Despite a focus on China and India, many U.S.-based 3PLs have an inadequate appreciation of the many business opportunities in other parts of the world, says Darrell L. Harper, area manager at General Dynamics. Defense is one industry that offers many market possibilities for logistics services providers.
General Dynamics is highly diverse, with a product portfolio that ranges from supply ships to light armored vehicles to indestructible laptops, Harper says. That makes the $30bn company a major player in the defense industry, but from his vantage point, Harper says he doesn't see many 3PLs specializing in serving the highly lucrative defense sector. For that matter, logistics service providers are not as international in their business as they could be, regardless of the verticals they might serve.
He feels that's particularly true of U.S.-based 3PLs. "Too often, there is a U.S.-centric view rather than one that looks beyond the borders of the United States," says Harper. "If we view the economy the way it's happening today, there has to be a focus outside of the Americas. These 3PLs have to change their view, their focus and perhaps their mission statements to address the international market, which is totally different from that of the Americas."
Having said that, clearly China and India are top of mind for some providers, but there could be so many more players there, in Harper's view.
And while he sees tremendous opportunities for companies to service the defense industry, Harper recognizes the difficulties posed by supply chain complexity and governmental regulation.
To view this video interview in its entirety, click here.
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