Order fulfillment is a necessary aspect of any eCommerce business owner’s day in order to keep their company going. However, when your company expands and orders begin to flow in, in-house fulfillment will become unsustainable owing to the enormous volume for a one-person band.
When this occurs, consider broadening your fulfillment plan, and for most firms, consider outsourcing fulfillment to a third-party logistics provider known as a 3PL.
If you want to start outsourcing fulfillment but are not sure how 3PL eCommerce Fulfillment functions, this article will walk you through the process so you can make the most of your new eCommerce fulfillment strategy and continue to expand your business.
The History of 3PL
Third-party logistics, or 3PL, is the process of outsourcing eCommerce logistics to a third-party organization such as The Delivery Group. Inventory management, warehousing, and, of course, fulfillment are among these procedures. Because we provide the tools and infrastructure to automate retail order fulfillment, 3PL providers enable eCommerce and online store merchants to do more than they could with in-house fulfillment.
The phrase “third-party logistics” originated in the 1970s and 1980s when businesses began to outsource inbound and outbound logistics activities to third parties. This word became prevalent during the eCommerce boom of the 1990s and early 2000s, and the services provided by these companies have grown tenfold.
When your product arrives at a 3PL warehouse, it is swiftly stored in a specialized storage space, such as a shelf, container, or pallet.
It is important to remember that you should aim to deal with a 3PL that has more than adequate storage space. This is done so that if your company and merchandise expand, so will your 3PL storage capacity.
The 3PL order fulfillment process begins the minute your consumer puts an order with your eCommerce site. While some 3PLs require manual uploading of customer orders to their system, which is inconvenient and time-consuming, other 3PLs use sophisticated technology that can integrate with your preferred eCommerce platform to bring orders, shipments, inventory tracking, stock levels, and more to one convenient location.
This simplified fulfillment procedure also enables automated shipment, which instantly delivers your client orders from your eCommerce shop to the systems as soon as they are placed. This means that the order will be assigned to an expert warehouse picking team without the need for manual involvement.
After each item has been selected to fulfill your customer’s purchase, the products must be properly packaged so that they may be transported safely. That will be handled by the 3PL provider you select.
Following select and pack, the next step is to dispatch your customer’s purchase. 3PLs have excellent ties with a variety of shipping suppliers, which allows us to negotiate cheaper shipping pricing and discounts for you and your clients.
Carriers and couriers such as DHL, UPS, Royal Mail, and Hermes pick up items from 3PL warehouses and send them to their destinations. The shipment speed is determined by the company’s partnerships and carrier policies, as well as the shipping alternatives you offer that your buyer selects.
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