13. UPS Logistics and to Move Toward 4PL—or Not?

Remko van Hoek, Cranfield University, School of Management

Introduction

The fourth-party logistics provider (4PL) participates in supply chain coordination instead of just providing operational logistics and fulfillment services, like a traditional third-party logistics provider (3PL) would. The implementation of a 4PL model required a major transition for UPS, which has its heritage in express and physical logistics services, toward a more integral involvement in customers’ supply chains, with a greater impact on customer supply chain performance and strategy. Sample UPS customer relations such as with Cisco Systems show how the potential of a 4PL approach for logistics service providers lies ...

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