3PL or 4PL What’s the Difference?


So how much difference does a single digit make? In the case of 3PL and 4PL, the answer can have a significant impact on your choice of fulfillment company. Here’s a look at what this means for your business.

What is a 3PL?

third-party logistics provider, also referred to as 3PL, is a valuable solution for many eComm businesses. A 3PL handles some or all of your company’s shipping needs, such as transportation and information technology (IT).

Benefits of a 3PL

  • As an entrepreneur, you understand the business side. 3PLs have extensive experience with supply chain logistics, which frees you up to focus on the main goal of growing sales.
  • Supply chain functions are costly in terms of time, space and labor. When you partner with a fulfillment company, they provide these elements for a fraction of the price you would pay if you did everything on your own.
  • The needs of an eComm business can vary from year to year, and even from season to season. A 3PL can scale their services to accommodate seasonal spikes, market fluctuations and company growth.

Do you need a 4PL?

A 4PL, or fourth-party logistics provider, adds another layer to the operations of a 3PL. While a 3PL executes supply chain activities, a 4PL goes a step further by taking charge of overall supply chain management.

If you want to take a complete hands-off position with your supply chain operation, a 4PL can be a great option. The 4PL will work with your 3PL, including fulfillment warehouse and carriers, creating a centralized contact that enables strong communication and smooth procedures from start to finish.

Fulfillment Company Services for Any Applications

Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics brings years of industry experience to provide solutions for all your eComm needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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