3PL: The Ultimate Partner of Online Shops

E-commerce and online shops are rapidly emerging this past few years, and it has become a trend for most people. They preferred to shop online because it’s more convenient and easy. Therefore, many businesses started promoting their products and services digitally. However, there are still things to consider this method. Since it is a one-stop-shop for many, companies must look for their partner in handling inventory and delivery. 3PL or a third party logistic provider is all you need to fulfill those tasks.

What is 3PL?

Third-Party Logistics (3PL) is one of the best ways to lessen online retailers’ time-consuming tasks. 3PL does all the work from warehousing inventory up to delivery. It is an effective ally to fulfill daily orders faster than if you do it on your own. Most e-commerce retailers recommend using 3PL because they don’t have to work on transportation, picking, and packing of the orders.

Online Shops Should Consider Using 3PL

All online shops should consider using 3PL. It will not only benefit the customers for fast delivery, but it also has an advantage for business owners since they could save more time and energy. Also, using 3PL allows you to reach international market that is interested with your product. Third-party logistic providers are able to deliver worldwide. They will handle all the costly documents and customs’ requirements without bothering you. If business owners will do it by themselves, there’s a big chance that some deliveries may delay. However, with 3PL, your customers could track and trace their packages. Their products are also guaranteed safe and secured since it is well-packed from the warehouse. Using 3PL for your business, whether it is small or big, is really worth it and will help you achieve high-satisfactory ratings from your customers.

A Guide to 3PL Logistics

3PL or third-party logistics are the ultimate partners of e-commerce retailers. They used it to reduce time-consuming tasks that are required for most online shops. All businesses, not only e-commerce retailers, aim to achieve high customer satisfaction. Therefore, if you are selling online, it is important that you hand over your customers’ orders in good condition. Partnering with third-party logistics guarantees that the products ordered by your customers are well-packed and delivered on time. The services provided by 3PL include pick-up, storing, packing, and shipping.

What are the consequences of using 3PL?

There are many benefits of using 3PL for your business. However, there are still things to consider in hiring one. Although all 3PL providers offer the same services, they still vary on flexibility and time efficiency. The following are some of the disadvantages you have to consider when you’re deciding whether 3PL is right for your business.

  • Delivery process is out of your control – Businesses can’t determine when a specific product could reach its buyer. Thus, they can’t help solve problems when shipping issues arise. It will be challenging for a business to explain and fix things up with its customers. The best thing to do is to find the most reliable 3PL provider.
  • Your products are far from you. – Whichever 3PL provider you choose to work with, your products will surely get far away from you. This can be badly arranged on the off chance that you have any quality control issues or feel like you need to truly review your stock for some reason.

Utilizing a 3PL gives a lot of advantages that can help elevate your business among all competitors. On the off chance that the 3PL jumbles up the requestor send orders late, you could lose a client and get hit with negative reviews. Those can add up and be hard to recuperate from. To prevent this from happening, consider researching for the best 3PL providers prior to collaborating with them.

A Closer look to 3PL Warehouse Management System

3PL or third-party logistic providers are the backbones of most e-commerce and online retailers. It reduces the tasks of business owners since they are the ones in charge of all the shipment processes. It includes the pick-up, packing of the package, inventory, and delivery. Let’s take a closer look at how third-party logistic providers do their tasks smoothly despite the pressure of massive orders online.

Every company aims to provide good quality service to their customers so they could expect repeat orders. Good feedback and positive reviews keep not only loyal customers but also attract new possible markets. Since the immense task of online shops relies on 3PL, there’s great pressure on their side. To keep a good reputation for their business, they are doing warehouse management to ensure everything is on the right track.

Third-party logistics has warehouse operators that manage the handling and storing of products. They are responsible for guaranteeing a safe, timely, and accurate shipment process of goods. Most 3PL providers are working with multiple businesses, so to make sure they are properly distributing the products, managing their warehouse is a must.

Here are some of the essential duties of warehouse operators:

  • Segregating products depending on the business who owns it – They prioritize the segregation of the items in the warehouse so it will be easier and faster for them to pick up the goods ordered from each business.
  • Warehouse inventory and package tracking – It is important that warehouse operators do inventory so they would know the availability of the products. It prevents them from encountering unnecessary problems when a buyer orders a sold-out product. In addition to that, they must also trace the location of the product so customers would feel secured with their orders.
  • Packing and shipping – Warehouse operators ensure that each product is well-packed since it will go a long journey before it reaches its owner. Aside from that, the impression of the business sometimes relies on how the products are shipped.

What is a 3PL? Third-Party Logistics and Ecommerce

Third-Party Logistics providers are being utilized through numerous e-commerce businesses to oversee and manage the supply chain management. 3PLs specialize in optimizing the supply chain and allow online stores to focus on other business and marketing operations.

