South Korea Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022-2027)

The South Korean Third-party Logistics (3PL) Market is segmented by Service (Domestic Transportation Management, International Transportation Management, Value-added Services), End-User (Manufacturing and Automotive, Oil and Gas and Chemicals, Distributive Trade (Wholesale and Retail Trade, including E-commerce), Pharma and Healthcare, Construction, and Other End Users).


Market Snapshot

Market Summary
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: >6 %

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Market Overview

Due to the spread of COVID-19, third-party logistical challenges for exporting enterprises were severe in 2020, as both air and sea freight charges were raised. It was a year in which air freight saw a significant increase in freight rates due to increased demand amid a supply shortage, while sea freight saw a rise in freight rates. Logistics issues such as port congestion due to increased cargo volume and a lack of empty containers appeared to be complicated.

South Korea is advantageously situated between two world-class importers: China to the west and Japan, another Asian economic powerhouse, to the east, and it relies on third-party logistics for trade. 3PL is the function by which a manufacturer outsources activities related to logistics and distribution. A 3PL company can provide specialized services, such as inventory management, cross-docking, door-to-door delivery, and packaging of products. The market for 3PL services is expected to witness significant growth due to the development of the e-commerce industry.

South Korea is one of the top five 3PL markets in Asia-Pacific. The logistics industry in South Korea has rapidly grown over the last ten years, with multinational, major manufacturing, and wholesale companies concentrated on the internal and external efficiency and effectiveness of supply chains to reduce logistics costs.

Before the onset of COVID-19, governments put high tariffs on traditional staple foods (7.9%), with more than 90% of food being subject to non-tariff obstacles. The quarantine policy in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a reduction in agricultural production personnel, the closure of agricultural and fishery products processing companies, and the suspension of logistics and transportation, causing China's supply of agricultural and marine products and preparations to fall short of demand. South Korea is among the top five 3PL markets in the Asia-Pacific area. Over the last ten years, South Korea's logistics business has exploded, with multinational, big manufacturing, and wholesale enterprises focusing on internal and external supply chain efficiency and effectiveness to save logistical costs. With the development of e-commerce, the volume of shipments increased, and there is a need to continuously increase the demand for 3PL companies to handle the demand, which resulted in competition to deliver goods of good quality, making retailers seek logistics hubs in the Greater Seoul area.

Scope of the Report

Third-party logistics, often known as 3PL, is a system in which a company offers inventory management and delivery services to another company. A 3PL company is frequently used by a company (client) that does not have its own logistics department. In turn, the 3PL takes care of some or all of the client's logistics needs. The South Korean third-party logistics (3PL) market is segmented by service (domestic transportation management, international transportation management, value-added services), end-user (manufacturing and automotive, oil and gas and chemicals, distributive trade (wholesale and retail trade including e-commerce), pharma and healthcare, construction and other end users). A comprehensive background analysis of the South Korean Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Market covering the current market trends, restraints, technological updates, and detailed information on various segments and the industry's competitive landscape has been provided. The impact of COVID-19 has also been incorporated and considered during the study.

By Services
Domestic Transportation Management
International Transportation Management
Value Added Services
By End User
Manufacturing And Automotive
Oil And Gas And Chemicals
Distributive Trade (wholesale And Retail Trade Including E-commerce)
Pharma And Healthcare
Other End Users

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Key Market Trends

Boom in Air Cargo contributing to 3PL market in South Korea

Export performance by air and sea in 2020 was mixed, as a significantly larger setback occurred. The revenue generated by aviation climbed by 11.4 percent in 2020, totaling USD 183 billion, supporting the 3PL market of the country during the pandemic. Exports of air freight further increased significantly in 2021. In 2021, the exports of high-value-added products such as displays (OLEDs), computers (SSDs), semiconductors, and pharmaceuticals exhibited considerable growth, according to the reputation for higher air cargo exports. On the other hand, even though maritime cargo exports were generally slow, secondary battery exports showed an upward trend that stood out.

The proportion of air cargo exports increased, and in particular, in the case of exports to Germany, the proportion of air cargo exports increased.

In August 2021, Korean Air (the largest airline and flag carrier in South Korea) reported a 31% increase in second-quarter profit, driven by record revenue in its cargo business, which continues to support the airline amid a lack of passenger flights. The Korean flag carrier said revenue in the second quarter of 2021 rose 16% from one year ago to KRW 1.95 trillion (USD 1.7 billion), and operating profit rose to KRW 196.9 billion. Its cargo division achieved revenue of KRW 1.51 billion, which South Korea said was the highest in its history, owing to companies restocking in anticipation of economic recovery and a shortage of capacity in the shipping industry.


Growth of E-commerce

South Korea’s e-commerce market ranks among the most developed in the world and has been on sustained growth for the past few years and is supported by the country’s robust technology infrastructure, which ensures the availability of high-speed Internet as well as a significant number of tech-savvy customers. South Korea is the sixth-largest market for e-commerce, with a revenue of USD 92 billion in 2021, placing it ahead of France and Germany.

