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The time has come for the next generation of supply chain executors that will enable 3PL providers and shippers to strengthen their partnerships. According to a 2013 Third Party Logistics Study, only 86 percent of shippers view their relationship with their 3PL as successful as compared to 94 percent of 3PLs. While this is an increase over previous years and shippers “credit the improvement to the 3PLs with finding new and effective ways to improve logistics effectiveness,” the discrepancy opens up an opportunity for leading 3PLs to further improve their operations by supporting more innovative technology. By moving beyond the tactical and into strategic activities, both 3PL providers and shippers can reap great benefits. In order to drive innovation and cutting edge technology solutions, shippers are willing to gain-share with 3PLs for investments required to achieve greater performance.
A key way for 3PLs to move into the high performance achievement echelon of the industry is through establishing partnerships that leverage a Fourth Party Logistics (4PL) model. This 4PL, also known as a Lead Logistics Provider model, will be the catalyst for the evolution to more collaborative and innovative partnerships that will positively impact 3PL and shipper relationships greatly.
Some Examples of key responsibilities and associated benefits of the 4PL: