Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

Third-party logistics (3PL) is when a company outsources elements of their distribution, warehousing, and fulfilment to third parties.

Third-party logistics companies that specialise in 3PL provide integrated fulfilment, warehousing and transportation services that can flex as required to meet the customer’s needs.

Talk to us more about 3PL services

Optimise your operations by using a third-party logistics provider (3PL)

If you’re managing inventory within your business and feel like you’re spending too much time fulfilling orders, it might be time to consider a third-party logistics provider (3PL).

A good third-party logistics provider (3PL) will help your business scale logistics up or down as needed without requiring your business to make a significant investment in assets like vehicles or property. This allows you to ship more orders at your busiest times and then scale things like storage and resources when you don’t need as much.

Use third-party logistics to save time and reduce costs

If you’re looking to save time and money on your logistics, shipping and storage, you need to partner with a business that has the expertise to focuses on doing those things really well.

As a third-party logistics (3PL) partner to many of our customers, at Good Logistics, we use our expertise to leverage economies of scale within your supply chain. With a dedicated personal account manager, you’ll have access to the expertise and tools you need to ensure continuous cost reduction in your supply chain. So you can focus on running your business with the peace of mind that you have the flexibility to scale logistics, storage and fulfilment up or down as your business requirements change.

Third-party logistics (3PL) Services

  • Manage cargo routings
  • Arrange air, road and sea freight forwarding
  • Co-ordinate rail and intermodal moves of cargo
  • Provide warehousing and distribution services
  • Assist in customs clearance, tariffs and compliance
  • Offer supply chain consultancy

Frequently asked questions

What is the definition of Third-Party Logistics and the differences between 1PL, 2PL, 3PL, 4PL and 5PL?

Third-party logistics (3PL) is when a business or company decides to outsource parts of their distribution, warehousing, and fulfilment to third parties. While 3PL is the most commonly used third-party logistics term, you may come across other third-party logistics acronyms including 1PL, 2PL, 4PL and 5PL, in the questions below we explain what each of these terms mean.

What is a First-party Logistics (1PL) Provider?

A first party logistics (1PL) provider is a company or individual that needs to have cargo, freight, goods or products transported from one point to another. Examples of 1PLs would be the cargo sender and the cargo receiver. If you’re already sending goods to your customers, then you could consider yourself to be a 1PL.

What is a Second-Party Logistics (2PL) Provider?

A second party logistics provider (2PL) is an asset-based carrier that is responsible for the method of transportation. Examples of 2PLs include shipping lines which operate the ships, airlines that operate the planes and haulage companies that operate vehicles. Note the shipping line, airline or haulage company may own, lease or charter their ships, aircraft or vehicles rather than own them outright.

What is a Third-party Logistics Provider (3PL)?

A 3PL provides outsourced or third-party logistics services to companies for all or part of their supply chains such as fulfilment, storage and distribution or additional services such as customs brokerage, logistics software such as analytics and track and trace.

For example, Good Logistics offers 3PL services, we specialise in warehousing, storage services and sustainable, international freight handling solutions but we also provide fulfilment services such as real-time stock data, total inventory control, returns management, same day dispatch and delivery to the point of sale.

What is a Fourth-party logistics provider (4PL)?

A 4PL (sometimes referred to as a Lead Logistics Provider) is an independent company who will manage a customer’s supply chain by orchestrating the resources and technology of its own organisation along with the services of other companies such as 3PLs to create the best solution. 4PLs are similar to 3PLs, yet they take on a more strategic role in helping a customer meet its organisational goals and have accountability for the entire supply chain. Their role usually includes analysing vast amounts of data, managing transport and warehouse operations, managing third party suppliers and generally operating any other section of the supply chain to optimise efficiency.

Crucially a 4PL needs to be impartial, while they may be able to offer the services its clients need, they need to compare those services and costs to that of their competitors and work in the best interests of their customer at all times.

At Good Logistics, for example, we often perform 4PL services to streamline supply chain processes, such as consolidating multiple suppliers and carriers to provide a single-invoice solution.

What is a Fifth party logistics provider (5PL)

5PL is a relatively new term in the logistics industry and reflects the development of full logistic integration through many outsourced providers. Critical to success in achieving this is the effective integration of IT and computer systems to ensure real-time visibility and control of the entire supply chain no matter how many different suppliers are involved.

Where can I find more information on 3PL services?

Please contact us, we will be happy to advise on the best third-party logistics 3PL options for your business. We have dedicated teams of experienced professionals all over the UK.
Q2 Industry Roundup

Q2 Industry Roundup

As we begin the 2nd half of 2023 the landscape for international trade remains as in most industries one of caution due to global inflationary pressures...

read more