A 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) partner or service assists ecommerce merchants with supply chain management. Warehouse and inventory management, order fulfillment, shipping coordination, retail distribution, swaps, and refunds are all common 3PL services.
Ultimately, partnering with a 3PL helps a merchant to focus on other elements of their business.
Rather than managing your own warehouses and handling distribution in-house, you can store your goods at the warehouse of a 3PL provider, with the stock transported directly from your manufacturers. Items are automatically dispatched from the 3PL’s warehouse when a customer puts an order online.
Customers seldom think twice about the handoff between received orders and fulfillment because the procedure is straightforward and smooth with a 3PL. This allows e-commerce businesses to focus on what they do best: developing, marketing, and selling products.
3PLs have been and will continue to be the secret ingredient that has allowed many successful e-commerce businesses to survive the recent supply chain crises. Unfortunately, the recent acts of political instability, natural disasters, human resource shortages, and regulatory obstacles are not an exception to the pattern.
Supply chain disruptions are becoming more severe and frequent, with experts reporting that big disruptions occur every 3.7 years.
Working with a third-party logistics provider can improve your business.
Whether you’re collaborating with a 3PL for the first time or reducing your reliance on one, the process is difficult. E-commerce companies cannot influence the fate of their business partners. What you can control is the amount of research you do before deciding on a 3PL.
Be extremely diligent in your evaluation of potential partners. The appropriate third-party logistics providers may transform your business for the better, not only by removing the hassle of storing and delivering products, but also by increasing the speed with which you can deliver orders to clients.
Daniel Szwed - Marketing Manager