The Ultimate Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Ecommerce Fulfillment and Solutions Overview in 2022

As eCommerce grows, so does the need for third-party logistics (3PL) services to help with fulfillment.

A 3PL can provide a wide range of solutions to help businesses handle the complexities of eCommerce order fulfillment.

In this guide, we will explore the different types of 3PLs, the services they offer, and how to choose the right 3PL for your business.

We will also look at case studies of businesses that successfully used 3PLs for their eCommerce fulfillment needs.

Finally, we will cover some of the emerging trends in 3PLs and what they mean for businesses.

By the end of this guide, you should have a better understanding of 3PLs and how they can benefit your business.


What Is 3PL?

Third-party logistics (3PL) is a type of outsourced service that provides businesses with comprehensive supply chain management services.

These services include storage and distribution, eCommerce order fulfillment, inventory management, warehousing, transportation, and more.

3PLs can offer additional value-added services such as kitting and assembly, cross-docking, packaging, custom labeling, returns processing, and product customization.

By leveraging the expertise of a 3PL provider, businesses can streamline their processes and optimize their supply chain operations to achieve greater efficiency and cost savings.

Furthermore, 3PLs give companies better control over their supply chain as they continuously monitor performance metrics such as on-time delivery and customer satisfaction to ensure that all objectives are met.

With 3PLs providing an integrated solution for handling each step in the process from procurement to final delivery - businesses have access to the latest technology, best practices for order fulfillment, and customer service management that helps them stay ahead of their competition.

What Are The Different Types Of E-Commerce Fulfillment Solutions In 2022?

Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is a fulfillment model in which eCommerce retailers send customer orders to third-party suppliers, who then ship the products directly to the customers.

This eliminates the need for the eCommerce retailer to carry any inventory since the supplier manages and ships all of the products.

Drop shipping is often used as a cost-effective way for small businesses to start selling online without investing in expensive inventory or storage facilities.

Some well-known drop shipping brands include Amazon, Walmart, and Nike. To learn more about starting a drop shipping business, read our guide on getting sales with drop shipping.

Pros and Cons of Drop Shipping


  • Low capital investment required.

  • No need to carry inventory.

  • Can outsource order fulfillment.

  • Access to supplier's inventory and products.


  • Low margins.

  • Lack of control over shipping and quality.

  • Potential for longer delivery times.

When is this perfect to use?

Drop shipping is an excellent option for businesses that are just starting and have a limited budget.

It allows them to start selling products without investing in inventory and storage space.

It also gives them access to various products without managing their stock.

Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) Fulfillment

D2C fulfillment is an eCommerce model in which the products are shipped directly to the customer from the supplier or manufacturer.

This eliminates any middleman or intermediary and allows businesses to save on storage and shipping costs.

This method is often used by brands that have warehouses or employ an external 3PL provider for order fulfillment services.

Some well-known brands that use D2C fulfillment are Apple, Ikea, and Zara.

Pros and Cons of Direct-To-Consumer Fulfillment


  • Lower operating costs.

  • Faster delivery times.

  • More control over shipping and quality.


  • Higher capital investment required.

  • Potential for delayed orders.

  • Difficult to scale quickly.

When is the perfect time to use this?

D2C fulfillment is an excellent option for businesses with the capital to invest in inventory and storage space.

It allows them to handle their order fulfillment and optimize their operations for faster delivery times while maintaining quality control over shipping.

This method is also well-suited for businesses that are looking to scale quickly, as they can manage their inventory and shipping operations.

Cross-Docking Services

Cross-docking is a type of eCommerce fulfillment service in which goods are transferred from one truck or train to another without being stored or processed.

This method allows businesses to move products more quickly between different points in the supply chain, allowing for faster delivery times and lower transportation costs.

Cross-docking is often used by businesses that require quick turnaround times for their merchandise or products that need to be shipped quickly.

Examples of businesses that use cross-docking include Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

Pros and Cons of Cross-Docking Services


  • Reduced inventory storage space.

  • Faster product transfers between different points in the supply chain.

