What is 3PL?

3rd Party Logistics, also known as 3 PL, is a popular term used in the logistics and supply chain industry. It is commonly used to refer to  companies that outsource their goods distribution and fulfillment service to a third party. In this article we would be covering in depth the meaning of 3 PL as well as the companies that make use of 3  PL services.

What is 3 PL

Originally a term that was used in the military, the companies that offer logistics services to other companies are usually referred to as 3 PL service providers, who usually outsource the logistics service provider. It is important to note that each 3 PL varies in terms of the service that they offer. 3 PL service  providers can offer options like fulfillment services, warehouse storing, freight forwarding, distributing etc. A such, 3 PL is usually a broad term, where it could be used to describe nearly any type of logistics service offered by a company to a client.

3 Party Logistics Services

Who uses 3 PL

3PL services are being used b many companies across the world. To be specific the companies that use 3 PL services often need warehousing, cross docking, integration, packaging, freight forwarding and transportation capabilities. As such, these companies would take care of either the entire distribution for a company or just a specific function. The 3 PL service provider then makes sure that its warehouse, ships, trucks etc, can perform the relevant functions which are required by them.  3 PL companies also specialise  in specific industries so as to meet the demands of the company.

The Types of 3 PL Services

Initially 3 PL services are used to differentiate logistics firm that have internet capabilities. 3 PL services are categorised as four different types.

Standard Developer: In charge of picking up and packing the goods, followed by storage at the warehouse

Service Developer: The company offers more features like real time tracking, cross docking as well as specialised type of packaging depending on the type of goods that are being shipped. 

Customer Adapter: When a customer requests for the complete handling of the logistics services for the company

Customer Developer: Customer developers are when a 3 PL service company completely integrates itself with the customer’s company. This means that the logistics firm would be notified through online systems that internally communicate with the customer’s systems whenever a shipments that need to be made. This is the most comprehensive type of 3 PL service that are currently available in the market. 

In conclusion

A term that was once used in the military to define logistics service companies with internet related capabilities, 3 PL services are one of the most popular type of logistics service companies in the world. In the future articles, we would be covering 4 and 5 PL logistics services.

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One Reply to “What is 3PL?”

  1. This article is a detailed guide on what is a 3pl. “3PL” stands for third-party logistics, and these providers fulfill an increasingly broad range of needs. 3PL are companies that handle the packaging, storage, and transport of goods on behalf of another company. This article is very educative and easy to understand. This article has detailed content. I enjoyed reading this article.

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