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How To Find The Best 3PL Company For Your eCommerce Business

It’s one thing to decide that a 3rd party logistics company is the right move for your eCommerce business and quite another to actually find that perfect 3PL match.

Before you even begin to consider pros and cons of different services, you have to locate them. Finding the best 3PL out there requires some detective work.

Where Do Good 3PLs Come From?

Third party logistics companies are just like any other company, you can look them up via social media or find them through their blogs.

However, unlike a pizza place, a 3PL will literally be acting as a partner who can shape your business’ future, so being positive about your choice is paramount. It’s not just a matter of calling the first 3rd party logistics company you see listed. Instead, go out into the world and ask about the 3PLs that other companies are using.

Members of your business network can provide endless amounts of intel about companies that they’ve worked with and their experiences. If you go into it knowing that 3PL XYZ is cheap, but incredibly slow, you’ll be able to keep that in mind when trying to juggle performance and price point.

If you haven’t networked with your fellow eCommerce business owners, reputation sites can give you some insight into what it’s like to work with any particular company. Just remember that customers are far more likely to complain about a bad experience than to brag about a good one.

If the 3PL in question responds thoughtfully to criticism, they may be in the process of trying to correct whatever defect was brought to their attention.

Thinking Locally or Globally?

When you’re considering a 3rd party logistics company, a major factor to consider is the company’s location. Do you want to cater to a global audience or just keep your customers local?

Nearshoring can offer attractive pricing, but if your customers are all local it will increase costs and shipping times, possibly coming out considerably more expensive in the long run than choosing a domestic 3PL.

On the other hand, if you mostly want to sell overseas, choosing a 3PL with a warehouse in your target country can speed up distribution time and minimize the red tape involved with getting shipments into the area.

November 09, 2017
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