3PL vs. 4PL

The key difference between 3PL and 4PL

Are you looking to outsource order fulfillment for your business? If so, you must have come across the terms 4PL and 3PL during your research. Finding a logistics partner is a crucial task, and knowing which model fits your business best is vital. You need to make sure you are aware of what each logistics provider can offer you and choose a company that will understand your needs and tailor their services to become the perfect fit for you. 

Meteor Space is a leading logistics company, providing you with end-to-end solutions. We make sure your order fulfillment and warehousing operations are streamlined and efficient, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. With our help, you don’t have to worry about a single thing. From storage, inventory management, picking and packing, to shipping: we do it all for you! Get stress-free order fulfillment with Meteor Space. 

Outsourcing logistics for businesses has become common. You might be looking for the best solutions for your fulfillment problems. So, have you ever heard the terms 3PL or 4PL? While these words might sound similar, they are actually two very different types of companies. 

You probably will not be surprised to learn that 3PL and 4PL are both logistics companies. The difference between the two comes down to the fact that a 3PL is a 3rd Party Logistics company, and a 4PL is a 4th Party Logistics company.

What Is A 3PL?

A third party logistics, or 3PL, provider is a company that offers logistics solutions to businesses. They will take care of all your shipping needs. They pick up and deliver packages, manage inventory and also provide freight management services. Essentially, they handle all the complicated logistics work, no matter how complicated it may be.

The main goal of a 3PL is to provide you with services that will make your life easier. 3rd party logistics companies offer you logistics and fulfillment solutions that are tailored to your needs and business requirements. A 3PL like Meteor Space will help you store your inventory without any hidden charges or extra fees. 

We make sure all your inventory is kept in our secure facility and provide you with quick delivery, helping you satisfy your customers. Meteor Space links you with your customers, increasing your reach and making your brand more accessible. We offer special services like custom packaging, pallet storage, kitting and assembly, and much more, allowing you to create an excellent experience for your customers. 

What Is A 4PL?

4PL is an extended version of 3PL. In the 4PL service, the logistics company handles all the supply chain functions for their clients. It includes transportation, warehousing, inventory management and more. The 4PL logistics service is more advanced than 3PL. It offers more services to its clients. 

A 4PL is the link between you and a 3PL. 4PLs are known for outsourcing to 3PLs and looking after the entire fulfillment process. A 4PL company will have the latest technology to make the process more efficient. 4PLs usually take on the same roles as 3PLs and offer the same services but on a larger scale. 

There can be multiple 3PLs under a single 4PL, creating a network. These 3PLs operate separately on their own and use different operational systems to provide fulfillment and logistics solutions. A 4PL can also provide more accountability through data reporting and other advanced technological solutions. 

4PL vs. 3PL: What Is The Difference?

A third-party logistics (3PL) provider is a company that is hired by a manufacturer or retailer to handle the logistics of their goods. They help with everything from managing shipping and receiving to warehousing and inventory. Larger companies will often outsource logistics to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. Some third-party logistics providers are also known as fourth-party logistics (4PL) providers. A fourth-party logistics provider does everything a 3PL does, but they also include services like transportation management and freight brokerage. 

Get Your Logistics Needs Met With Meteor Space

Meteor Space is one of the leading warehousing and order fulfillment companies, helping you meet customer demands and exceeding their expectations. We provide the best, end-to-end solutions to help you keep your business structure lean and enable you to focus on other aspects of your business. With our help, you can take your business to new heights and achieve all your goals. 

Meteor Space provides storage for your inventory in our state of the art warehouse. We manage and restock your inventory for you, making sure you don’t have to worry about anything. Our advanced software solutions help us integrate with your business seamlessly and provide you with complete visibility regarding all logistics and order fulfillment operations. 

We offer storage, inventory management, picking and packing, and fast shipping, helping you reach your customers on time with every order. With our help, you can deliver to customers in diverse locations, making sure you have unfettered access to the UK and European markets (yes, even after Brexit!). We are your one-stop shop for all fulfillment solutions!

