In an eCommerce business, efficient order fulfillment is the key to business success and growth. The orders go through multiple processes before reaching the consumers. It plays a significant role in B2B and B2C businesses. Hence, to manage your order fulfillment process effectively, you need the help of a 3pl logistics company. It will help to operate with reduced costs and deliver the orders quickly. With the company, you can also balance order process speed accurately and reach the right customers at the right time.
3PL or a third-party logistics company will be good for your eCommerce business. They will handle warehousing activities and supply chain processes. But it's essential to find the right 3PL company. In this post, we will understand the 3PL service providers in detail and learn about the top 3PL third-party shipping companies.
What Is a 3PL Company?
A 3pl fulfillment or Third-Party company is a service provider that helps eCommerce businesses manage their order fulfillment and supply chain activities. Their services include warehousing and inventory management, shipping coordination, distribution, and exchanging and returning products.
,You can define a 3PL company as a partner to fulfill your online orders until it safely reaches your consumers in time. Being an eCommerce merchant, you need to accept the orders, and the rest process will be taken care of by the 3PL company. It will control and take responsibility for every aspect related to online sales.
Moreover, by partnering with a 3PL company, eCommerce businesses can focus and give maximum time to their selling part and product quality without worrying about other shipping factors.
Difference Between 3PL and 4PL Companies
The significant difference between a 3PL and a 4PL company, 3PL entirely focuses on logistics while 4PL manages the whole supply chain process. Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on your business type and its order needs.
Advantages Of Partnering With 3PL Companies
3PL Companies mostly have the most extensive resource network. It is beneficial for in-house supply chains. It manages the complete logistic process of the eCommerce business from start to end. With their vast network, expertise, and discounts, you will get cost-effective and quick service. Their network will drive your brand's recognition and make your business reach heights.
Major Focus On Core Competencies
Outsourcing your logistics with an eCommerce 3pl will keep your business organization and let you focus on core competencies. Your business will stay away from involving non-core management. You will get time to put effort into critical functions. Also, you will enjoy their logistical expertise.
Scalability And Flexibility
The main advantage of 3PL services is that it offers supreme flexibility and scalability to upscale the order fulfillment process. Moreover, you can utilize their supply chain resources, such as transportation and labor, to meet your inventory and business requirements. When sales are down, there will be unlimited resources and redundant investments. With the help of resources, the eCommerce business will enjoy great profit with a streamlined process when the sales rise.
Market Expansion And Business Growth
3pl eCommerce fulfillment companies play a magnificent role in supply chain management to drive business growth. It gives excellent market access to eCommerce businesses in prominent regions. Moreover, the business can reach places where they have yet to establish their presence. Hence, you can get new customers globally every day. When the inventory is managed in a new place, you don't have to spend money on equipment, warehousing, and labor.
Access to Experience And Expertise
In today's era, the global marketplace is more complex than your thoughts. To make your position in the competitive race, eCommerce businesses need access to experience and expertise. Through 3PL services, you can gain knowledge and experience in international compliance, transport documentation, economic regulations, and import and export rules.
If you look forward to expanding your business into the international markets, the 3PL company will offer logistics support and help with other aspects. It will cut down the cycle time, reduce the costly delays, and help you make a smooth entry into new markets.
Saves You Time and Money
A 3PL company will offer cost-effective solutions and make you get rid of investing in technologies, warehouse space, transportation, and other resources to execute the process. It will manage your audits, billing, staffing, training, and optimization.
All the advantages of 3PL services will eventually lead to improving order fulfillment and logistic services, providing a great customer experience. It offers quick response time, brand value enhancement, reliability, and timely deliveries. This will finally satisfy your consumers, and you will achieve your business goals.
Related: How to Use Order Fulfillment to Get Repeat Customers
Order Fulfillment Service Elements Offered By 3PL Companies
The elements of the best 3pl for eCommerce are of a wide variety. It includes features that range from inventory management to reaching customers seamlessly and quickly with products. But all third-party logistics service providers offer similar things. Generally, it helps prepare the product for shipping, handling customer services, and shipping it.
Some significant elements provided are warehousing, inventory management, supply chain management, regular storage and cold storage, transportation, distribution, materials handling, enhanced customer service, shipping, receiving, and reverse logistics.
There are essential elements that help to run a successful online business. With the prominent 3PL service provider, you can let them handle these aspects on your behalf.
Top 3PL Companies
It is a famous and best 3pl company in the United States and worldwide. It has been the most preferred service provider for prominent eCommerce businesses. Moreover, its services reached exceptionally throughout the globe. It is famous due to multiple reasons. With time, it has proven itself as a better choice among other service providers for online vendors. Also, it offers specialized and cost-effective solutions. It will suit every business type with its multiple 3PL services.
