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Logistics Provider: Traditional and Virtual

3-4 pages is required

1. Compare and differentiate the functions normally associated with 4PLs relative to the role of 3PLs.

2. What are the factors responsible for more and more companies relying on the services of 4PLs?

3. Explain why it is important to establish metrics that can help determine the "value" a 4PL can contribute to the supply chain when entering into these agreements?

4.Would you consider Unyson's logistics solutions defined for Big Lots consistent with the role of a 4PL in adding value to a supply chain? (Explain and illustrate)

Alan Win. (2008) The value a 4PL provider can contribute to an organization, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management. Bradford: 2008. Vol. 38, Iss. 9; pg. 674

Dutton, Gail (2009 Jan) The Rise of the 4PL, World Trade, Troy: Vol. 22, Iss. 1, pg. 20

Stefannsson, Gunar (2006) Collaborative logistics management and the role of third-party service providers, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Bradford, Vol.36, Iss. 2, pg. 76.

Edwards, John (2006 Dec), Lots of Shipments, Loads of Savings,

Solution Preview

Role and Functions of 3PL and 4PL

Third party logistics (3PL) have led the buyers and customers on the logistics outsourcing ways. It helps in drawing the core business of buyer by the helps of forwarding, trucking or warehousing. By that companies could be able to provide other products and services to customers instated of existing products and services. Creation of a 3PL presents a way for a commodity-service logistics provider to move into higher margin, bundled services. 3PL refers to sourced tasks for construing the purpose of existing businesses (LTD Management, 2012). It would help the management of companies to manage the structure of supply chain such as storing, picking, carrying, sending, and the inventory management. Some 3PLs also help the people of administration for conducting the tasks related to the accounts receivable and invoicing.

Fourth party logistics (4PL) works as advisers for making and managing the association between the company and its 3PLs by that the administration of company would ensure that all operations are functioning swimmingly (Langley & Capgemini, 2012). 4PL could be able to carry several responsibilities of company from advices to day-to-day management related to logistic tasks.

Similarities between 3PL and 4PL:
The purpose of both 3PL and 4PL is to offer services and expertise related to outsourcing in those areas, where the companies are facing capability lacks (Langley & Capgemini, 2012). Both 3PL and 4PL can help the management of companies to grow and expand their business without overstraining themselves.

Differences between 3PL and 4PL:
A 3PL works as a single party to provide a kind of different services for the company. On the other hand, 4PL could be ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines traditional and virtual logistics providers. The functions normally associated with 4PL's relative to the roles of 3PLs are determined.