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Why You Need Meteor Space

Streamline Omnichannel Order Fulfillment 

Using multiple marketing channels is a must for any business or store. You can sell through e-commerce marketplaces, Instagram, Facebook, your own website, your brick-and-mortar store and many other platforms. However, fulfilling orders for an omnichannel company is not an easy task. You need a third-party logistics company that is an expert in managing the performance of your omnichannel strategies.

With our logistics and third-party fulfillment strategy, we will help you streamline all your orders and organize all your operations. Meteor Space provides advanced inventory management software, helps you track and manage inventory and orders, generate accurate inventory reports and forecasts, and keep track of everything. Our WMS is tailored to the needs of your business and helps you reach your full potential.

Find out more about our omnichannel compliance services here!

Fast And Affordable Shipping

Meteor Space has helped thousands of business owners meet their need for seamless and efficient fulfillment services. It’s no secret that speed is one of the biggest benefits of using a third-party logistics company such as Meteor Space. When you use the fulfillment service, you outsource the fulfillment of your orders and the whole process is more efficient and smooth.

A logistics and fulfillment center such as Meteor Space can give you quick access to more countries. This can lead to faster delivery times for your customers – especially if your company has a global reach. With Meteor Space, the process of tracking your order is streamlined and all operations are quicker, increasing productivity for your team.

With our help, your customers will receive their orders faster than they expected and make sure they are always satisfied with the service. Meteor Space will help you speed up the order fulfillment process and give you time to focus on other aspects of your business. We offer fast delivery, no delays.

Showcase Your Brand

As part of our logistics and order fulfillment services, Meteor Space offers you your own, customized packaging. We know how important it is for you to showcase the elements of your brand and all your visual aesthetics, and we will help you do it in the best possible way. Custom packaging can help you make an exciting first impression that is essential for any business, whether online or offline.

Meteor Space offers all our clients customized packaging to help you be more  memorable. Thanks to our customized packaging services and efficient transport and delivery, you can make a lasting impression on your customers and build your brand reputation. Our brilliant  packaging services can help you stand out from the competition and make a name for yourself in this competitive market. 

Find out more about our custom packaging service here!

Happier, Satisfied Customers 

There is nothing more important in business than making your customers happy and satisfied with the experience you create for them. If your customers are satisfied with your services, they will always return to your store to shop. Building a loyal customer base is critical to the success of your business, and Meteor Space is a third-party logistics company that can help you achieve this.

We provide fast and accurate solutions and ensure that your customers always receive the ordered goods on time. Our experienced  staff and automated order fulfillment process ensure that no mistakes occur. We know how to properly pack all orders, which reduces the risk of damage to the goods during transport and reduces the rate of returns for your store. With our help, your customers will receive excellent service and you can exceed their expectations.

Expand Your Business

It is important to have logistics and fulfillment strategies that allow you to scale and grow your business. Meteor Space frees you from all the worries of the order completion process and ensures that you have the time and resources to focus on growing your business. We effectively manage every step of the order fulfillment process, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

Meteor Space provides everything from storage, inventory management, picking and packaging orders to shipping. We will help you reduce overheads and all other costs so that you can invest capital in other parts of your business. With Meteor Space, which controls the process of fulfilling your orders for you, you can keep your business model strong and lean, and generate higher profits.

Grow Your Reach 

Meteor Space is a third-party logistics company that provides you with services and order fulfillment strategies that increase your reach and deliver to customers in a variety of locations. When it comes to business, the key to your success is your reach. If your customers do not receive orders from you in different countries, you will lose countless opportunities and hinder your growth.

Meteor Space offers unlimited access to the UK and Europe and can help you reach customers in multiple countries. We will ensure that your business is unstoppable and provide the best delivery and shipping models for the company that meet all your needs. Meteor Space is located in Northern Ireland and is great for businesses that don’t want to miss out on opportunities and increase their sales.

