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What is the difference between 3PL and 4PL?

Home » FAQ » What is the difference between 3PL and 4PL?

The difference between 3PL and 4PL for e-commerce and brick and mortar retailers is that when businesses partner with a 3PL service provider, they turn over control of their order fulfillment operations to a third-party logistics company, in order to scale their businesses without the expense of maintaining a warehouse and leveraging the expertise 3PL service providers offer. 3PL service providers help growing businesses by automating and streamlining their fulfillment operations when small-to medium-sized businesses grow too large to manage these operations in-house. As e-commerce evolves, with increased sales, working with multi-channel outlets and the demand for faster deliveries, businesses began to hire 4PL service providers to take over more of their supply chain operations, including managing inventory and manufacturing, and building supply chain networks that manage the flow of products across all platforms. For most ecommerce businesses, a reputable 3PL provider, such as Phase V Fulfillment is more desirable than working with a 4 PL for a number of reasons. For one thing, relinquishing control of more of your operations to a 4PL tends to diminish the quality of your business operations, in general. Large corporations like Amazon don’t understand the way your business works the way a smaller 3PL can. Phase V partners with you to formulate your fulfillment needs and customize them to your specific needs. You get to maintain control over your packaging and shipping processes. Our packing pros adjust to fit your packaging needs and our shipping experts know how to save your company money and time by selecting the best carriers.
When 4PLs manage your entire supply chain, as well as your manufacturing and shipping processes, it makes it difficult to get a foothold on the quality of any of these operations. When the quality of one process goes south, it affects the quality of the entire supply chain operation.

Contact the 3PL experts at Phase V Fulfillment to help grow your e-commerce business without sacrificing the quality service you have established for your business.