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

The UK 3PL Market is segmented by Service (Domestic Transportation Management, International Transportation Management, and Value-added Warehousing and Distribution), and by End-Users.

Market Snapshot

united kingdom third party logistics 3pl market
Study Period: 2016 - 2026
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: 6 %
third party logistics companies uk

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Market Overview

Being a developed economy, the 3PL market in the country is well-developed and is expected to show a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period 2020 - 2025.

The United Kingdom is one of the major trading countries globally, which exports most of its products to many European countries. Owing to developed infrastructure, sophisticated supply chain network, and the presence of global players, the country’s freight and logistics market has gained a strong base over the years.

The large retail and e-commerce sectors in the country are among the key users of the third-party logistics in the country. In highly-competitive markets, such as the United Kingdom, the delivery time is a key competitive factor for retailers and online stores. So, retailers outsource their logistics to delivery specialists, and retailers, large and small, can compete on on-demand, next-day delivery.

Scope of the Report

A comprehensive background analysis of the United Kingdom 3PL Market, covering the current market trends, restraints, technological updates and detailed information on various segments and competitive landscape of the industry. The impact of COVID-19 has also been incorporated and considered during the study.

By Services
Domestic Transportation Management
International Transportation Management
Value-added Warehousing and Distribution
By End-User
Manufacturing & Automotive
Oil & Gas and Chemicals
Distributive Trade (Wholesale and Retail trade including e-commerce)
Pharma & Healthcare
Other End Users

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Key Market Trends

Growth in Logistics Parks and Fulfilment Centers

Micro-fulfillment is drastically transforming the way logistics work across cities. This trend and the demand for last-mile delivery offer some interesting opportunities for investors and start-ups in the market.

The logistics sector is experiencing massive disruption where now the consumers will be able to receive their items in time as little as one hour. The rapidly-delivered services are already familiar to most urban consumers. Leaders like Deliveroo, Ofo and Uber have already made extreme efficiency a day-to-day reality for food and rides. When it comes to logistics, the principle is roughly the same — but the potential is even further-reaching.

  • In March 2020, infrastructure work on the north-east logistics and Manufacturing Park on a 270-acre land at Teesside International Airport. Further, the land on the south of the airport is expected to witness the development of up to 3.4 million sq. feet of warehousing space.
  • The online supermarket Ocado announced the development of its sixth warehouse in the UK supporting its growth plans. The new warehouse will be the company’s first “mini” customer fulfillment centre with the capacity for more than 30,000 orders per week.
  • In October 2019, Huboo, a U.K. startup that operates a multi-channel fulfillment service for e-commerce businesses of varying sizes, has raised GBP 2.1 million in seed funding to further develop their innovative fulfillment service making it one of the fastest-growing fulfilment service provider in the UK.
  • Red Stag Fulfillment is planning to invest USD 16 million in a project to expand total warehouse capacity and fulfillment service offerings. This expansion is expected to add 3,13,000 sq. feet warehousing space to its existing footprint.
3pl uk

Technology aiding the growth of the sector

Many major logistics companies like DHL Supply Chain, DB Schenker and CEVA Logistics have started incorporating electric vehicles for transportation and renewable sources like solar energy to produce electricity in their warehouse centres. Moreover, the companies outsourcing their logistics services are focusing on alternative logistics modes like railways which is capable to transport bulk quantities with minimum emissions. 

In February 2020, Bombardier Inc and Alstom announced their agreement, where Alstom buys Bombardier Transportation for a sum of USD 8 billion. With a collective pledge to the next generation of green and digital rail solutions, the deal would be beneficial providing economies of scale, improved investments and innovation capabilities in the logistics sector. Huge opportunities in intermodal transport have opened up. Companies like Tesco and Sainsburys are now using rail freight to transport goods from one place to another enabling fast delivery of goods to their network of UK distribution centres.

In June 2019, the United Kingdom became the first country to legislate to end its contribution to global warming and carbon emission by 2050 and is undergtaking huge technological changes in order to achieve it.

third party logistics

Competitive Landscape

The market is relatively fragmented with a large number of local and international players, including DHL Supply Chain, XPO, Wincanton, Kuehne Nagel and UPS as its key players. The 3PL market is experiencing expansions and mergers and acquisitions focusing on increasing their grasp over the national as well as international market. In June 2019, Rhenus Logistics opened a new operations facility for its Air and Ocean division at Leipzig airport in Saxony allowing it to handle international air transport shipments, as well as all the import and export customs formalities.

Anglo Beef Processors signed a 20 years lease agreement for 2,00,000 sq. feet warehousing space with Import Services and Xpediator at Southampton’s Container Port easing the connection with the distribution centre of the quayside of the UK Import Services. Similarly, CEVA Logistics took 1,07,639 sq. feet build-to-suit chilled and ambient warehouse at London Gateway. Pattonair - a provider of supply chain management services for the aerospace and defence industries based in the United Kingdom acquired Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. for an amount of USD 1.9 billion. These undertakings are also in response to the Brexit effect likely to showup prominently by the starting of 2021.

Major Players

  1. DHL International GmbH.

  2. Kuehne + Nagel

  3. UPS

  4. Wincanton plc.

  5. XPO Logistics, Inc.

  6. Eddie Stobart

Kuehne Nagel,  DHL Supply Chain, United Parcel Service of America, Wincanton, Eddie Stobart, FedEx, XPO Logistics, CEVA Logistics,  Tarlu Ltd

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study


    1. 2.1 Analysis Methodology

    2. 2.2 Research Phases



    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario

    2. 4.2 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.2.1 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 on Ecommerce Business

    8. 4.8 Technological Trends and Automation

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

    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 Warehousing and Distribution

    2. 5.2 By End-User

      1. 5.2.1 Manufacturing & Automotive

      2. 5.2.2 Oil & Gas and Chemicals

      3. 5.2.3 Distributive Trade (Wholesale and Retail trade including e-commerce)

      4. 5.2.4 Pharma & 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 Kuehne Nagel

      2. 6.2.2 DHL Supply Chain

      3. 6.2.3 United Parcel Service of America

      4. 6.2.4 Wincanton

      5. 6.2.5 Eddie Stobart

      6. 6.2.6 FedEx

      7. 6.2.7 XPO Logistics

      8. 6.2.8 CEVA Logistics

      9. 6.2.9 Tarlu Ltd

      10. 6.2.10 Schenker Limited

      11. 6.2.11 Yusen Logistics

      12. 6.2.12 Bibby Distribution

      13. 6.2.13 Xpediator

      14. 6.2.14 Rhenus Logistics

      15. 6.2.15 Torque

      16. 6.2.16 Lloyd Fraser

      17. 6.2.17 Pointbid Logistics Systems Ltd

      18. 6.2.18 Parcel Hub*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

  8. 8. APPENDIX

    1. 8.1 Macroeconomic Indicators (GDP Distribution, by Activity, Contribution of Transport and Storage Sector to economy)

    2. 8.2 External Trade Statistics - Exports and Imports, by Product

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

The United Kingdom Third Party Logistics (3PL) Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The United Kingdom Third Party Logistics (3PL) Market is growing at a CAGR of 6% over the next 5 years.

DHL International GmbH., Kuehne + Nagel, UPS, Wincanton plc., XPO Logistics, Inc. , Eddie Stobart are the major companies operating in United Kingdom Third Party Logistics (3PL) Market.

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