Logistics Wordbook


Logistics Glossary

Fourth-party logistics (4PL) providers assume many of the same roles as 3PL providers but have a much broader role within the supply chain; fourth-party logistic service providers often check the entire supply chain. The customer thus does not only outsource the organisation of its logistic tasks to third parties, but also the management thereof.

Not all 3PLs will transition into a 4PL, and the main reason is that they may not want to offer that specific service.  Companies may also offer just the 4PL service, where they have a network of 3PLs to do the physical work; the 4PL then provides the complete visibility piece to offer overall accountability of the supply chain to the customer. While Waredock is primarily considered a 4PL provider, we also offer 3PL services through our platform.

What is the difference between 4PL and 3PL?

The main difference between a fourth-party logistics (4PL) provider and third-party logistics (3PL) provider is that a 4PL handles the entire supply chain, while a 3PL focuses on logistics. This means that 4PL providers have the control and also accountability over the customer’s supply chain.

What is the difference between 4PL and 5PL?

In simple terms a 5PL provider is simply a 4PL that is managing multiple clients through multiple solutions and technologies. Typically a  5PL provider supplies innovative logistics solutions and develops an optimum supply chain network for its customers.

Examples of fourth-party logistics companies

UPS 4PL Services

UPS Supply Chain Solutions is one of the leading 4PL companies offering a full service portfolio or services including global supply chain design and planning, logistics and distribution, customs brokerage and international trade services.

XPO Logistics: 4PL Services

XPO offers fourth party logistics services to align your global supply chain with your long-term business strategies. XPO 4PL solutions can also help you achieve greater efficiency through disciplined supply chain education and training programs.

Geodis Wilson 4PL Srrvices

Geodis is a leading global provider of 4PL services with a growing practice non-asseted based logistics integrator offering.

Maersk 4PL Services

Maersk manages integrated supply chain services with 4th Party Logistics solutions.  NeoNav™ is a solution which covers physical and digital logistics worlds to give user end-to-end transparency, control, and decision-making capabilities.

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