Fifth-Party Logistics (5PL): The Future of Logistics?

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the current global logistics has become more and more complex. However, the importance of logistics in the supply chain has not yet been explained.

Except for those who are extremely proficient in logistics, most people are still unclear on which level of logistics to choose. Company leaders choosing the right logistics service (1PL, 2PL, 3PL, 4PL, 5PL or even 10PL…) can bring great effects to the company’s profitability.

Most people may have heard of 3PL, 4PL, 5PL and other products. However, many people may not know what factors are required for each level of logistics services. At present, 3PL and 4PL are the most common and prominent services. However, the application of 5PL in the supply chain has gradually become more prominent.

What is Fifth-Party Logistics(5PL)?

Fifth Party Logistics, also known as 5PL, is a system in which an organization (client) outsources all its supply chain processes to a logistics service provider. 5PL company is committed to planning, organizing and implementing the client’s logistics solutions.

In these various supply chain processes, 5PL uses both third-party logistics (3PL) and fourth-party logistics (4PL) services and manages all networks in the supply chain. Moreover, 5PL company will set the price, but in some cases, the determined price will be renegotiated.

5PL service providers have implemented their work using the latest technology from implementing logistics solutions to negotiating rates. Like 4PL, 5PL’s business also includes this series of processes and can fully control the operational processes of the supply chain.

Fifth-Party Logistics (5PL): The Future of Logistics?
Fifth-Party Logistics (5PL): The Future of Logistics?

What Is the Key Role of the 5PL Company?

5PL service providers mainly play key roles in the following aspects:

  • Logistics plan planning
  • Organize and implement logistics solutions
  • Meet the needs of 3PL and 4PL

Unlike second-party logistics operators that do not participate in pricing, 5PL companies participate more. Besides, 5PL also includes professional work with other service providers to negotiate fixed prices. For example, 5PL also cooperates with airlines, transporters and carriers. This is the difference between 5PL providers and other logistics companies of different levels.

Why Does 5PL Appear?

Due to the impact of the popularity of e-commerce and globalization, compared with the previous models, 5PL tends to meet the needs of future logistics companies and has an important impact on the development of today’s Internet of Things. Among them, 5PL’s online payment function simplifies the consignee’s transaction, and the convenience of the customer’s direct call centre allows people to directly respond to the quality of the service. 

All in all, the emergence of 5PL has adapted to the progress of the times, and its more scientific and technical processes will make the operation of the supply chain more efficient.

4PL VS 3PL: which one is better for you?

As an e-commerce seller, you must be familiar with a third-party logistics companies, but have you ever delved into the concept of “4PL”? What are the differences between 3PL and 4PL?

The major service of 4PL:

  • Logistics channel optimization
  • Transportation network analysis
  • Carrier performance supervision
  • Project consulting and management
  • Inventory planning

Differences between 3PL and 4PL:

  • 1. The fourth-party logistics is usually an independent entity established by a joint venture company or other long-term contract between a customer and one or more partners.
  • 2. The fourth-party logistics organization is the transfer station between customers and other logistics service providers.
  • 3. Ideally, all aspects of the customer’s supply chain are taken over by fourth party logistics company.

In brief, 4PL can be regarded as an upgraded version of 3PL. Fourth-party logistics companies subcontract different logistics operations and coordinate and supervise them on behalf of their customers. Thus, you can choose the suitable one based on performance of your company. Generally speaking, a third-party logistics can establish a fourth-party logistics company with enough scale. Just like china division, we are available for customized packaging and seamless logistics management after owning 9000 m² effective stock area. So we can play the role of 3PL and 4PL in a better way.