  • Reduced shipping and transportation costs.


  • Higher labor costs for loading and unloading.

  • Potential for product damage or loss.

  • Difficult to scale quickly.

When is this perfect to use?

Cross-docking services are great for businesses that need to move products quickly between different points in the supply chain.

It can help reduce inventory storage costs and shipping times while also providing a more efficient way of transferring goods between warehouses or distribution centers.

This method is well-suited for businesses that require quick turnaround times or have products that must be shipped quickly.

Inventory Management Systems

Inventory management systems are software solutions that help businesses manage their inventory levels, track sales and shipments, and maximize efficiency.

This can include features such as product reordering, order tracking, barcode scanning, and automated reports.

Businesses often use these systems to ensure they have the right amount of stock on hand at all times.

Examples of companies that use inventory management systems include Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon.

Pros and Cons of Inventory Management Systems


  • Helps reduce overstock and out-of-stock situations.

  • Better visibility into product movement.

  • Efficiently manage stock levels.


  • Requires upfront investment in hardware or software.

  • Potential for inaccurate data if not implemented properly.

  • Extra cost for training.

When is this perfect to use?

Inventory management systems are great for businesses that need to track their productivity levels and ensure they have the right amount of stock on hand at all times.

These systems provide better visibility into product movement, helping businesses identify areas of improvement in their operations and reduce overstock or out-of-stock situations.

This method is well-suited for businesses with many products and a need to stay organized.

To learn more, read about the key features one should consider while picking inventory management software for their company.

Order Management System (OMS) Platforms

Order management system (OMS) platforms are software solutions that enable businesses to manage orders from multiple sales channels, track inventory levels, and optimize operations.

This can include features such as order tracking, automated reports, and analytical insights.

Businesses often use these systems to ensure efficient order fulfillment and reduce the potential for delayed orders.

Examples of companies that use OMS platforms include Shopify, Walmart, and Amazon.

Pros and Cons of Order Management System Platforms


  • Enables cross-channel process automation.

  • Better visibility into product movement.

  • Reduces potential for delayed orders.


  • Requires upfront investment in hardware or software.

  • Potential for inaccurate data if not implemented properly.

  • Extra cost for training.

When is this perfect to use?

Order management system (OMS) platforms are great for businesses that need to manage orders from multiple sales channels, track inventory levels, and optimize their operations.

These systems enable process automation across different channels and provide better visibility into product movement, helping businesses identify areas of improvement in their operations.

This method is well-suited for businesses with many sales channels or products that must be fulfilled quickly.

Value-Added Services (VAS)

Value-added services (VAS) are services that a company can offer to its customers in order to improve their experience and drive additional sales.

These can include features such as product customization, installation or assembly, packaging or labeling, and customer support.

Businesses often use these services to differentiate themselves from competitors and add value for their customers.

Examples of companies that use VAS include Apple, Ikea, and Amazon.

Pros and Cons of Value-Added Services


  • It helps create a competitive advantage.

  • Improves customer satisfaction.

  • It can be used to increase sales.


  • Requires upfront investment in hardware or software.

  • Potential for inaccurate data if not implemented properly.

  • Extra cost for training.

When is this perfect to use?

Value-added services (VAS) are great for businesses that must differentiate themselves from competitors and improve their customer experience.

These services can help create a competitive advantage by providing customers with added value.

This method is well-suited for businesses that have unique or specialized products and need to provide additional support in order to increase sales.

How To Choose The Right 3PL Service For Your Ecommerce Business

Choosing the right 3PL (third-party logistics provider) can be difficult, especially for eCommerce businesses.

So we’ve made a list of the best 3PL companies for you to pick.

But how exactly do you know what to look out for?

Here are some tips to consider:

Analyzing Your Ecommerce Business Needs

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you evaluate your eCommerce business needs:

Step 1: Assess Your Current Fulfillment Setup

Take a moment to think about your current fulfillment strategy, including the processes that are already in place. Consider how you want your products to reach customers and what kind of customer service support you're providing.

