In the world of supply chain management, 4th party logistics (4PL) is a term that comes up often, but what does it actually mean for your company? How is it different from 3rd party logistics? It’s time to answer these questions and more as we take a closer look at 4th party logistics.
While 3rd party logistics has roots in the industry tracing as far back as the 1970s, 4th party logistics has really only entered the conversation over the past 20 years. The term was first registered in 1996, by a company called Accenture, and was defined as "a supply chain integrator that assembles and manages the resources, capabilities, and technology of its own organization with those of a complementary service provider to deliver a comprehensive supply chain solution." While the trademark on the term has since expired and is no longer registered, 4PL services as defined by Accenture are still being offered today to help many companies around the world bridge the gap between asset ownership and logistics expertise.
So what exactly is 4PL and how does it differ from 3PL? Read more to find out.