✅ What is a logistics operator and what are its main functions?

Posted by Lógicos 3PL on Feb 4, 2021 7:00:00 PM

Lógicos 3PL is a trustworthy logistics operator, but before hiring our services you need to have very clear what implies the figure of a logistics operator and what we can offer you to get your business to climb positions in both the domestic and international market.

Likewise, we believe it is vital that you know how to differentiate the types of logistics operators that exist and how we differentiate ourselves.

What is a Logistics Operator?

A logistics operator is a company that, at the request of another company, is in charge of managing one or more of the phases of its supply chain. This operator is in charge of facilitating a series of processes that are not the main activity of a producing company, so that it can dedicate itself to tasks of greater added value for its business.

What is a logistics operator and what are its main functions

Functions of a logistics operator

The main function of a logistics operator is to optimise and facilitate the processes involved in the supply chain, i.e. to deal efficiently with the procurement, production and distribution of the goods of a company for which they work.

To carry out this series of processes with the highest quality, the logistics operator must have both the necessary material and technological resources.

As mentioned above, the logistics operator is ultimately responsible for one or more stages of the supply chain. Some of the most important phases that he takes care of are:

  • Order processing

This phase consists of several activities including preparation, transmission, entry and fulfillment, as well as order status reporting. The logistics operator may also be responsible for collecting all the information necessary for the purchase order.

Moreover, at Lógicos we are specialists in both online and retail logistics, so that all orders are prepared with the utmost precision and according to specific requirements.

  • Material handling

When the goods are received at the warehouse, an initial check of the delivery notes must be made to ensure that everything matches what had been agreed.

Depending on the type of shipment received, the logistics operator will have to ensure maximum quality control and optimum storage conditions. Depending on the type of goods, for example, it will be necessary to ensure that the cold chain has not been broken or to have specific locations for dangerous goods.

  • Warehousing

The logistics operator is responsible for providing and maintaining the necessary space for the optimal storage of a company's goods.

However, this phase goes far beyond the safeguarding of products and also involves their reception, conservation and even inventory management.

  • Packaging

At this stage, the system for protecting the goods and how they will be shipped is decided. This phase is of vital importance, since the packaging is decisive for the good handling and perfect transport of the products.

As in the storage phase, the nature of the goods and their value must be taken into account, as well as the temperature and humidity to which they may be subjected and the characteristics of the means of transport in which they are sent.

In the same way, in Lógicos 3PL we also take care of other kind of needs you may have such as:

    • Label/ unlabel

    • Shrinkwrap

    • Blister/ unblister

    • Gift and promotional packaging

What is a logistics operator

  • Shipping

This is one of the phases of the supply chain in which the services of a logistics operator are most needed.
At Lógicos, we have the solution that best suits the needs of your shipment, whether it is national or international:

    • We take care of finding the ideal carrier

    • We minimise costs by grouping all your shipments

    • Track your orders in real time

  • Reverse Logistics

One of the phases that an operator such as Lógicos 3PL is in charge of is reverse logistics; we manage the possible returns of merchandise that may occur.

Among the tasks to be taken into account here is the control of performance and costs or managing the inventory of returned products.

Degree of outsourcing of logistics operators

As we have seen above, a company that hires the services of a logistics operator does not necessarily have to hand over control of all stages of the supply chain.

In fact, one of the first decisions to be taken into account is the degree of process outsourcing desired. Depending on this degree, we can differentiate logistics operators into several groups:

  • 1PL (First Party Logistics): Suppliers of this type of logistics process provide the most basic service, since they only handle the transport of the contracting company's goods. However, the latter is still responsible for the other stages of the supply chain. 

At other times, the term 1PL refers to the manufacturing company itself, which is also responsible for shipping the goods to their final point.

  • 2PL (Second Party Logistics): At this level of outsourcing, the production company hires a logistics operator to take care of the storage and transport of goods to their destination. 

Although 2PL providers work on a broader scope, they still offer standard services to their customers. 

  • 3PL (Third Party Logistics o logística de terceros): 3PL operators like Lógicos 3PL specialise themselves in the integration of logistics services. Apart from the storage and transport of goods, we also take care of other operations such as product traceability, inventory control, cross-docking or reverse logistics. 

Due to the type of relationship that is created between the 3PL provider and the contracting company, the services provided by the former are totally personalised and adapted to the needs of its client.

At Lógicos 3PL, we take care of optimising the management of the supply chain so that you can take care of other core processes of your business.

  • 4PL (Fourth Party Logistics): This figure is in charge of supply chain supervision tasks. The 4PL provider has the technological know-how and experience necessary to optimise logistics processes to the maximum. However, it does not have the physical resources (warehouses, trucks, etc.) that are normally outsourced to 3PL providers. 

The 4PL provider is seen more as a strategic partner, and the production company is more dependent on it.

functions of a logistics operator
In recent years, a fifth figure has also appeared: the 5PL operator that integrates the logistics services of the 3PL with the specialisation and management of the 4PL provider.

At Lógicos 3PL we work very hard to simplify the supply chain processes and thus become your trusted logistics operator.

We hope you will find this article interesting, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.