4PL Definition

One of the most common questions we get is what is a fourth party logistics provider or (4PL)? First off it’s worth saying that 4PL is more of a buzzword than any kind of accurate descriptor. That said a 4PL (also sometimes called a lead logistics provider) is a non-asset based company (i.e. they don’t own their own trucks or warehouse facilities) that provides logistics consulting services to fully manage, design, and build supply chains. While the logistics and supply chain industry continues to be confused about the exact role and definition of 4PLs, an emerging category of logistics consulting and management firms are emerging that are invaluable in managing large scale, complex supply chain functions from the top and overseeing innovative technology solutions.