Gartner defines a third-party logistics (3PL) provider as a commercial firm that provides one or more logistics functions on behalf of its customers on an outsourced basis for a fee. To be a 3PL, the logistics service provider (LSP) must predominantly operate a business that moves, stores or manages products or materials on behalf of its customer, in some manner, without taking ownership of such products or materials. Third-party logistics providers offer many traditional services, such as:
• Transportation management and brokerage
• Warehousing, consolidation, distribution and fulfillment (contract logistics)
• International logistics management (such as air and ocean freight forwarding and customs brokerage)
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