2007 looks to be a year of opportunity for third-party providers of warehousing and logistics services, according to the latest edition of an annual survey conducted by International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA, Chicago).

“In the first quarter, we’re double-digits ahead of last year,” said Linda Hothem, chief executive, Pacific-American Services. “We’re very encouraged by how 2007 has started.”

“Things are picking up, “ said Jere Van Puffelen, president, Prism Team Services. “More people are out kicking the tires and outsourcing is gaining momentum.” Prism’s business so far this year is up 10% over 2006.

In 2006, just over one-fifth of third-party logistics providers reported healthy revenue increases of 20% or more. Another eight percent had revenue gains of between 15% and 20%, while 2.5% had double-digit sales growth of between 10% and 15%.

Another indication of strong growth for outsourced warehouse logistics is the sector’s employment picture. More than half of those surveyed said they would add employees this year. In addition, 61% of respondents said they will add warehouse space.

IWLA 3PLs see solid growth potential in the following industries:• Food, beverage and grocery
• Paper and related products
• Retail/general merchandise
• Pharmaceuticals
• Computers/high tech

The complete 2007 Business Outlook Survey is attached in PDF format at the association's Web site.

Source: IWLA