Transportation Intermediaries Outperform Economy

Less-than-truckload outpaces truckload and intermodal, according to Transportation Intermediaries Association’s First Quarter Report.

Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) has released the 1st Quarter 2013: TIA 3PL Market Report and the results show that, in general, TIA members outperformed the economy. The report, comprised of data drawn from three categories of members based on revenue, represented nearly 1.3 million shipments and just under $2.3 billion in total revenue for the First Quarter 2013.

The report separates performance by the core services each 3PL offers. Nearly 98% of all revenue was derived from over-the-road truckload (TL), rail intermodal (IM) and Less-than-Truckload (LTL). Below is a summary of performance for the 3 primary modes comparing First Quarter 2013versus the First Quarter 2012.


Mode Summary Q1 13 vs. Q1 12





Total Shipments




Total Revenue




Margin %

-70 Basis Points

140 Basis Points

-90 Basis Points

While shipment volume increased consistently within the 3 modes, profit declined 70 and 90 basis points respectively for TL and intermodal, while LTL outpaced all modes by increasing 140 basis points. The decline of basis points for TL and intermodal margin percent is a result of transportation cost increasing greater than invoice amounts in the quarter. LTL basis points increased as a result of invoice amounts growing faster than transportation cost.

“3PLs continued to grow, expand, and change their businesses,” said TIA President & CEO Robert Voltmann. “This is TIA’s 18th quarterly report on the 3PL industry. The report indicates that 3PLs continue to expand their services. The percent of 3PLs offering intermodal and LTL continues to increase each quarter and 100% of all 3PLs report activity in TL.”

This report is based on a monthly survey of TIA members who submit real operating data, and answer questions on business conditions affecting the 3PL industry.

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