February 7, 2024

FRAYT Newsletter: Growth and Growing Complexity for 3PLs, Brokerages, and Industrial Suppliers


The fulfillment and delivery landscape is full of opportunities right now. Those opportunities may only be outweighed by the ever-increasing complexities that 3PLs, freight brokerages, industrial suppliers, retailers, and others are dealing with.

Operating in a highly competitive environment, organizations in these industries are searching for solutions to help them claim a competitive advantage and secure their positions for the future. This week’s headlines include ideas and tips for how these organizations can chart a path toward long-term success.

Super Growth in the 3PL Industry (Plus How to Manage It)

The third-party logistics market (better known as 3PLs) is set to explode in the coming years, with growth expected to surpass $1.59 trillion by 2028. 3PLs will be in high demand in 2024, with online orders increasing and delivery options proliferating. It’s more important now than ever that 3PLs tap into a key success ingredient mentioned above — strategic partnerships.

One aspect where 3PLs need help is rescues and recoveries. In the hectic day-to-day operations of 3PLs, it’s not unusual for pallets to be left behind or forgotten for any number of reasons. Strategic delivery partners can serve as backups on these occasions, swooping in to rescue or recover pallets so that 3PLs can meet their obligations without drivers needing to circle back (which can kill efficiency). Augment your 3PL’s fleet with the right partner.

Spike in Ecommerce Makes 3PLs More Prominent

The rise in e-commerce means that 3PLs are playing a greater and more pivotal role with each passing month. Online shoppers are becoming more demanding, searching for delivery options, faster shipping, sustainability, easy returns, plus more. As 3PLs work to keep up with these growing consumer expectations, setting themselves apart as leaders in their industry, they need support partners that can plug gaps and provide rescue and recovery services as needed.

At FRAYT, we play that role for 3PLs across the country. We help them augment their own fleets by providing a diverse collection of vehicles and high-quality drivers who understand the importance of customer service in the last mile. Without strategic partners, 3PLs will struggle to keep pace in a highly competitive environment.

Strategic Partnerships as a Solution for Brokers

Freight brokerages are struggling right now due to high levels of competition and increasing complexities surrounding their businesses. UPS plans to explore the sale of Coyote Logistics’ brokerage unit just because operations have become more trouble than they are worth in recent months. UPS bought Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion in 2015, hoping to boost the company’s portfolio, but those plans have not played out.

As 3PLs are leaning on strategic partners for middle and last mile delivery services, the same is true for freight brokerages like Coyote Logistics and others. When things are competitive and complex, a strategic partner that can step in as needed for urgent delivery needs can be invaluable.

The tide will turn someday, and the freight brokerage industry will move into a less challenging environment. Until then, it’s important to find trusted strategic partners to help brokerages thrive through these tough times.

Navigating Through the ‘Trucking Recession’

As the so-called “trucking recession” continues, companies increasingly need to manage their risk appropriately. Inbound Logistics recently wrote about the need to manage risk, and it noted the importance of trust and reliability between shippers, carriers, 3PLs, and others involved in the fulfillment process.

We strongly believe that trust and reliability form the foundation of any thriving supply chain and logistics business. At FRAYT, our services are designed to position us as a trusted partner to brokerages, 3PLs, industrial suppliers, and others who need organizations they can trust to help them reach their full potential.

Industrial Supply Triples in Demand

New industrial supply has tripled in demand, and 2023 was a banner year for new development. A record-setting 607 million square feet of new industrial projects were delivered across the United States last year alone.

As new developments continue to spike, industrial suppliers need key partners they can trust for job site deliveries. At FRAYT, we specialize in job site delivery for industrial suppliers in major markets nationwide. As this boom continues, we can help industrial suppliers ensure that they capture as much of the market as possible.

Finding Solutions for Fulfillment Complexities

As the retail delivery landscape grows more and more challenging each year, big-name companies are turning to partners to help them “tackle fulfillment complexities.” According to a new benchmark report, the percentage of retailers using third-party services increased from 45% in 2022 to 53% in 2023. The reasons given for this shift were cost-cutting and efforts to better match customer expectations.

E-commerce is positioned to claim 41% of global retail sales volume by 2027 — a figure that would have been unthinkable at the start of this century. As retailers search for a path forward in a world that’s rapidly tilting toward online over in-store purchases, they discover that having partners specializing in certain aspects of fulfillment (like last mile delivery) can help create efficiencies, save money, and better serve customers.

The Return of Just-in-Time Inventory

Retailers are also rediscovering the value and benefits of just-in-time inventory. The past few years have seen retailers experience different ends of the spectrum — empty shelves in some cases followed by gluts of inventory that required the donation or even destruction of some products. Now, just-in-time inventory is returning to the limelight to help prevent these inventory issues.

As retailers take new approaches and leverage new technologies to fix inventory issues, partners must offer technology and services that fit into retailers’ existing workflows and tech stacks. These partners will be invaluable in helping retailers survive today’s challenges and thrive in the future.

Drivers as Brand Ambassadors

The shift away from traditional, in-store shopping experiences has undermined in-store personnel’s role as salespeople and customer service representatives. In the modern era, with more consumers choosing at-home delivery, drivers have become the de facto faces of the brands they work for.

Some shippers run into issues with drivers who are unprepared to serve in this evolving role. Whether these drivers are company-employed or contracted through a third-party partner, it’s essential to the long-term success of the shipper’s business that they are prepared to provide a delightful delivery experience. In some cases, this entails communicating directly with the delivery recipient; in other cases, it involves handling deliveries with care and attention to detail.

Find the Right Strategic Partners

Not all ecommerce delivery partners are created equal. As noted above, it’s important that delivery partners secure high-quality drivers who understand their roles as brand ambassadors. Supply Chain Brain recently highlighted five other criteria to look for in an ecommerce delivery partner, notably mentioning on-time delivery, flexible operations that can adjust to customers' demands (especially during peak seasons), and proactive customer communication.

Delivery partners can also provide route optimization and real-time tracking through technology platforms, as well as a presence in key markets and a diverse fleet (so that each shipment makes its journey in an appropriate vehicle).

FRAYT: Your Strategic Middle and Last Mile Delivery Partner

As the need grows for high-quality strategic partners, FRAYT is operating as an on-demand middle and last mile delivery solution, offering both a technology platform and a presence in markets nationwide. We work with retailers, construction companies, industrial supply providers, manufacturing firms, logistics and transportation organizations, and others. If your business, like many, needs help to maintain efficiency while minimizing costs in the delivery process, FRAYT stands ready to offer the efficiency and ROI you need.

We offer a fleet of diverse vehicles to meet your needs and quality drivers who can serve as brand ambassadors. To get support with your middle and last mile delivery needs, start shipping.

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