Process, Distribution & Logistics Consulting

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 7,600 process, distribution, and logistics consulting services providers in the US include a broad range of specialties, including manufacturing operations improvement; productivity improvement; production planning and control; quality assurance and quality control; inventory management; distribution networks; warehouse use, operations, and utilization; transportation and shipment of goods and materials; and materials management and handling. Firms may offer multiple services or specialize in a particular area.

Dependence on Skilled Labor

Despite a dependence on technology, the process, logistics, and supply chain consulting industry remains labor-intensive and reliant on skilled workers.

Competition from Alternative Service Providers

Process, distribution, and logistics consultants compete with a variety of alternative service providers, including accounting firms, management consultants, IT service providers, and transportation companies.

Industry size & Structure

The average process, distribution and logistics consulting services provider employs 22 workers and generates over $2 million annually.

    • The process, distribution and logistics consulting industry consists of about 7,600 firms that employ about 166,000 workers and generate $16 billion annually.
    • The industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for almost 33% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms that offer process, distribution and logistics consulting services, which include C.H. Robinson and XPO Logistics, have a global presence.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Process, Distribution & Logistics Consulting Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              May 15, 2024 - Industry to Post Steady but Flat Growth
                              • The process, distribution, and logistics industry is expected to experience stronger growth in 2025 after a slowdown in 2024. The industry’s year-over-year sales growth is projected to decline to 3.1% in 2024 after rising 8% in 2023, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. The process, distribution, and logistics industry is forecast to notch sales growth of 5.1% in 2025, then see flat but steady average annual sales growth of 5.5% through 2028, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc.
                              • According to a survey by Software Advice, supply chain managers at small to medium-sized (SMS) businesses continue to struggle with inflation, labor shortages, business disruptions, and cyber threats. About 45% of supply chain managers at SMS businesses rank inflation as their top concern. For about a third of those surveyed, the possibility of a recession was their leading concern. About 80% of those surveyed reported trouble attracting and retaining talent, and more than 40% had experienced a cyberattack in the previous 12 months. To manage costs, more than half of respondents reported negotiating supplier and logistics contracts, and nearly 40% said they participate in group purchasing organizations to boost their buying power. More than 45% of supply chain managers said they are maintaining or increasing their cybersecurity budgets. The survey included more than 1,000 SMS business supply chain management respondents in the US, UK, Australia, France, and Germany.
                              • Import volumes leading up to the holiday season are expected to reach some of the highest levels since the pandemic, according to a forecast released in May by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and maritime consulting firm Hacket Associates. Import volumes passing through the 12 largest US container ports will stay above two million twenty-foot equivalent (TEUs) units through October 2024. In May, import volumes are expected to hit two million for the first time since October 2023. The NRF and Hacket forecast suggests consumer spending is holding fast despite slower economic growth, high interest rates, and geopolitical unrest.
                              • A recent survey by consulting firm Protiviti and the North Carolina State University College of Management’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative asked C-suite-level executives and board members to rank the top risks for organizations in 2024 and in the long term. The top risks for 2024 included economic conditions, including inflation; the ability to attract and keep top talent, manage shifting labor requirements, and address succession challenges; cyber-threats; third-party risks; and heightened regulatory changes and scrutiny. Looking ahead to the most significant risks in 2034, respondents were most concerned about cyber-threats; the ability to attract and keep top talent, manage shifting labor requirements, and address succession challenges; adoption of digital technologies that require new skills; speed of disruptive innovations and new technologies; and heightened regulatory changes and scrutiny.
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