Types of Third Party Logistics Providers
Jack Marcus, Consultant, United States, Member
Susanne Hertz and Monica Alfredsson (Strategic Development of Third Party Logistics Providers, Industrial Marketing Management (Elsevier Science) 32 (2): pp. 139–149, 2003) mention Four categories of 3PL providers
1. Standard 3PL Provider
: the most basic form. Performs activities such as pick and pack, warehousing, and distribution (business) – the most basic functions of logistics. For a majority of these firms, the 3PL function is not their main activity.
2. Service Developer
: offers its customers advanced value-added services such as: tracking and tracing, cross-docking
, specific packaging or advanced security system. A solid IT foundation and a focus on economies of scale and scope will enable this type of 3PL provider to perform these types of tasks.
3. Customer Adapter
: essentially takes over the complete control of the client's logistics activities at their request. Improves the logistics dramatically, but do not develop a new (generic) service. The customer base for this type of 3PL provider is typically quite small.
4. Customer Developer
: the 3PL provider integrates itself with the customer and takes over their entire logistics function. These providers will have merely a few customers, but will perform extensive and detailed tasks for them.