3PL Meaning: Understanding Third-Party Logistics

logistics can make or break a business

  • Written by Jared Wolthuis
  • Published on June 2, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes

In the world of modern commerce, logistics can make or break a business. To stay competitive and efficient, many companies turn to third-party logistics providers or 3PLs. But what exactly is a 3PL meaning in the context of eCommerce, and how can it benefit your business? In this article, we will delve into the definition of 3PL and explore how eHub can help connect your business to reliable and vetted 3PL partners.

What is a 3PL?

3PL Meaning Third-party logistics refers to the outsourcing of logistics and supply chain management functions to an external provider. These functions include transportation, warehousing, order fulfillment, and inventory management. The goal of a 3PL provider is to provide businesses with a comprehensive logistics solution that allows them to focus on their core competencies.

Here are several types of 3PL providers, including:

Transportation-based 3PLs: These providers specialize in transportation services, such as freight forwarding and shipping.

Warehouse/distribution-based 3PLs: These providers specialize in warehousing and distribution services, such as inventory management and order fulfillment.

Forwarder/NVOCC 3PLs: These providers specialize in international freight forwarding and non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) services.

Financial-based 3PLs: These providers offer freight payment and auditing services.

Information-based 3PLs: These providers offer technology solutions for logistics management, such as transportation management systems (TMS) and warehouse management systems (WMS).

How Can a 3PL Benefit Your Business?

Outsourcing logistics functions to a 3PL provider can bring many benefits to businesses, including:

Increased efficiency: 3PL providers are experts in logistics and supply chain management, meaning they can streamline and optimize these processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Access to technology: Many 3PL providers offer solutions to help businesses track and manage their logistics processes more effectively.

Scalability: 3PL providers can adapt to changes in a business’s logistics needs, whether that means scaling up during periods of high demand or scaling down during slow periods.

Cost savings: By outsourcing logistics functions to a 3PL provider, businesses can save on the costs associated with maintaining their own logistics infrastructure and personnel.

How Can eHub Help Connect Your Business with a 3PL Partner?

At eHub, we understand the importance of reliable and efficient logistics solutions for businesses of all sizes. That’s why we offer a vetted network of 3PL partners that can provide a range of logistics services to meet your business’s needs. Our network includes providers specializing in transportation, warehousing, order fulfillment, and more.

To connect with a 3PL partner through eHub, submit your logistics needs through our online form. We will match you with a 3PL provider that meets your specific requirements, ensuring that you have access to a reliable and efficient logistics solution.

In addition to our 3PL network, eHub also offers a range of other services to help businesses optimize their logistics processes. These services include freight auditing and payment, transportation management, and more.


In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, logistics can make all the difference. By outsourcing logistics functions to a reliable and efficient 3PL provider, businesses can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and focus on their core competencies. At eHub, we are committed to connecting businesses with the best 3PL partners for their specific needs.

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