Step 2: Determine Your Ecommerce Fulfillment Goals & Objectives

Your 3PL should be able to handle all of your fulfillment needs. Ensure you clearly understand your goals and objectives regarding ordering fulfillment, including any specific requirements for the 3PL, such as meeting service-level agreements (SLAs) or providing tracking information.

Step 3: Understand Your Business's Product Mix & Total Volume Of Orders

It's important to understand how your product mix and total order volume will affect the cost of fulfillment services. Be sure to factor in any seasonal fluctuations or special promotions that may require additional resources or capabilities from your 3PL.

Step 4: Examine Your Budget & Cost Structure

A 3PL should be able to provide you with a detailed breakdown of its pricing structure, including any additional fees or charges. Be sure to factor in any additional costs that may arise from your fulfillment needs, such as shipping and packaging materials.

Step 5: Consider Customer Service Expectations

Your customers' experience is key to a successful eCommerce business. Make sure your 3PL can meet your customer service expectations, including any special requirements such as same-day or next-day delivery.

Evaluating Third-Party Logistics Providers (3PL)

Once you've determined your fulfillment needs and goals, it's time to evaluate 3PL providers.

Here are some key factors to consider when evaluating 3PLs:

  • Research potential 3PL providers and their services.

  • Request a quote from a shortlist of suitable providers.

  • Review 3PL provider's references & customer feedback.

  • Check for certifications and industry compliance.

  • Make sure the 3PL provider offers technology integration options.

  • Assess the level of service, support, and scalability.

  • Verify that the 3PL provider can meet your cargo shipping needs.

  • Review their pricing structure & negotiate terms.

  • Get a clear understanding of contractual obligations & sales.

  • Make sure the 3PL is capable of handling returns efficiently.

  • Consider their environmental policies & practices.

Making Your Final Decision

The last step in choosing a 3PL is to make your final decision. While doing so, you will need to consider the following:

Selecting a 3PL that meets all your requirements

Once you have a shortlist of 3PL providers, it's time to make a final selection. Ensure the provider meets all your requirements and is a good fit for your business.

Consider any additional costs, customer service expectations, and contractual terms before making your decision.

Carefully consider all potential pros and cons

Make sure to weigh up all the pros and cons of working with a 3PL provider. Consider how their services will benefit your business, their pricing structure, customer service levels, and scalability.

Drafting a legal agreement and signing the contract

Once you've decided, it's time to draft a contract with the 3PL provider. This should cover all aspects of the agreement, including pricing, terms, and conditions.

Make sure you're both on the same page and there is no ambiguity in your legal agreement.

Conducting a trial run with the 3PL provider

Before signing the contract and working with the 3PL provider, it's a good idea to conduct a trial run.

This will give you an opportunity to assess their services and make sure they can meet your needs.

Monitoring & assessing the performance of the 3PL provider

Once you've begun working with the 3PL provider, monitoring their performance is important.

Make sure they're meeting your expectations and that they are providing quality services.

Refine your strategy to ensure continued success with 3PL services

As you work with the 3PL provider, consider ways to refine your fulfillment strategy.

Look for opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce costs and ways to enhance customer experience.

Re-evaluate your 3PL provider regularly

It's important to re-evaluate your 3PL provider regularly. Consider whether their services still meet your needs and how they could be improved.

This will allow you to make sure you're getting the best value for money.

Finally, launching your store doesn't have to be a stressful process. Choosing the right 3PL provider can ensure that your store is successful and that customer orders are fulfilled on time.


Choosing the right 3PL provider is essential for your business's success. Here are some of the key takeaways to consider:

  • Make sure you take the time to research potential providers

  • Review their references and customer feedback

  • Check for certifications and compliance

  • Assess their level of service, support, scalability, and pricing structure

  • Make sure you understand contractual obligations and sales

  • Consider their environmental policies and practices

We hope you've found this article helpful. If you have, please share it with your friends and colleagues.

Good luck with the process of finding a 3PL provider! 