Our Fulfillment Process

Step 1: Link Your Store

The first step in our logistics and fulfillment process is the integration of your online store with our warehouse software. You just have to connect your online store with our advanced WMS and we will immediately start receiving orders from your store and fulfilling them for you. Yes, it really is that simple! Like any other leading 4PL and 3PL, Meteor Space has high-tech software that integrates seamlessly with your company and ensures that the process is efficient and automated. Once your store is connected to our system, you can forget all your worries, because we will take care of the order and deliver it on time on behalf of your company and store.

Step 2: Storing Your Inventory

Once your business is connected to Meteor Space, we will store your inventory before the fulfillment process begins. Our modern, state of the art storage facilities allow us to store all materials for your company. Our warehouse covers 200,000 square feet and we make sure we have the space needed to store all the items needed for your order fulfillment. Meteor Space ensures that all items are stored appropriately. We maintain your inventory for you because it makes the order completion process more fast and fluid. Whenever we need to complete an order for you, we can immediately access the items required for the order and send them directly to your customers.

Step 3: Order Processing

All orders are processed when they are placed in your store or any other sales channel. Meteor Space ensures that all details are always correct and adheres to the order fulfillment strategy. Order processing is completed using our advanced warehouse management software. With our technology, we automate most transactions for your various sales and marketing channels, making multi-channel fulfillment easier than ever. Adequate order processing is an essential part of our fulfillment process because it helps us manage all orders properly. Order processing uses our advanced software solutions to ensure that all order slips that are generated are correct and without errors, so that hiccups occur during order fulfillment and shipping can be avoided.

Step 4: Picking Orders

Meteor Space has many years of experience with warehousing and picking items for order fulfillment. Our staff ensures that all items are picked accurately and in accordance with the order. Our warehouse workers use the order slip to pick up items from your inventory that we store in our warehouse. Picking correct items is an important part of the order fulfillment process for your business. After creating the order slip, our expert staff will pick up all the items and check them once again before packing. We ensure that your customers receive accurate orders and maintain satisfaction through our top services.

Shipping Omnichannel

Step 5: Packing Orders

After everything is collected for the order, our warehouse specialists will bring them to our packing station to perform one of the next steps in the logistics and order completion process. Meteor Space uses the most advanced technology for our packaging stations, which also helps us automate most of the process. Here at Meteor Space, we always use the highest quality packaging materials and ensure that all orders are safe and secure. With our packaging services, there is no risk of damage to goods during transport. We provide customized packaging for your business and help you display elements of your brand in the best possible way.

Step 6: Shipping Orders

Shipping is one of the most important elements of your strategy and order fulfillment process. If your delivery is not on time for each order, your customers will feel disappointed and less likely to shop from your business again. Meteor Space delivers the best shipping and delivery models at affordable prices and helps your customers be satisfied. Meteor Space works with the world's leading carriers and shipping services, providing you with affordable and fast delivery. We understand the importance of receiving timely orders from companies, and we help you provide your customers with the best shipping and delivery experience.

Step 7: Handling Returns

To ensure that your third-party logistics strategy works for your business, you must take appropriate steps to manage your returned orders. Managing returns can be time consuming and you should spend that time focusing on other aspects of your business. To ensure that returns management does not hinder your success, Meteor Space manages it for you. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your returned items do not drain any revenue. Our employees have many years of experience in returns management and we check and repair all returned items. Once the items have been processed, we will add them back to your inventory as quickly as possible. We also help you reduce returns by providing safe and secure shipping and ensuring that your customers do not receive any damaged items.

Top-Notch Solutions

Inventory Management 

Inventory management is essential for any business, whether large or small. Efficient inventory management can increase the success of your business and improve your end result. At Meteor Space, we offer a range of inventory management services to help companies effectively manage their inventory. We provide you with the tools you need to ensure that your inventory is properly tracked and that your products are delivered to your customers as quickly as possible.


Regular or traditional warehousing and storage is not the only option for your company. At Meteor Space, we offer temperature-controlled storage, specially designed to protect your products from the elements. Our 200,000 square-foot warehouse is equipped with sophisticated fire and other security systems. We also offer various storage options, including pallet storage. Our warehousing services include short-term or long-term warehousing and we can help you send your products directly to your customers.

