Third Party Logistics Providers 3PL vs 4PL
Author: Anthony Joh

Logistics is the coordination of plans to have items or services moved from businesses to end consumers. Within logistics itself, there are various services that the term can be broken down into - order fulfillment, shipping, warehousing and etc. Once you break down the term into different segments, you realize that all these different services together make up logistics. Then there is Third Party Logistics (3PL) and Fourth Party Logistics (4PL).

Third Party Logistics (3PL) is your conventional logistics that we've mentioned of. It refers to services from an outside company in the planning and execution of business in order to have a product or service reach an end consumer. As stated, there are various services being offered from Third Party Logistics companies - order fulfillments, pick and pack, shipping, warehousing, inventory management etc. Third Party Logistics companies such as PNPLINE offer these services to sellers and businesses to help in business management aspects. 

Fourth Party Logistics (4PL) offers all of the same services as 3PL with an additional option of outsourcing the help directly to the businesses. 4PL companies offer consultation services to their clients and offer individual Supply Chain Management (SCM) strategies to help the business become more efficient and effective. 4PL companies can hire a 3PL company to handle the physical attributes of the services while they create the structural layout of the service itself.

So what do you need for your business?
The straightforward answer to this is that it all depends on the needs of the seller and their business.
In most instances, businesses start out with a foundation that the seller has built their model on and they abide to their respective goals. As a business grows, businesses tend to realize that they need the additional help in order to sufficiently run their businesses and this is where they can differentiate the need for a physical help vs. strategic help. If a seller requires modifications on their business plans to meet the needs of expansion, they can receive the asssitance from 4PL companies with consultation. If they require physical capabilities and manpower to cover their business growth, the conventional 3PL is a great method to handle their needs.

You can analyze your business and reach out to logistics companies to see which is the need that will be best suited to you. Companies such as PNPLINE can provide customized services based on your exact business needs and help you reduce the invovled costs while maximzing business productivity. 

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