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Types of logistics operators

The main types of logistics operators start from a classification organized according to the areas they are responsible for executing. Commonly known as 1PL, 2PL, 3PL and 4PL, “PL” refers to Party Logistics, that is, logistics providers.

1. ‘First Party Logistics’

This is the phase of logistics that has a greater tradition of outsourcing: the transport of goods. In this sense, it includes the transport agencies that are responsible for distributing the products of the contracting company. This relieves the company of the need to buy and maintain the transport fleet, as well as manage the drivers.

2. ‘Second Party Logistics’

In this case, the companies that offer these services are already framed in the plane of logistics operators. Apart from transport, they take care of the storage of the products and their own storage vehicles.

3. ‘Third Party Logistics’

This type of logistics operators go further in the integration of services and provide transport fleet, storage place and also address the organization of transport operations and warehouse management.

4. ‘Fourth Party Logistics’

The 4PL logistics operators work slightly differently than the previous ones. In this case, they act as supervisors of the logistics operation. They do not have warehouses or trucks, that is, with physical resources, but they do have the experience or knowledge (and the technological capacity) that allows them to optimize the efficiency of the supply chain as much as possible.

5. ‘Fifth Party Logistics’

This last type of logistics operator integrates the execution of the typical services of the 3PL together with the specialization in optimization of the supply chain that the 4PL treasure.