THE 3PL INDUSTRY is thriving and expanding. Year over year, there has been a 9% increase in broker registrations, or about 4,000 new entrants into the marketplace annually. While there continues to be various mergers and acquisitions in the space, by and large, the logistics business continues to experience steady growth. This can be explained, in part, by the seemingly unquenching demand over the last year, the capacity crunch, the labor shortage and raw material shortages—all of which have made the role of the freight broker even more critical.
A thriving, diverse, fair, and competitive marketplace, enjoyed by the 3PL industry, benefits both the consumer and the overall economy. And this Administration has affirmatively signaled its desire to enforce pro-competitive regulations. President Biden’s recent Executive Order (EO) asks regulatory agencies to scrutinize what the president deems “monopolistic” industries, including the maritime industry, freight railroads, commercial airlines, and others, for potentially anti-competitive conduct.
The EO directs the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and Surface Transportation Board to consider further rulemakings that could benefit the consumer or the shipping community. Those industries, and in particular railroads, have denounced this effort as undoing the de-regulatory benefits experienced during the past 40 years. As a former (reformed?) railroader, I have my own views on the need for and benefits of increased regulation on the railroads. However, railroads, airlines and the maritime industry will almost certainly spend the next four years defending their respective market shares, their consumer practices, and in the case of the railroads, any and all pending railroad mergers at the Surface Transportation Board.
It is a significant benefit to our industry and to our members that our balanced and competitive marketplace is recognized. Regulatory oversight can be expensive and a bet-the-company kind of risk. This recognition does not occur without significant effort from you, our members, and the efforts of many different players within TIA. By performing your day-to-day jobs in a safe, ethical, and efficient manner, you, our members, are our best representatives of the good this industry does.
And our TIA Staff works daily to amplify the good you do. Our Government Affairs team educates and develops relationships with key Members of Congress and regulators at the Federal Maritime Commission and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; our Marketing & Communications team shapes our image and conveys compelling narratives about who we are; our Meetings & Education team ensure that the industry hears from the best in the business, so our best practices are truly the “best”; and our Membership team drives a truly diverse and representative cadre of the safest, most ethical and most effective brokers and 3PL practitioners. Thank you for making it so easy to do our jobs!