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3PL (Third-Party Logistics): How to Select the Right Ecommerce Fulfillment Partner

The standard business model of taking care of several or all the business operations in-house might not turn out to be productive all the time. However, the same model is beneficial for small e-commerce businesses.

But when the company expands and its product delivery requirements expand in new markets, and to a more significant number of customers, the need for outsourcing rises to fulfil shipping operations. Thus, to meet this high demand, businesses hire 3PL logistics to do the work.

But again, all the 3PL logistics out there in the market provide the same capabilities and services. So it is essential to understand how to select the eight eCommerce fulfilment partners.

What is 3pl logistics?

3PL logistics or third-party logistics is a type of service that helps e-commerce business merchants manages their business’s supply chain. A 3PL logistics company plays the role of an e-commerce fulfilment company.

Third-party Logistics Company offers all the services businesses require to outsource all of their logistic operations. The services that are provided by 3pl logistics include:

  • Inventory management
  • Kitting and customization
  • Warehousing
  • Picking and packing
  • Shipping and receiving
  • FTL and LTL freight shipping
  • Reverse logistics (returns)

How to Select the Right Ecommerce Fulfillment Partner or 3pl logistics?

When a business chooses a Third-Party Logistics or 3PL logistics, it needs to involve several considerations and not focus only on one single metric, such as the cost incurred.

Selecting a third-party logistics should not be only based on the price as many others have a cheaper option. The criteria that to focus more, on is the trust factor. Also, the other measures that should be considered are as follows:

Good customer service

A healthy business relationship with a customer comes when businesses give respect and good customer service. Third-Party Logistics offers to help with this with their creative problem-solving staff, which will help companies save money and provide a healthy relationship. So it is essential to look for these criteria when selecting one.

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A 3PL needs to have all required safety training and compliances for its employees and ensure the protection of all the data and resources of a business. Thus before selecting, one needs to check if the 3PL partner has certifications like DEA, PCI, FDA, and HAZMAT. Partners having these certifications ensure to take safety and security seriously.


Based on the industry or the business, sometimes companies require several types of customizations. So it is important to ensure that Third-Party Logistics is aware of the customizations when required, like customer experience or multi-channel capacity.

Positive reputation

A right Third-Party Logistics partner assures to meet all the current and future business requirements, and at the same time, they carry a positive reputation in the market. Moreover, a Third-Party Logistics partner has the capacity to get businesses to be connected to a huge network of vendors like packing vendors, marketing agencies, and more.

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All businesses must plan for future growth. Thus the 3PL must also be able to handle the change that comes on the way. The Third-Party Logistics partner must be able to propel the business forward and keep themselves up with the growth and not struggle.

To Conclude

Selecting the proper 3PL logistics for an e-commerce business needs extensive research and adequate evaluation based on several aspects like sophistication, technology, stability, customer service, customization, safety, omnichannel expertise, and more.

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Nevertheless, the advantage of investing in the right 3PL company is enormous. It will help businesses cater to the customers with better services and offer businesses the scope to grow and build a much stronger brand name in the market.

Featured Image Credits: Logistics Asia

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