kuehne + Nagel, and DB Schenker Logistics.

What factors should be considered when choosing a third-party logistics provider?

When choosing a third-party logistics provider, consider factors such as reliability, scalability, technology adoption, and industry expertise to ensure a successful partnership.

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