Logistics Providers Explained

The Different Types of Third-Party Logistics Providers Explained

What are the types of third-party logistics providers? What are the characteristics of different third party logistics services? Read and find out more!


Logistics has significantly changed and expanded to encompass to different faces of delivery. The 3PL or third party logistics companies are created to offer logistics services to their clients. If your company needs assistance in managing the movement of the items, you should consider partnering with a 3PL service provider to make this happen.

When you examine potential third-party logistics companies, you need to make sure you are familiar with the types of third-party logistics providers and the characteristics of the services they offer:

  • Standard Providers: The standard 3PL companies offer only basic logistics. This includes storing and transporting of the items, as well as, some distribution.
  • Service Developer: These companies provide security, support in IT, and product tracking. You can make sure the delivery of the product is on time and safe.
  • Customer Adapter: These providers are different in that they take over existing logistics tasks from the partner company instead of creating their own.
  • Customer Developer: At this point, the customer developer will inherit the logistics responsibilities of the partner company and adapt to their system. In other words, the 3PL becomes the logistics department and not just a simple service.

When you examine a third-party logistics company, you need to make sure they can cover these activities:

  • Transportation: This service includes transport between locations. For example, the transportation-based 3PL providers can handle the inventory shipment between your warehouse and your buyer. Some of the best examples are Schneider Logistics, Ryder, UPS Logistics, and FedEx Logistics.
  • Warehousing & Distribution: The company should specialize in managing the distribution and storing of the product. The warehouses come in various shapes and sizes and thanks to Amazon, the customers can expect same day or next day delivery. Some of the best examples are Fritz, AEI, Hub Group, Circle, and Kuehne & Nagle.
  • Financial & Information: These companies are important to mention as they offer valuable information towards the business industry and the newest trends on the market. The financial and information-based 3PL companies help improve your logistics network, cost accounting and control, and provider you with tools for booking, monitoring, tracing, and managing inventory. Some of the best financial 3PL providers are Cass Information Systems, FleetBoston, CTC, and GE Information Services while some of the best information-based 3PL providers are Nistevo, Transplace, and uShip.

Choose wisely!