Third-party logistics (abbreviated as 3PL, or TPL) in logistics and supply chain management is an organization’s use of third-party businesses to outsource elements of its distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment services.
Third-party logistics providers typically specialize in integrated operations of warehousing and transportation services that can be scaled and customized to customers’ needs, based on market conditions, to meet the demands and delivery service requirements for their products.
Often, services exceed logistics to include value-added services related to the production or procurement of goods, such as services that integrate parts of the supply chain.
A provider of such integrated services is referenced as a third-party supply chain management provider (3PSCM), or as a supply chain management service provider (SCMSP). 3PL targets particular functions within supply management, such as warehousing, transportation, or raw material provision.