Written by: BUSINESS

3pl Explained- What You Need To Know

If you run a retail business or any e-commerce business, then you already know how important a 3pl (third-party logistics) provider is. Having your logistic services as well as your supply chain management done well is key as far as success is concerned.

This means your business will have the capacity to focus on other important areas and initiatives such as product development, customer acquisition, and growth, as well as other potential growth opportunities. However, finding the best 3pl provider is not the easiest task your company can have.

3pl Provider Defined

So who or what is a 3pl? Simply put, this is a logistic provider that offers e-commerce business services like storing, packing, picking, receiving, and transporting goods. More than it sounds, these 3pl companies provide more than just these services.

They also offer advice on how best to handle this part of your business, cost effectively. They are more like your partners than just a 3pl service provider company. It means that you are relieved of tasks such as finding warehouses, or having to buy other essential equipment. 

Your general order fulfilment is taken care of by a third party and you don’t have to hire or manage labour. You also don’t have to keep too many in-house paperwork and documents, which make sure your focus is on the primary goal.

Benefits Of Working With 3pl Providers

Finding a good 3pl comes with multiple benefits. If you are looking to expand your customer base, grow your business, and skyrocket your earnings in the most cost effective way, here are some reasons you need third party logistics;

It Is Cost Effective

You get to save in multiple areas of your business by partnering with 3pl; you can save on infrastructure investments, hiring and managing labor, warehouses and other storage spaces, tracking technology, and much more. 

Work With Experienced Professionals And Experts 

The global market is quite complex and hard to tackle in today’s world. This makes it challenging to acquire and handle all internal knowledge and expertise in all the parts and regions required.

Working with a 3pl ensures experience, expertise, and professionalism in matters concerning international compliance, transport documentation, economic regulations, import and export, and more of such. This helps reduce delays, cut on cost, and help operations run faster and smoother.

Focus On The Primary And Core Competencies

Outsourcing logistics is a great way of freeing yourself from having to deal with non-core functions, which are also critical. It will instead give you the chance to focus on the core operations like marketing, development, and growth.

Boost Customer Service And Satisfaction

Most of the 3pl services point at improving the general customer service. This includes fast response time, greater brand reliability, timely deliveries, and everything customer care. This, in turn, equals to satisfied and happy customers.

What To Look For When Choosing 3pl Provider 

Finding a 3pl provider to work with is quite a process. You can easily go online and find a company but if you really want to choose the bets, you have to take your time and do your research. Here is what to look for;

The Services

After defining your requirements, you need to find out what services the company offers before signing a deal with them. The basic services include packing, transportation, and picking. But on the deeper side, take a look at their inventory management services and processes; their warehouses, services processes, and just about how they handle the entire process. 


This includes their distribution centers. They are one of the major factors to keeping cost low as far as shipping is concerned. Keep in mind that this, alongside other of your requirements could change as your company grows and see how that will be an impact. You don’t want to have to shift companies or find another company when you grow.


Take a look at the costs and of every service you are going to need. Make sure you don’t get surprise-costs at the bottom line. Get the full charges of on boarding, storage, customization, packaging, inventory receiving, picking and packing, kitting, shipping, and more.

Last modified: April 23, 2021