Outsourcing your logistics management can be incredibly beneficial for your business, but how do you know which type of service is the best to choose?
Many people think that the extent of a logistics company’s services are the shipping and storage of your materials, but that isn’t the case at all. The true value of a logistics company goes far beyond just the transport side of the business.
What is 3PL, 4PL, and 5PL?
Third-, fourth-, and fifth-party logistics are all types of logistics solutions provided by logistics companies with varying levels of autonomy. At each stage, the level of control that the logistics company has over their operations is increased.
All three of these processes provide transport and logistics solutions to businesses, usually including storage options and administrative tasks, too. These could include the completion of relevant customs procedures, inventory administration, management of returns, and more.
What is the difference between 3pl and 4pl?
4PL services do everything that 3PL does and more. Third-party logistics providers provide considerably more than a standard 2PL company, handling a significant number of additional tasks above just transportation and storage.
4PL logistics solutions go that extra mile, handling all aspects of the supply chain on behalf of their clients. 4PL companies will focus on the efficiency and optimisation of the entire chain, often handling the communication with manufacturers, drivers, and customers all by themselves.
4PL is perfect for larger companies who may need to coordinate their logistics alongside several other businesses, or for international businesses with complex needs spanning the globe.
A 4PL logistics company will be able to connect all the necessary dots according to the client’s specific needs, managing and developing a successful web of networks.
What are the differences between 4pl and 5pl?
5PL is the most in-depth type of outsourced logistics solutions.
While the definition of 5PL is still debated and it can have multiple interpretations, it is accepted that 5PL can be considered the most complex type of service a logistics company can provide.
The logistics company in charge of a 5PL operation will have control over all aspects of the supply chain with little-to-no input from the client. This can often involve setting up entire supply chains or networks from scratch, handling all external communication regarding transport, carefully managing timescales, and more.
5PL companies will utilise data and emerging technologies to remain at the cutting edge of the logistics industry, ensuring that they are always able to easily coordinate large scale operations.
Knowing which logistics service is best for your business
It isn’t always clear which type of logistics service would be best for your business, even if you know the technical definitions! It often depends on what the specific needs and goals of your business are, and how much support you need in achieving them.
There are always situations where each kind of logistics service is valid, but to find out which could be best suited to your business, you should speak to an expert in the field.
Our dedicated team can help you work out which type of logistics solution could benefit your business most, no matter what you hope to achieve.
If you are simply looking for a courier to transport your materials cost effectively and efficiently while handling storage and administrative duties too, then 3PL may be for you.
If you need a logistics company to manage a complex web of international supply chains and organise services with a wide range of business, you could benefit from 4PL or 5PL services.
How can Cargo Express help?
Cargo Express are a logistics company in Birmingham and the West Midlands for optimal transport efficiency. Our warehouse locations allow for the quick distribution and delivery of goods across the UK, while also providing easy access to continental Europe.
Our varied fleet of vehicles and all international deliveries are satellite tracked for maximum transparency and reliability, so you always know where your materials are.
Plus, when you choose to work with us, you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a dedicated logistics management team who will strive to make sure your logistics operation is the most efficient it can be.
Reach out to our team to find out more
Get in touch with our team today to find out exactly what we could do to help your business with its logistics operations. To be put in touch with an expert directly, call 0121 384 1323 and ask any questions you may have!