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3PL Carriers

knowing the difference between 3PLs and carriers is essential

  • Written by Ellie Kwon
  • Published on December 29, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Introduction

When shipping goods, knowing the difference between 3PLs and carriers is essential. Both play a crucial role in the logistics industry but have different responsibilities. This blog will explain the difference between 3PLs and carriers in simple terms.

What is a Carrier?

A carrier is a company that transports goods from one place to another. They operate trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes to move products. Carriers are responsible for physically transporting goods and ensuring that the products are delivered on time and in good condition.

Carriers have their own vehicles and drivers. They are responsible for maintaining their equipment and ensuring it meets safety standards. Carriers also have their own insurance policies to protect the products they transport.

What is a 3PL?

A 3PL (Third Party Logistics) provider is a company that offers logistics services to businesses. They act as intermediaries between shippers and carriers. 3PLs provide various services, including transportation management, warehousing, and freight forwarding.

Unlike a carrier, third-party logistic providers do not own transportation equipment. Instead, they work with multiple carriers to provide shipping services to their customers. They negotiate rates with carriers and coordinate the transportation process.

Difference between Carriers and 3PLs

The main difference between a carrier and a third-party logistic provider, is that carriers provide transportation services, while 3PLs offer logistics services. Carriers are responsible for physically transporting goods, while 3PLs coordinate the transportation process.

Another difference is that a carrier owns transportation equipment, while 3PLs do not. Carriers are responsible for maintaining their equipment, while 3PLs do not have that responsibility.

Carriers are also responsible for ensuring their transport products are delivered on time and in good condition. 3PLs coordinate the transportation process and ensure that all parties effectively work together.

3PL Carriers

Carriers and 3PLs have a complementary relationship in the logistics industry. While carriers are responsible for physically transporting goods, 3PLs act as intermediaries between shippers and carriers. 3PLs have relationships with multiple carriers and negotiate rates on behalf of their customers. They also coordinate the transportation process and ensure that all parties involved effectively work together. This partnership allows shippers to access a broader range of transportation options and optimize logistics operations.

Benefits of Using a Carrier

Using a carrier to transport goods has several benefits. First, carriers have their own transportation equipment, which means they have more control over the transportation process. They also have more experience and knowledge when it comes to transporting goods.

Carriers are also responsible for ensuring their transport products are delivered on time and in good condition. They have insurance policies to protect the products they transport, which gives shippers peace of mind.

Benefits of Using a 3PL

Using a 3PL to manage logistics has several benefits. First, 3PLs have relationships with multiple carriers, which means they can negotiate better customer rates. This can result in cost savings for shippers.

3PLs also have expertise in logistics, which means they can help shippers optimize their supply chain. They can provide advice on how to improve transportation processes and reduce costs. This can help shippers increase efficiency and profitability.

Conclusion

In summary, both parties play essential roles in the logistics industry. Carriers are responsible for physically transporting goods, while 3PLs coordinate the transportation process. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to shippers to decide which option is best for their needs. By understanding the differences between carriers and 3PLs, shippers can make informed decisions and improve their logistics operations.

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