3PL Companies or third party logistics providers are providers of outsourced logistics services. Logistic services encompass anything that involves management of the way resources are moved to the areas where they are required.
Finding the right third-party logistics provider (3PL) always involves considerable research – it may also mean leaving an existing partner for a set of collaborators that can deliver on the promise of a seamless global network.
Shippers prefer to work with a few providers, but the performance scale of operations often requires them to hire several 3PL companies in order to optimize global procurement.
Types of Third Party Logistics Companies ( 3PL Companies) :
- Asset Based
- Trucking companies that have expanded into warehousing
- Warehousing focused companies that also own their own private fleet
- Warehousing companies who have strong relationships with LTL and Full Truckload Carriers
- Trucking companies focused on intermodal logistics solutions and Ocean Freight
- Warehousing companies that specialize in partnering with Rail Freight Companies
- Non-Asset Based
- Freight Forwarders contract with carriers to move cargo ranging from raw agricultural products to manufactured goods usually involving import and export
- Freight Brokers usually are working on spot, volume, and spot quotes to broker Full Truckload
- A logistics software company who only offers software such as Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) or Transportation Management Systems; can work with companies directory, or work with other 3PLs to offer software which is white labeled
- A logistics company who offers transportation management software/systems while also providing integrated management services for administrative functions such as accounting, claims, and customer service
Anyone can store inventory and send it out on a truck. When looking to outsource all or part of a company’s logistics function it is important to look for a third party logistics provider with proven expertise. To put it simply, third party logistics or “3PL” is the integration of a company’s warehousing,transportation, and related logistics services through an outsourced or “third party” partnership.