3PL business man and woman assessing warehouse stock on computer BCR tvlMany people get confused about the differences between 4PL and 3PL providers. We see this confusion not only in our customer companies but within our own industry where various organisations approach these services differently.

According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) website, we found their glossary to be very useful in delivering a comprehensive explanation on the differences between these two services.

Find below a summary of the main characteristics between 4PL providers and 3PL service providers in Australia today.

The characteristics of 3PL service providers in Australia

Third Party Logistics is any business that can specialise in some, part or the majority of the supply chain process. 3PL providers are contracted to take over all or most of an organisation’s logistic operation, which usually includes offering bundled services such as warehousing, inventory management and freight forwarding. 3PL service providers in Australia takes part in the supply chain process for a product that isn’t theirs.


The characteristics of 4PL service providers in Australia

Fourth Party Logistics goes one step further than 3PL to managing the entire supply chain focus. A 4PL provider is a company that provides all services needed to deliver a comprehensive supply chain solution for a company. 4PL service providers can manage a range of 3PL’s attached to one company so as to create a more cohesive experience.

Summary of 4PL and 3PL key characteristics:

3pl 4pl provider differences

Outsourcing the supply chain to fulfill your needs

BCR is an Australian owned 3PL service provider with locations throughout Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane that’s been established within the supply chain industry for over 100 years. We specialise in freight forwarding, customs brokerage and other logistics areas to assist companies with their supply chain. Contact us to learn more about 3PL and 4PL, and how we can assist your business today.

For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including BrisbaneSydneyMelbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).