United States Pharmaceutical 3PL Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The United States Pharmaceutical 3PL Market is segmented by Function (Domestic Transportation Management, International Transportation Management, and Value-added Warehousing and Distribution) and Supply Chain (Cold Chain and Non-cold Chain). The report offers the market size and forecasts in value (USD billion) for all the above segments.

Market Snapshot

United States Pharmaceutical 3PL Market  Growth
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: >4 %

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Market Overview

The US pharmaceutical third-party logistics market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 4% during the forecast period.

Due to COVID-19, the pharma supply chain was impacted by distribution challenges created by reduced transportation capacity. Disruptions at ports, quarantined crews, and labor shortages due to lockdowns are all contributing factors. COVID-19 caused the slowdown of the new pharmaceutical product development due to material shortages, disruptions in clinical trials, and backups in FDA approval.

However, the United States is the world’s largest market for temperature-sensitive healthcare products such as biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, and clinical trial materials. The rising number of clinical trials employing various temperature-sensitive materials, such as blood samples, tissue samples, and some drugs, have catalyzed the growth of the market. There are many well-established pharmaceutical companies in the United States. The pharmaceutical industry of the United States alone accounts for almost half of the global pharmaceutical market.

Furthermore, the pharmaceutical 3PL industry is bound by strict rules and regulations. For instance, warehouses and shippers of pharmaceuticals in the United States must be registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are no exceptions; even if they are planning a short-term or emergency relationship with a 3PL provider, one must make sure they are approved for storing and transporting pharmaceuticals. In addition, government regulations related to the distribution of pharmaceuticals are codified as part of the CGMPs (Current Good Manufacturing Practices), which is the best practice for the health and safety of consumers.

Scope of the Report

Pharmaceutical 3PL refers to the safe and efficient delivery of pharmaceutical drug products to benefit patient health. The US pharmaceutical 3PL market is segmented by function (domestic transportation management, international transportation management, and value-added warehousing and distribution) and supply chain (cold chain and non-cold chain). The report offers the market size and forecasts in value (USD billion) for all the above segments.

Domestic Transportation Management
International Transportation Management
Value-added Warehousing and Distribution
Supply Chain
Cold Chain
Non-cold Chain

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Key Market Trends

The United States is Leading in the Pharmaceutical Market Across the World

Despite the influence of several growing countries, the United States holds a commanding proportion of the global pharmaceutical market. The country is home to some of the world's largest pharmaceutical corporations, and American customers have access to one of the world's most advanced pharmaceutical systems.

In recent years, pharmaceutical sales revenues in the United States have accounted for about half of the global total. In 2020, the United States had five of the top ten pharmaceutical corporations in the world. AbbVie is the new number one pharmaceutical business in the United States, and its best-selling medicine is Humira. Johnson & Johnson is another American corporation that has made a global impact, with its pharmaceutical division producing a record USD 45.6 billion in 2020. Furthermore, in 2021, the United States was leading in pharmaceutical sales, with more than USD 555 billion, with a growth rate of 7.6% compared to 2020. Also, the country had 46.8% of global sales in 2021 (2020: 46.8%, 2019: 46.5%).

In addition, overall pharmaceutical expenditures in the United States increased by 4.9% in 2020 compared to 2019. This rise was driven by increased utilization (a 2.9% increase) and new medications (a 1.8% increase), with price increases having a little impact (a 0.3% increase).

Pharmaceutical Sales

International Trading is Boosting the Market

China has been the leading supplier of medicines in the United States over the last decade, with India and Mexico contending for second and third places, respectively, depending on the year. China, India, and Mexico are the top three pharmaceutical import sources, with Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Israel, Spain, and Ireland filling out the top ten.

In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, pharmaceutical exports to India increased by 18.7% to USD 24.44 billion, owing to the increasing demand for the country's generic pharmaceuticals.

Furthermore, in January 2022, export volumes of pharmaceutical goods accounted for more than USD 5.4 billion, with a growth rate of 38% compared to the same month in 2021. Meanwhile, the import volumes slightly declined in 2022 by 6% compared to 2021.

Biopharmaceutical Goods Trade Volume

Competitive Landscape

The US pharmaceutical 3PL market is competitive and fragmented with the presence of many international players. Although the market is quite fragmented, the efforts of established firms to attain a considerable share in the target market are estimated to build healthy competition among industry players.

Some of the existing major players in the market include Deutsche Post DHL, FedEx, Kuehne + Nagel International AG, United Parcel Service Inc., C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., CEVA Logistics, DB Schenker, Agility Logistics, and Expeditors International of Washington Inc. The pharmaceutical industry is expected to witness more acquisitions and mergers as competition increases. This industry is on the right track for continued growth.

Recent Developments

  • December 2021: FedEx Corp. began operations at its substantially bigger air cargo hub at Miami International Airport. The USD 72 million addition, two years under development and roughly the size of two football fields, doubles the hub’s size to 282,000 square feet. The hub includes FedEx’s largest cold storage section, covering 70,000 square feet — the equivalent of 33 tennis courts — of refrigerated and frozen storage.
  • May 2021: UPS expanded its specialty pharmaceutical offerings by establishing UPS Cold Chain Solutions, a comprehensive suite of cold chain technologies, best-in-class capabilities, and new and expanded global facilities providing complete, end-to-end temperature-controlled logistics.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of Study


    1. 2.1 Analysis Methodology

    2. 2.2 Research Phases



    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Technological Trends

    3. 4.3 Government Regulations and Initiatives

    4. 4.4 Pharmaceutical E-commerce Market in United States

    5. 4.5 Spotlight on Packaging of Pharmaceuticals

    6. 4.6 Insights into Reverse/Return Logistics in the Pharma Industry

    7. 4.7 Industry Supply Chain/Value Chain Analysis

    8. 4.8 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market


    1. 5.1 Drivers

    2. 5.2 Restraints

    3. 5.3 Opportunities

    4. 5.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 5.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 5.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 5.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 5.4.4 Threat of Substitutes

      5. 5.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

  6. 6. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size By Value)

    1. 6.1 Function

      1. 6.1.1 Domestic Transportation Management

      2. 6.1.2 International Transportation Management

      3. 6.1.3 Value-added Warehousing and Distribution

    2. 6.2 Supply Chain

      1. 6.2.1 Cold Chain

      2. 6.2.2 Non-cold Chain


    1. 7.1 Overview (Market Concentration and Major Players)

    2. 7.2 Company Profiles

      1. 7.2.1 DHL

      2. 7.2.2 FedEx

      3. 7.2.3 UPS

      4. 7.2.4 Kuehne + Nagel

      5. 7.2.5 DB Schenker

      6. 7.2.6 C.H. Robinson

      7. 7.2.7 CEVA Logistics

      8. 7.2.8 Kerry Logistics

      9. 7.2.9 Agility

      10. 7.2.10 Expeditors International of Washington Inc.

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

  9. 9. APPENDIX

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The United States Pharmaceutical 3PL Market market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The United States Pharmaceutical 3PL Market is growing at a CAGR of >4% over the next 5 years.

DHL, UPS, FedEx, Kuehne + Nagel, C. H. Robinson are the major companies operating in United States Pharmaceutical 3PL Market.

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