Different Types Of 3PLs Service Providers

definition of 3pl and types of 3pl

Logistics has changed and grown to encompass many facets of delivery. In order to fully understand all of the different functions of a 3PL, we must first define exactly what a 3PL is.

What is a 3PL or Third-party logistics?

A 3PL or Third Party is a service that allows you to outsource operational logistics from warehousing, all the way through to delivery, and enables you to focus on other parts of your business.
Third-party logistics companies provide any number of services having to do with the logistics of the supply chain. This includes transportation, warehousing, picking and packing, inventory forecasting, order fulfillment, packaging, and freight forwarding.

3PLs have become a primary component in the supply chain of many brands. You take the orders. Your third-party logistics provider (3PL) fulfills them for you. It’s that simple and if it’s seamless, customers never think twice about the handoff between received orders and its fulfillment. A 3PL is a link in the supply chain brands use to outsource part or all of a business’ distribution and fulfillment services.

Types of 3PL Providers

Standard 3PL Providers

At this stage, the 3PL company provides only basic logistics services. The services include the storing and transporting of your goods, and some distribution in accordance with your company’s requests.

Service Developer 3PL

Along with the basic logistics services offered at the standard level, the service developer 3PL company offers support in IT, security, and product tracking. This means they can further ensure the delivery of your package is safe and on time.

Customer Adapter 3PL

Customer adapter 3PL’s are different in that they take over and run the existing logistics operation from the partner company rather than creating their own.

Customer Developer 3PL

Customer developer 3PL will not only inherit the logistics operation of their partner company, but they will also adapt their own systems. That means that the 3PL in essence becomes the entire logistics department instead of simply offering services.

Characteristics of the Different 3PL Services


At this phase, a 3PL can leverage other transportation firms in order to fulfill the duties of its partner company. If they are non-leveraged, the assets they use will be strictly those of the parent company.


3PL who specializes in inventory management and distribution of the product.


Middlemen with extended roles in managing logistics processes.


Provides the resources to manage the logistics operation from a start point to the endpoint. This includes preparing reports and establishing carrier relations.


This includes accounting, auditing, freight payment, and product tracking services, along with inventory management.


A growing category of electronic, business-to-business, and internet markets.

Tenaxx Logistics is a leading 3PL service company that operates in Canada and the US. Our integrative approach tackles supply chain management, real-time inventory management, warehousing services, shipping, and everything else needed to ensure your goods get to their destination. We’ve stored, sorted, delivered, and quality-assured products of all shapes and sizes for all kinds of companies across a wide variety of industries. Contact us by phone at 519-260-2738 or by email at info@tenaxtransport.com for more ways third-party logistics services can support and grow your business.