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 7,000 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 about 18-19 workers and generates over $2 million annually.

    • The process, distribution and logistics consulting industry consists of about 7,000 firms that employ about 133,000 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

                              Nov 21, 2022 - Risk Of Freight Rail Strike Increases
                              • A planned railroad worker strike was averted when the country’s Class 1 railroads and 12 rail unions reached a tentative agreement in mid-September, but final approval remains uncertain. Seven unions have ratified the agreement, which was reached with the help of the Biden administration’s Presidential Emergency Board, but two have voted it down. Votes by the remaining unions are scheduled to be held by November 17. The remaining dates are subject to change. All unions involved have approved standstill agreements that would delay any strike until other unions have cast their votes.
                              • President Biden was able to block the unions from going on strike in September by creating a Presidential Emergency Board that guided the development of an agreement, but authority to act now rests with the US Congress if new labor deals cannot be reached. The US Congress may use authority granted in the Railway Labor Act to impose the resolution from Biden's Presidential Emergency Board, or may order the trains to operate as usual with an extension of negotiations. The four unions that rejected the agreement will remain on the job until at least early December while negotiations are held to try to avoid a strike. Three of the unions that rejected the agreement have agreed on December 9 as a strike date, but the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen could go on strike at 12:01 am ET on December 5. All of the unions have said that they are opposed to Congressional intervention and want to be allowed to strike, but they would not be opposed to the US Department of Labor facilitating negotiations again.
                              • World trade in goods is likely to slow more in 2023 than previously expected, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Slowing demand in the West and China's economic struggles, driven largely by increasing bad debt levels related mostly to the real estate sector and to continuance of its Zero COVID policy, are weighing on imports and exports. The WTO lowered its forecast for global economic growth in 2023 to 2.3% from 3.3% and warned of an even steeper drop if central banks raise their key interest rates more than expected. A United Nations agency said in early October that raising interest rates to fight inflation could inflict worse damage globally than the financial crisis in 2008 and the COVID-19 shock in 2020. The WTO also noted several long-term trends affecting international trade, including de-globalization — a reversal of decades of ever-closer economic integration, that accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
                              • Talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) –the independent union which represents almost 23,000 West Coast dockworkers–and West Court port executives are continuing, even after ILWU’s current contract expired June 30. The contract covers the ILWU’s workers at the 29 ports along the Pacific coast of the US. Forty percent of all US maritime imports pass through the West Coast ports, with more than 30% of all containerized imports arriving at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together make up the nation’s largest port complex. Experts note that past contract talks have run beyond the expiration date and led to major disruptions to port operations. Process, distribution, and logistics consulting firms may see greater demand if disruptions occur due to prolonged negotiations.
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