To determine whether the market is trending toward insourcing or outsourcing, Jan Sjöstrand, who founded UnitedLog AB, says you have to look at history. The outsourcing trend, he says, began in the early 1980s and its original purpose, from a transportation company's perspective, was to "lock" customers in by providing warehousing services that would make it difficult for customers to switch to a competitor. 3PLs soon became 4PLs and "control tower" solutions were commonplace, but they weren't necessarily profitable and the industry slowly began a shift back toward insourcing -- until the global financial crisis hit. Companies looking to remove assets from their balance sheets caused a resurgence in outsourcing. Today, Jan Sjöstrand is seeing a trend toward insourcing, but not as it was applied in the past.