These days, the business market is competitive and keeps costs down while increasing the efficiency and speed of a company’s logistics operations. The term 3PL is developed for efficient transferring of resources to areas where they are most needed. 3PL continued to grow as the deregulation of interstate trucking reduced the barriers to entry in the industry of freight management.

The third-party logistics in logistics and supply chain management is what the company uses as third-party businesses to outsource elements of the company’s order fulfillment services.

What services does 3PL provide?

  • Supply Chain Management – When a supply chain is well-oiled, it will be possible to achieve a successful e-commerce business. If your inbound freight delivery requirements are taken care of, it means that 3PL did an excellent job.
  • Warehousing – Physical goods must be stored at the same location; even an e-commerce merchant has no physical store. A 3PL will take care of the warehousing requirements. Investing in technology and space is required to run the warehouse efficiently.
  • Consolidation Service – It is rare for an e-commerce merchant to send a lot of small goods to the same location. In this situation, the whole can be lesser than the sum of the parts. Meaning to say, if small goods were consolidated into one shipment, shipping charges could be lowered. A service provider that sends several small packages as one large package is called consolidation service.
  • Order Fulfillment – In order fulfillment, it has to consider if the customers are receiving the right goods. The goods must reach the receiver on time and in good condition. An excellent third-party logistics service provider would take care of the order fulfillment requirements well.

The Pros of Using 3PLs

  • Customization – All internal packaging and boxes/bags are customized to a specific brand. Processes are adapted to a business’ specification and operation.
  • Warehouse Costing – The costing must be an attractive storage cost variable where customers pay for storage on a given month. Some 3PLs offer free warehouse storage only for a limited time.
  • Communication – There should be an onboarding process and frequent communication before and after product launch. A collaborative approach is highly-encouraged.
  • B2B (Business to Business) – Certain 3PLs can handle both B2B and B2C (Business to Consumer) fulfillment, resulting in one e-commerce fulfillment partner for all sales channels.

What is Amazon Prep?

The FBA Prep Service on Amazon is where products are being prepared and packed to fulfill the orders. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) has prep and packaging requirements for products to ship and store in Amazon fulfillment centers.

The preparing units help to reduce the delays in receiving time. The proper packaging process will protect the products while in the fulfillment centers. Through these processes, Amazon will give the customers a better experience.

In case a seller decides to use the FBA Prep Service, Amazon staff will prepare the eligible products for a per-unit fee. Once the seller built the shipping plan, Amazon will provide an estimated prep fee based on the expected services for the selected products.

How to prepare your products on Amazon?

  1. Set the quantity for shipments to Amazon
  2. Prepare products for FBA shipping
  3. Label the products
  4. Review/view shipments to Amazon
  5. Prepare shipment to Amazon
  6. Summary of the shipment process

How Does FBA Prep Service Work If You Sign Up?

  • There will be charges for products that Amazon prepares. There will be an applicable FBA Prep Service Fee that will be based on the services provided. The prep services the staff performs for the products are determined at Amazon’s sole discretion.
  • There will be separated fees for oversize and standard-size products.
  • The qualifying units may be split into additional shipments.
  • FBA Label Service may be automatically included for select products, and there will be an applicable charge per item.
  • FBA Prep Service may be discontinued at any time.

FBA Prep Service focuses on the packaging and labeling of the seller’s items. It is where importing goods were inspected too. It is necessary to check on goods before customers purchase them. This process will secure the satisfaction of customers and the expectations of sellers as well.

Considering a Prep Center for an Amazon FBA Business

What is a Prep Center?

A prep center is a service that receives, inspects, and prepares inventory for Amazon, then ship merchandise to Amazon. A prep center is also where retail arbitrage can be dropped off.

Sellers may find0 a local prep center or may use a prep center to receive an online arbitrage as well as wholesale deliveries across the U.S. An Amazon FBA Prep Center is a company that will ready items to be sent to Amazon FBA warehouse for the seller’s convenience.

What are The Benefits of Using Amazon Prep Center?

  1. It is not time-consuming preparing products.
  2. Dealing with inventories will not be a burden.
  3. The process of shipping and preparing supplies in stock will not be a problem.
  4. Potentially save on sales tax — There are prep centers located in states that don’t require to charge sales tax, and shipments to these centers are tax-free.
  5. Potentially save on inbound shipping fees — Some prep centers are closer to FBA warehouses. Through using a prep center for OA and wholesale deliveries, sellers may drop their inbound shipments.
  6. Potentially faster turnaround — Through the prep center’s help, their staff will send an inventory to FBA warehouses quicker without wasting a lot of time.
  7. More freedom — Using a prep center gives you the freedom to work on more practical tasks, utilize your time and space at home.

For many sellers, using a prep center is seems expensive for their businesses. But the use of a prep center was worth every penny to save time and space at home. Outsourcing and preparation for shipment would not be a burden.

Staying healthy and saving time are crucial to businesses, and finding the right prep center that can help you achieve both is great. Indeed, tangible progress towards a maintained work balance will follow.