Third-Party Logistics and Its Development

What are the different types of 3PL firms? Give examples

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Nowadays, the development of industry and economy leads to the blistering evolution of different means of transport. Moreover, a great number of different companies have the demand for various logistic services in order to guaranty their efficient functioning. With this in mind, the development of the issue of third party logistics (3PL) and its providers could be observed. There are several types of 3PL firms. The first type is comprised of companies that provide warehouse logistic services (Dapiran, Lieb, Millen, & Sohal, 1996) and help to deliver different cargos. DSC Logistics is an example of a company of this sort. Another type is a company like FedEx, which provides transportation based logistic services. Moreover, there are forwarder based 3PL companies that suggest their services to people and organizations all over the world. The Hub Group is the company that provides services of this sort.

What are the differences between 3PL and 4PL?

There are several differences between 3PL and 4PL. However, it is possible to outline the most important ones in order to understand the issue better. First of all, it should be said that 3PL is a sort of activity which provides single or various types of logistics services. The company, which suggests services of this sort, works with shippers in order to guarantee distribution of the needed goods. At the same time, companies that suggest 4PL possess certain management capabilities and control the whole process, though not the only function (Robinson, 2014). Yet, it is the main difference between 3PL and 4 PL companies. A company, which suggests 4PL services, manage the whole process of distribution at all stages and can also manage a 3PL company.

What criteria must be used in selecting 3PL firms?

The first and the most important factor which influences the choice of 3PL is the price of services provided by a company. (Dapiran et al., 1996). It is quite obvious that people and organizations try to find a company that will be able to provide qualified services at a low price. The second important consideration is the issue of service. People try to find a company which has a good reputation and is able to satisfy their demands. With this in mind, it is possible to say that the correlation between price and quality of services is the main criteria that must be used while selecting 3PL firms. The less important factors are “personal knowledge of the contractor, coverage provided, previous experience and references, experience in project management and new systems implementation, and perceived competence” (Dapiran et al., 1996, p. 40)

What are own-account transport operators?

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First of all, it should be said that the term own-account transport operations means operations that are performed for various noncommercial purposes by a natural or legal person (Robinson, 2014). With this in mind, it is possible to conclude that operators that suggest services of this kind are organizations or companies that perform transport operations for noncommercial purposes.

Does Walmart hire 3PL firms? Why or why not?

Being one of the greatest multinational retail corporations, Wal-Mart obviously uses the services provided by 3PL firms. The thing is that the company has a great number of orders all over the world and it has to watch their progress. That is why Wal Mart states that there are many various 3PL logistic firms that now hold all contracts which this organization has.


Dapiran, P., Lieb, R., Millen, R., & Sohal, A. (1996).Third party logistics services usage by large Australian firms. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 26(10), 36 – 45. Web.

Robinson, A. (2014). Third Party Logistics Services Explained, The Different Types of 3PLs, and The Various Levels of Outsourcing. Web.

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