With an increase of 14%, the South Korean e-commerce market contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 29% in 2021. Revenues for e-commerce continue to increase. New markets are emerging, and existing markets also have the potential for further development. Global growth will continue over the next few years. This will be propelled by East and Southeast Asia, with their expanding middle class and lagging offline shopping infrastructure.

The biggest player in the South Korean e-commerce Market is The store had a revenue of USD 16.6 billion in 2021. It is followed by with USD 1.5 billion in revenue and with USD 541 million in revenue. Altogether, the top three stores account for 20% of online revenue in South Korea. Store rankings are based on every store that generates revenue in South Korea. These stores can either have a national focus and only sell in their main country or operate globally. For this evaluation, only revenue created in South Korea was considered.


Competitive Landscape

The third-party logistics (3PL) market in South Korea is fragmented, with a mix of foreign and local businesses such as CJ Logistics, Pants Logistics, and Lotte Global Logistics, among the leading competitors. Consistent economic growth, the rapid expansion of e-commerce retailers such as Coupang, Wemakeprice, 11street, G-Market, and TMON, as well as the desire to achieve carbon-neutral operations, are driving increasing demand for third-party logistics businesses. Companies are concentrating on incorporating automation into their processes and upgrading their energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint.

South Korean gas stations have partnered with courier service providers, subletting their buildings as logistics hubs, bringing a new dynamic to the local delivery business. Hyundai Oil Bank Co., a major refiner in South Korea, has entered into a strategic relationship with Coupang Inc., an e-commerce business, to establish a gas station-based logistics system.

Recent Developments

January 2022: Geekplus Technology Co. (a global technology company specializing in smart logistics) deployed 128 mobile robots to modernize operations at CJ Logistics' (an international logistics company) distribution center in Gunpo, South Korea, serving Naver Shopping, one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the country, which can now handle 30,000 orders per day.

December 2021: Hyundai Glovis, the logistics arm of the Hyundai motor group in South Korea, signed a one-year deal worth USD 424 million with an unnamed foreign carmaker to ship finished cars from China to Europe beginning in January 2022.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Background

    2. 1.2 Study Assumption and Market Definition


    1. 2.1 Research Framework

    2. 2.2 Secondary Research

    3. 2.3 Primary Research

    4. 2.4 Data Triangulation And Insight Generation

    5. 2.5 Project Process And Structure

    6. 2.6 Engagement Frameworks

    7. 2.7 Team Profile



    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario

    2. 4.2 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.2.1 Market Drivers

      2. 4.2.2 Restraints

      3. 4.2.3 Opportunities

    3. 4.3 Value Chain / Supply Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Government Regulations And Initiatives

    5. 4.5 General Trends In Warehousing Market

    6. 4.6 Demand From Other Segments, Such As Cep, Last Mile Delivery, Cold Chain Logistics Etc.

    7. 4.7 Insights Into The E-commerce Business

    8. 4.8 Technological Trends

    9. 4.9 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.9.1 Threat Of New Entrants

      2. 4.9.2 Bargaining Power Of Buyers/consumers

      3. 4.9.3 Bargaining Power Of Suppliers

      4. 4.9.4 Threat Of Substitute Products

      5. 4.9.5 Intensity Of Competitive Rivalry

    10. 4.10 Impact Of COVID-19 On The Market


    1. 5.1 By Services

      1. 5.1.1 Domestic Transportation Management

      2. 5.1.2 International Transportation Management

      3. 5.1.3 Value Added Services

    2. 5.2 By End User

      1. 5.2.1 Manufacturing And Automotive

      2. 5.2.2 Oil And Gas And Chemicals

      3. 5.2.3 Distributive Trade (wholesale And Retail Trade Including E-commerce)

      4. 5.2.4 Pharma And Healthcare

      5. 5.2.5 Construction

      6. 5.2.6 Other End Users


    1. 6.1 Overview (Market Concentration and Major Players)

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 CJ Logistics Corporation

      2. 6.2.2 Pantos Co.

      3. 6.2.3 Toll Holdings Limited

      4. 6.2.4 Lotte Global Logistics

      5. 6.2.5 Sebang Co.

      6. 6.2.6 Daewoo Logistics

      7. 6.2.7 KCTC

      8. 6.2.8 Sunjin

      9. 6.2.9 SF Express

      10. 6.2.10 Jupiter Express

      11. 6.2.11 Logos Global*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

  8. 8. APPENDIX

    1. 8.1 Macroeconomic Indicators

    2. 8.2 External Trade Statistics - Exports And Imports, By Product

    3. 8.3 Insights into Key Export Destinations And Import Origin Countries


    1. 9.1 Illustrative List Of Logistics Clients

    2. 9.2 Similar Engagements Within The Industry

  10. 10. ABOUT US

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Frequently Asked Questions

The South Korea Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Market market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The South Korea Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Market is growing at a CAGR of >6% over the next 5 years.

DSV, CJ Logistics Corporation, Pantos Logistics, Kuehne + Nagel, Toll Holdings Limited are the major companies operating in South Korea Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Market.

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