Understanding 3PL & 4PL logistics

Understanding 3PL & 4PL logistics

Understanding 3PL & 4PL logistics; the Differences & why ZETMAN ESL is the right service provider for your business

In today’s diverse & complex world of logistics, a lay man or any business can quite easily get carried away with all the logistics related jargon’s and their explanations.

Two of the most commonly confused logistics terms are 3PL and 4PL.

While both third-party logistics (3PL) and fourth-party logistics (4PL) act as an intermediary in logistics or freight transportation, there are quite a few differences between a 3PL and a 4PL.

To understand these fine difference between them, it’s important to know  and understand what is 3PL and 4PL.

At times, not all logistics providers can offer you 3PL & 4PL services under one roof, ZETMAN ESL offers both 3PL & 4PL services under one roof so that you can focus on what’s important to diversify your business, whilst we manage the nitty grittiess of the logistics.

Here below we provide an Understanding 3PL & 4PL logistics are all about.

Understanding 3PL & 4PL logistics

What is a 3PL?

third-party logistics provider (3PL) is a company or an intermediary that handles certain transport operations and supply chain functions of a particular business.

While, the main area of focus of a 3PL provider is moving your freight, it also usually provides additional logistics services. 3PL’s gained popularity in the 1970’s and now play a crucial role in the transportation industry.

Outsourcing to a 3PL provider turns out to be a great solution when a company’s supply chain becomes too complex to manage internally.

The burden some manual operations of the logistics are handled by a 3PL provider, whilst overall logistics processes and strategies are still in your control.

Typically, a 3PL provides the following services:

  • Technology integration
  • Freight forwarding
  • Warehousing and inventory management
  • Supply chain management, to name a few.

What is a 4PL?

A fourth-party logistics (4PL) provider, is also at times known as a lead logistics provider. In a nutshell, a 4PL is basically a 3PL with extended functionalities.

It gained popularity and started to appear for companies that need additional coverage in terms of logistics and supply chain management.

Usually, 4PL’s provide a wide span of services compared to a 3PL, and hold more responsibility and accountability in overall logistics service.

4PL’s will most likely manage your entire supply chain, typically providing the following services:

  • Strategic supply chain and logistics management
  • Freight forwarding
  • Transportation management
  • Warehouse and inventory management
  • Optimization of operations
  • Accounting, to name a few.

Now your question will be, “So what is the difference between a 3PL and 4PL?”

Both 3PL’s and 4PL’s basically provide transportation and logistics services to businesses.

However, the main difference is that a 4PL focuses on strategic goals, extensive service coverage, and close partnerships completely on itself, whereas, a 3PL lets you control the overall strategies but outsource tedious logistics operations to such providers.

So, go ahead and contact us know and we shall provide you with the best of offering in the 3PL & 4PL Service that suits your business needs

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