Comparing 3PL to 4PL

Finding a quality logistics company can be an important step for your business to become more efficient. These types of companies can help you deliver your product to your customers leveraging their much larger systems than a small business owner could ever imagine affording. There are several types of logistics services that are available on the market today. Two popular types of logistic services are 3PL and 4PL logistics services.

In this article, we are going to discuss both 3PL and 4PL, so you can choose the best one for yourself and your business. Each model has its benefits and disadvantages for all users. After reading this you will know all details about these two models and be equipped to make a decision.

What is 3PL?

Third-party logistics companies may already be involved in your company’s logistics operations. They don’t take ownership of any products that they ship to your customers. They usually play as an intermediary and manager between you and other parties. There are a lot of services that they are going to offer these services for their customers, including transportation, warehousing, packaging, inventory management, cross-docking, freight forwarding, etc.

These 3PL companies can prove to be extremely beneficial for you as a business owner. Instead of having a traditional single distribution center (DC) for your business, you are may work with these 3PL companies with a much larger network. Typically a 3pl distribution company will have several distribution centers and warehouse areas that are located in strategic locations. They can help you move products close to your customers efficiently which lowers the end cost to your customer typically.

We recommended you compare all available companies, so you can find the best and most efficient service provider for your needs. 3PL companies usually have a team ready to quote you quickly and are ready to lock you into a contract as soon as they can. Before you sign any contracts you should always get a quote from NextGen3PL.

What is 4PL?

This is another common type of logistics service that you can find more and more of as of late. 4PL  represents a higher level of supply chain management for your business. In most cases, many 4PL companies don’t own warehouse assets or transportation. They are going to coordinate the supply chain aspects with many different vendors. They may work with some popular 3PL companies, like NextGen3PL, when handling various aspects of your supply chain system. 4PL companies are commonly known as the lead logistics partner (LLP).

4PL logistics companies offer benefits for you and your business. Working with a professional 4PL company can provide a single contact point for managing your many supply chains. This means that you can focus your effort on improving your core competencies. They are going to handle any complicated tasks when it comes to shipping including leveraging several 3PL companies to maximize your business and satisfy your customers.

Which one is best for you?

There is no exact answer to this question. It depends on how you want to manage your business. We always recommend our clients to choose the 3PL service option because having access to our national direct warehousing and in-house freight services are the most efficient in the industry. We are ready to help you solve your shipping headaches, deliver to your customers at any time, and provide you with accurate data. Contact the 3PL experts at NextGen3PL today.