Custom Packaging

One of the most important elements of your business is your packaging. Remember: your packaging is the first impression you make on customers, and it’s the first thing they usually touch and feel from your store. This is the first step to building brand reputation and awareness and creating a positive emotional connection with your customers. With our customized packaging services, you can build stronger, longer lasting relationships with buyers and potential customers.

Unfettered Access To The UK And Europe

Companies based globally will never feel restricted when working with Meteor Space. We know that your reach is one of the most important aspects of your business growth, which is why we give you unrestricted access to the UK and European markets. With our help, you can reach your customers in numerous countries and speed up your business growth even more. Work with Meteor Space and make sure you don’t miss out on opportunities to grow your business!

Fast And Accurate Delivery 

Meteor Space can guarantee you fast and accurate order fulfillment so you can focus on growing your business. Fast and accurate delivery is one of the most important aspects of any business, whether online or not. If you do not deliver your customers’ orders on time, they will not return to shop at your business. Therefore, partnering with Meteor Space, a third-party logistics company with proven records of timely fulfillment of customer orders, will turn out to be a valuable partnership.

Affordable Rates 

At Meteor Space, we offer affordable and high quality solutions. With the growth of e-commerce and the ability to sell products and services to customers around the world, companies need to find reliable shipping companies that can ship products and services at competitive prices while providing customers with a high level of satisfaction. As a leading UK third party logistics company, we can offer all logistics and fulfillment services at a reasonable price.

Advanced Software Solutions 

Our warehouse management software is an all-encompassing system that manages your fulfillment process. It shows you where all your products are, such as their location, movement and condition. You can use it to manage employees, track inventory and schedule shipments. Our WMS allows you to optimize your workflow for your order fulfillment operation. Meteor Space provides all clients with Canary7, our warehouse management software that helps you save money and time by streamlining the entire supply chain. 

Get Started With Meteor Space

  • Are you tired of picking and packing orders all day?
  • Do you need to streamline your multi-channel fulfillment? 
  • Are you looking for affordable warehousing and order fulfillment? 
  • Do you need a software solution to track and manage orders effectively?

Look no further! Meteor Space is here to provide all these services, and more. We make sure your logistics and fulfillment are handled completely, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. With our help, you can accelerate the growth of your business and reach new heights. Get started with Meteor Space today and enjoy stress-free fulfillment! 

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    3PL And 4PL FAQs

    A 4PL or a fourth party logistics provider is a company whose sole business is third party logistics. A 4PL is responsible for delivering a product or a service to the buyer. Their primary focus is on supply chain management and they are organized according to the industry. The 4PL network specializes in global supply chain management and they are committed to providing solutions to their customers. Shipping freight from one place to another is their job, and they take their job very seriously. They make sure that the product is delivered on time and in the same condition as it was picked.

    A 3PL is a Third Party Logistics company: a logistics service provider that takes responsibility for your products from the time they leave your warehouse until they reach the customer. In other words, they are a middleman between you and your customers. 3PLs offer packaging and distribution solutions, as well as warehousing, which means that your products are in their care during transit and at the end of the day, you are free to focus on your core business.

    A 3PL is a company that delivers the products of another company to the customer, but does not take ownership of the goods. A 4PL or a full package logistics provider is one that also provides services such as packaging, assembly, dispatching and other such solutions. The difference between the two is very subtle and almost non-existent. Still, if you want to get really really really technical about it, 3PL is a provider of third party logistics and 4PL is a provider of supply chain management.

    Yes. Outsourcing order fulfillment to a 4PL or 3PL will definitely reduce the workload and headache of your business and in the long run, it will also help you save some time and money. It makes perfect sense for businesses who have more orders than their staff can handle. The 3PL or 4PL warehouse is where your orders are stored, packed, and then delivered to your customer. Having a warehouse service means that you can take advantage of economies of scale and buy your supplies in bulk. This will help you get better prices on your items. Your monthly storage and shipping costs will also be stable, as long as you can manage your storage needs.