Services offered by ShipBob are organized storage, pick up and packaging, receiving, standard packing, and shipping. It works with popular eCommerce companies such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, ShipBob Developer APIs, Squarespace, eBay, ShipStation, Walmart, and Amazon.
Simpl is another popular 3PL service provider that comes under top listed companies. It has been the most innovative solution for many eCommerce brands. It has significant expertise and an experienced team to fulfill all your logistic needs. Moreover, its services play an essential role in brand enhancement.
Services offered by Simpl are eCommerce fulfillment, Amazon FBA Prep, Dropshipping fulfillment, FBM Solution, Amazon Dropshipping, Ebay Order Fulfillment, Etsy Order Fulfillment, BigCommerce Fulfillment and Walmart Order Fulfillment, Crowdfunding Fulfillment, and Subscription Box fulfillment. With its years of experience, it can effectively manage your orders with the latest technologies and automation.
This 3rd party logistic company offers its services to 50+ CMS/ Marketplaces. It promises to provide service accuracy when it comes to inventory management. Simpl's powerful software will overall handle every process. It delivers real-time updates with advanced tracking solutions.
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White Box is an all-in-one logistics company that is a one-stop solution for eCommerce brands. It can efficiently handle all the order fulfillment and supply chain management processes.
The top services provided by WhiteBox are packaging, product optimization, shipping labels, professional product photography, shipping, inspection, quality assurance, warehousing, and fulfillment. It is the best choice for both small and medium-level enterprises.
With Whitebox, businesses can handle various process shipping and fulfillment services. It will manage the complete logistics, from warehousing to distribution. It will let you achieve your desired order fulfillment with expert inventory management and forecasting, packaging, picking, and freight solutions.
How Does 3PL Service Provide Reduce Cost?
3PL companies have a comprehensive transport network, including railways, roadways, and freight cargo. It will help to make your products reach better and get access to various transport infrastructures. It transports goods faster and at a lower cost. The company also reduces packaging costs and provides different shipping rate options with its packaging solutions.
What Are The Challenges Of 3PL Companies?
The challenges that 3PL companies face can be categorized into two main areas: logistical and operational. Logistical challenges focus on moving goods from origin to destination, while operational challenges involve day-to-day operations such as customer service, inventory management, and cost control.
Long-distance transportation of goods – 3PL companies must locate transportation methods that are efficient and cost-effective to meet deadlines without exceeding budgets.
Finding available freight options – due to demand fluctuations and capacity shortages, it is often tricky for 3PLs to identify carriers with available capacity at any given time.
Managing multiple locations
3PL companies must be able to keep track of shipments across different areas with varying delivery schedules without expending too much energy or resources on tracking individual items within a load.
Maintaining visibility into inventory levels & item availability – accurate tracking throughout the entire supply chain process is essential in providing high-quality customer service experiences for clients and customers alike by ensuring stock levels are accurately maintained across multiple warehouses/locations simultaneously so orders can be fulfilled quickly & accurately when placed online or in-store environments.
Adhering to shipping timeline commitments
Delays caused by factors beyond the control of a 3PL company (traffic jams, natural disasters) should be planned for with proposed solutions already agreed upon between both parties before unexpected events occur during transport journeys. This will minimize potential delays in receiving goods from the origin point(s) A to the final destination point(s) B.
Cost containment initiatives
Controlling costs associated with storage assets (warehousing) and labor utilization (manual vs. automated processes), among other services-related expenses, while still providing optimal end-user service experience, is a crucial component needed when effectively managing any successful logistics operation under tight budget constraints allotted per operation period/seasonal trends, etc.
Related: 13 Important Questions to Ask 3PL Providers
All of this is to say that if you are in the market for a 3PL provider, then it's essential to evaluate potential ones thoroughly. For businesses of any size, third-party logistics companies provide an opportunity to reduce costs while doing more with less. They also free up organizations' personnel and resources to focus on more strategic business activities. With these points in mind, it's clear that partnering with a 3PL provider is the right step toward long-term success. On top of navigating the confusing world of shipping solutions, we at Simpl offer exceptional order fulfillment and have been helping business owners take control of their deliveries for years. Our team of logistics experts will make sure that your goods arrive on time and your customers are satisfied. So if you're looking for a highly accurate, rapid, and cost-effective way to handle your eCommerce orders, look no further than Simpl! Get in touch today and get started streamlining your shipping operations -- you won't regret it!
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