What Are Monthly Carrying Costs And How To Reduce It

Inventory is a non-liquid asset for companies that sell physical goods and must be transformed into cash through earnings. The profitability of a company is based on how well it controls this process. Carrying cost is a crucial indicator to pay attention to because it often represents 15–30% of a company's overall inventory value.

A business can maximize earnings by using effective inventory management procedures that minimize carrying costs down to 15% of total inventory. Carrying costs can rise to or even exceed 30% of the total amount in cases of inadequate inventory management, which reduces profitability.

Here is a summary of what the monthly carrying costs are and some suggestions to lower them so there won't be any unpleasant shocks once you get the keys.

What Are Monthly Carrying Costs?

Carry costs are any charges incurred by the owner while holding an investment property. Among other things, these expenses typically cover utilities, debt servicing, taxes, and insurance.

Because they have an impact on a property's budget and cash flow, carry costs must be quantified because they affect the return on investment (ROI) and capitalization rate. Given that one will be aware of the number of expenses they will incur simply by owning the property, understanding the carry cost of an asset may also aid in determining how much rent to charge a renter.

Carry costs may also be referred to as holding costs or carrying costs. It is referred to as a holding cost since it is a constant sum that the investor must pay while keeping the property (often monthly). A burden associated with owning or holding the asset is the carry cost.

Carrying costs still apply, whether the investor plans to rent out the property after fixing it up or buys it to fix and flip. The owner will want to sell the property as soon as possible in a fix-and-flip. Carry costs cause the investor's return to decline each month.

There are four categories of inventory carrying costs:

Capital Costs

Capital costs include the price of acquiring inventory or raw materials as well as related financial costs like interest and loan service charges. The largest share of the overall inventory value, or around 25%, goes to this cost type.

Inventory Service Costs

costs associated with maintaining products in the warehouse, including taxes, fees for inventory software, hardware purchases, and insurance.

Inventory Risk Costs

Costs associated with inventory risk include those associated with unsold inventory owing to obsolescence, expiration, or damage, as well as product shrinkage brought on by theft or sloppy record-keeping. Furthermore, if you keep products in the inventory for too long, their worth can decline from what it was before.

Inventory Storage Space Costs

It is the price of moving goods into and out of the warehouse, buying or renting warehouse space, and covering the costs of maintaining the warehouse's physical security, temperature monitoring, and utility/utility management. These expenses are set in stone and predictable if you own your warehouse. The price of contracting out storage and shipping operations to third parties (3PL) might vary based on usage and volume.

How To Reduce Carrying Costs and Take Profits?

Increase the Pace of Inventory Turnover

Increasing the percentage of items sold is a practical strategy to lower the carry cost of inventory. Reduce the amount of time inventory items remain on your shelves.

By unloading inventory when it still has value, you can eliminate obsolete inventory. If you don't make a decision soon enough, you might have to pay to throw them away or dispose of them.

Every month, evaluate the sales of every product to determine whether they are progressing as anticipated. If sales are higher or lower than anticipated, adjust. Promotions can help when you're using your inventory too slowly.

Once again, improving your inventory turnover rate will require the capacity to interpret unique business patterns and market forecasts. Because of this, you can avoid keeping unnecessary stock in the warehouse and save money and space by constantly inspecting inventory.

Pay Attention to the Minimum Order quantity

A supplier's minimum acceptable order size is referred to as a "minimum order quantity" (MOQ). Lowering the MOQ will result in you retaining less inventory but making purchases more frequently, which will lower your inventory's cost. Your company can be more flexible as demand shifts to smaller, more regular orders.

The best way to lower your MOQ is to establish strategic alliances with your main suppliers. If suppliers believe you are committed to developing long-term, beneficial business relationships with them, it will be simpler to negotiate cheaper orders.

You may pool your resources and divide the stock amongst yourselves if you know another business owner who needs the same stock. Offering to pay your supplier a bit extra for less inventory is another approach to lowering your MOQs. This could result in you making more money overall and lowering your cost of inventory.

