What is a 3PL?
Third-party logistics (or 3PL) refers to the outsourcing of eCommerce logistics processes to a third-party business, including inventory management, warehousing, and fulfillment. 3PL providers allow eCommerce merchants to accomplish more, with the tools and infrastructure to automate retail order fulfillment.
3PLs have become a key component in the supply chain of many brands. You take the orders, your third-party logistics provider (3PL) fulfills them.
Key questions to consider
Choosing the right 3PL provider doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require some thoughtful consideration. After all, the third-party logistics provider you choose will have a tremendous impact on your organization’s costs, customer service, and supply chain for years to come.
So, what exactly should you take into consideration when choosing a fulfillment company? These three key questions will help you determine whether you need a 3PL:
What is your current daily volume and associated costs?
Once you understand your current daily order/unit/line volume, and the costs of labor/space/supplies to handle the fulfillment, you can then compare that against the calculated costs of a partnership with a 3PL.
Are you running out of costly inventory storage space?
Brands often forget to include storage costs in their fulfillment expense calculations. Compare your current expenses with estimates from 3PLs. Determine if bundling storage costs with outsourced fulfillment is a better value.
What’s your forecasted growth?
If you’re expecting a sustained surge in order volume—not just one-off flash sales or marketing promotions—estimate the costs and resources necessary to meet consumer demand in the future. Compare this with the costs of outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL.
Other questions that might be useful and important are:
- What are your company’s shipping, packaging, and marketing priorities right now?
- Will these priorities be the same in three years, or do you anticipate them changing?
- What qualities are most important to you in an eCommerce fulfillment partner?
The key is to find the right company that can design the perfect solution for your operational needs – both now, and in the future.
What are the benefits of working with a 3PL?
There are numerous advantages to working with an experienced 3PL fulfillment partner. Below are four of the most significant aspects:
1. Grow Your Business
2. Partner with Professionals
3. Limit Overhead
4. International Expansion
5. Save time and money
6. Leverage industry expertise
7. Expand your reach
Whether you operate your own warehouse or partner with a 3PL, be sure the workers who are fulfilling orders are protected. Implementing workplace safety precautions, or ensuring your 3PL is doing so, is both good for the world and business.
At MetsCube, we offer a solution that is tailored, integrated, and transparent. We have been Amazon and Shopify merchandizers for an extended period of time and are intimately familiar with the frustrations that can come with being an e-commerce Seller.
It’s our experience and our core principles that contribute to MetsCube’s successful on-demand shipping, prepping, and storage management for all of our clients.