Why 4PL is especially relevant today

The logistics market is large and fragmented, with a wide variety of services on offer from all kinds of companies. From multinationals with a comprehensive portfolio, to small, nationally focused carriers and ‘hyperspecialists’. In fact, it can be difficult to see through this maze of complexity. The sector growth slows due to uncertainty about Brexit, the nitrogen discussion, disruptions such as cyberattacks, the corona virus and a shift in the logistics landscape. ING predicts ever-greater demand for information about the movement of goods. Information holds the key to eliminating supply chain friction – and it is precisely how 4PL suppliers add value. Read on to find out why it has become such a relevant topic today.

The ongoing search for efficiency

Freight flows have been increasing for the past two decades, and so too has the number of companies that outsource their transport activities. Their 4PL partners are continuously searching for logistics solutions that add value. They strike the optimal balance between supply and demand, time and money, and people and resources. With each customer’s interests as their top priority. 4PL partners take control, utilizing an ever-bigger network to keep their customers’ freight flows running smoothly and above all efficiently. Accurate and accessible information plays an essential role. The following trends are making this more important than ever nowadays:

The growth of e-commerce

The tremendous growth of e-commerce, which is also known as the ‘Amazon effect’, has put supply chains under immense pressure. Advancements in fulfilment systems, inventory management and goods transport have resulted in larger volumes of – and luckily also more reliable – data.


In industries such as high-tech, automotive and chemicals, the demands are so high that specialized logistics service providers have emerged who are focused solely on these sectors. To seamlessly align and switch between modalities, some of which they also operate themselves, requires a deeper understanding and optimum visibility of all the available data.

Innovative technology

Innovations such as robotization (IoT), autonomous vehicles and augmented reality are becoming ever-more common in the supply chain and generate extra data flows of their own.

Sustainability and CO2 reduction

Reducing CO2 emissions or consolidating shipments are increasingly important selection criteria in major tenders. When it comes to securing new business, detailed management reporting has evolved from a nice-to-have extra to an absolute necessity.

Complex landscape

4PL partners are the linchpin in this complex landscape. At IDS, it revolves around on providing full supply chain visibility and consolidating shipments for optimal efficiency. But above all, we are focused on not only planning but also execution. We’re happy to tell you more about how our services can help you manage your supply chain down to the finest details.

Contact Arno Spoek for more information.