Utilize Inventory Management Software

Think about the advantages of using software for inventory management and automating daily operations rather than manually managing inventories. You can increase visibility throughout your supply chain to always know what's in stock, what's on order, and where things are with a digital Inventory System.

You may use custom reports to optimize inventory levels, fine-tune pricing tactics, and identify the optimum warehousing approach to lower holding costs if your inventory management system incorporates data from purchases, order fulfillment, and supply planning.

Get Rid of Outdated Inventory

Many internet retailers encounter the problem of obsolete stock frequently. In general, when you overestimate a product's potential, you risk having a lot of unsold inventory due to a lack of consumer demand.

The drawback of this is that it raises your holding expenses because unsold merchandise is kept on hand and precious warehouse space is wasted that could be put to better use. Monitoring the life cycles for each of your goods and using more accurate estimations when making purchases are two ways you may reduce this problem.

You will actually be able to make better choices when sourcing more inventory if you have a better understanding of both the lifecycle of a product and the trends in client demand.


Don't let your company be in the dark about the price of keeping inventory. You may spot inventory inefficiencies and eradicate them by routinely calculating carrying costs. You can also set benchmarks to direct future business decisions. More favorable profitability and better cash flow are the results of lower carrying expenses. The advantages can then be shared with your consumers and reinvested in your company to ensure future growth.

How to Grow Traffic to a New Ecommerce Site

More traffic can mean more sales. And even if you don’t see a massive upswing in sales straight away—growing traffic is better than avoiding it.

It’s simple: When you grow traffic to a new ecommerce site, you not only get those crucial first few customers through the door, but you can also create consistent avenues of revenue. 

In this article, we’ll look at a few ways to increase traffic to a new ecommerce site (even if no one has heard of you before). 

Run Ads on Social Media 

97% of marketers promote their content on social media because they know their customers are on there.

But how do you outmuscle so much competition?

You can start by running social media ads. 

Paid social media ads can eat into your budget if they aren’t monitored correctly. 

But they can allow you to put together targeted campaigns that are aimed at the right people. 

The beauty of this is twofold: You can use social media ads to direct potential customers to your ecommerce store while at the same time increasing your social media following. 

Not just that, but social media ads such as Facebook ads and Instagram ads can require a fairly low amount of resources—and they can bring a large ROI quickly. There are some tools companies can use to export Instagram analytics and get an overall idea of what’s going on.

Run Contests 

People will always love free stuff. As a new ecommerce store, one of the best ways you can drive traffic is by running contests/giveaways—whereby anyone who takes part has a chance of winning free stuff from you. This might be a discount, it might be free shipping, or it could be a free gift. 

Naturally, contests aren’t sustainable avenues of traffic in the long-term. But you can drive huge amounts of traffic and get people onto your email list at the same time (the premise is simple—participants must hand over their email address to enter your contest). 

There are tools that help you create contests from scratch but the golden rules are always the same: Keep things simple, keep the contest relevant to your audience and make it fun. 

If you invest in these types of ecommerce software tools to support your business—you may benefit from seeking out ecommerce and SaaS financing.

Launch a Content Marketing Campaign

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that will require much planning and hard work. It will take time to pay off, but organic traffic remains one of the best ways to attract qualified traffic to your store. 

With content marketing, you can write blog posts or create podcasts that provide information to potential customers about your products and niches. And you can also demonstrate how your products work and why they will benefit your customers. 

Content marketing is also one of the best ways to build trust with customers and position yourself as the store with solutions to their problems. 

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips:

  • Work with an SEO agency. These will help you plot a content marketing strategy that works. 

  • Spy on your competitors. What kind of content are other eCommerce stores creating? You can use tools like BuzzSumo to help with this. 

  • Be consistent. Publish new blog posts a few times a week. To help with this, create a content calendar so that you know what you’re doing each week. 

  • Leverage user-generated content. UGC is content your customers create, such as photos of them using your products. Integrate this as much as possible into your campaigns!

