Second-Party Logistics Providers focus solely on the transportation sector of business. Examples of 2PLs include airlines, shipping lines, and hauling companies that operate the vehicles. 2PLs transport inventory between one or more legs of the fulfillment journey.
Third-Party Logistics is an industry term most are familiar with. For companies looking to outsource their entire logistics process, 3PLs are the answer. They are able to handle the management of receiving, inventory warehousing, packaging, and shipping services, letting eCommerce businesses focus on other important areas of their company. Some 3PL businesses offer additional logistics services known as value-added services. These include inventory management, kitting and assembly, and more.
Fourth-Party Logistic Providers act as consultants. While their services are similar to a 3PL, they lack the physical means to move inventory through the supply chain themselves. Instead, a 4PL will contact and negotiate services between the necessary companies on your behalf.