How to Choose the Best 3PL Provider for Your E-commerce Business

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Finding the best third-party logistics (3PL) provider to increase the efficiency of your fulfilment services is not an easy task, especially with a lot of options to choose from. If you want to improve your e-commerce business’ logistics procedures, outsourcing a 3PL may be the best option for you. Not only will you achieve increased efficiency, but it will also give you more room to improve other aspects of your business, such as customer service and cost control.

Do you think hiring a third-party logistics delivery company is the best move for your business right now? Here are some tips on how you can choose the best one:

1. Research

Allot more than enough time to research every option on your shortlist. Look into a company’s history, experience, processes, resources, and anything unique that they can offer your business. Evaluate at least three 3PL providers before making your choice. However, if you don’t find a suitable candidate in your shortlist, it’s best that you look for more options than to settle for what you already have.

2. Consider the range of capabilities

Choose a company that can handle a wide variety of services in a timely and efficient manner. In this way, you can entrust your entire supply chain to a single 3PL provider, which can be more cost-effective than dealing with different providers.

3. Look for good tech

These days, advanced logistics technology is a must for all 3PL providers, especially if they want to keep up with competitors in the logistics industry. When considering a 3PL provider, look at the technology they have. At the very least, they should have a good tech system in place for crucial things such as management, reverse logistics, data sharing, and other basics.

cargo ships by the dock

4. Ensure flexibility and scalability

One of the first questions you have to ask yourself when looking for a 3PL company is, “can they keep up with my business’ growth?”. A 3PL provider should be able to handle your current needs and the needs you will have in the future as your business grows. To do this, a 3PL must grow alongside you, and if you don’t see the potential in them, you should probably move on to the next candidate.

5. Look at their contingency plans

Is the 3PL provider prepared for disruptions in the supply chain? Take a look at their mitigation and contingency plans for events like natural disasters, work shortages/stoppages, unavoidable transportation stoppages, and economic disasters.

6. Make stability a priority

You want your 3PL provider to work with you for as long as possible, so it’s best to find a company that has a good history. See if the provider can commit to further developments in their systems, facilities, technology, and equipment before you trust them with your business.

7. Ensure ease of communication

When you’re working with a 3PL, you would want a provider that can communicate efficiently. This way, they can listen to your needs, preferences, and visions for the future, which will help them mold their services for you accordingly.

Looking for a third-party logistics provider is often a long and tedious process. However, with these tips, you will not only make decision-making easier, but you will also have a better chance of finding the best provider possible.

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