  • Hire an AdWords expert and use Google AdWords to promote your content. 

Work With Influencers 

Influencers already have what you’re looking for—an audience. They also have an audience who trusts them. This means if they recommend your products to their followers, their followers will automatically be inclined to trust you, too. 

Can your new online store work with influencers and direct their traffic to your brand new store?

You can, but you will need to fight for their attention because you won’t be the only online store doing this. 

Here are some things to bear in mind: 

  • Do your research. You want to ensure that an influencer has the same audience as you. This naturally means that a cosmetic store will seek out influencers who promote cosmetics. However, it’s important to look deeper to make sure an influencer and their audience have the same values and principles as you. 

  • Check their metrics. An influencer might have 10,000 followers—but what if barely any of them engage with their content? A smart idea is to check their social media profiles for likes and comments so that you know whether or not an influencer is worth your time. 

  • Reach out to them and get their trust. Once you’ve identified an influencer, it’s time to introduce yourself and present how the two of you can work together. What will you do for them in exchange for them promoting your product(s)? Remember, all influencer partnerships must be mutually beneficial! 


New eCommerce stores have a lot of work to do if they’re to compete with established stores for traffic. But the good news is that plenty of customers out there will willingly shop. They may even become loyal customers provided you can direct them to your store in the first place and demonstrate that you’re a store worth trusting. 

Make a start by implementing the tips above. Don’t stop there, make sure to test all your campaigns to see what’s working (and what isn’t) and make the necessary adjustment that ensures a steady stream of traffic to your store. 

A Guide to Supplemental Benefits Insurance

When injuries or diseases strike, supplemental health insurance can be a way of paying for unexpected medical expenses. Even if somebody has healthcare coverage, if they are diagnosed with a serious health condition or are injured, they may face all manner of expenses that are not covered by their health insurance plan. Copays, coinsurance, and deductibles are just some along with additional expenses at home for transportation, childcare and more. An increasing number of companies are now offering supplemental health insurance as a voluntary benefit that is covered by employees. These plans pay cash benefits directly to the employee with the coverage to be used in any way that they see fit. 

How Supplemental Insurance Works

Supplemental health insurance is designed to assist with paying for any unexpected costs that may not be covered by regular health insurance. Employees receive cash payments directly from the insurance company based on them being diagnosed, admitted to hospital, or treated for injuries and health conditions that are covered by the plan. It’s usually quite a straightforward process, and the cash can be used by the employee for any costs that they see fit, including for non-medical costs such as buying groceries or paying for childcare, reducing the financial impact of being injured or recovering from an illness. 

Accident Insurance

Accident insurance is one of the most popular supplement insurance benefits to offer. It provides benefits for a range of different accidental injuries that require medical treatment, hospitalization or urgent care, including common injuries like fractures and burns. It will also cover a range of treatment and recovery services like transportation in an ambulance or physical therapy. Payouts are based on the treatments that are covered, regardless of whether or not there is a health insurance plan in place to cover some of the costs. 

Cancer Insurance

Cancer insurance is a type of supplemental health insurance benefit that pays an employee out with a lump-sum payment upon the diagnosis of cancer. The money can be used for any purpose and is made directly to the employee regardless of any medical insurance coverage that they have. It is designed to help with the cost of diagnosis, screenings, treatment, and any other associated costs the employee incurs throughout cancer treatment. 

Critical Illness Insurance

This kind of supplemental health insurance is designed to complement existing disability or medical insurance plans. It provides a lump-sum payment that is made to the employee directly if they are diagnosed with one of a number of different chronic, major and debilitating health conditions like cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, or heart attack. 

Hospital Indemnity Insurance

This supplemental insurance benefit is designed to reduce the financial impact of higher health plan deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for hospitalization for an employee. It is designed to provide a payout directly to any employee who is admitted to the hospital or an ICU for an injury or health condition that is covered by the plan. 

For employers, simply offering health insurance is no longer enough. When it comes to making sure that your employees have complete peace of mind regarding their health, supplemental health insurance benefits can help.