How to Choose a 3rd-Party Fulfillment Provider


March 29, 2017

Selecting a 3rd Party Logistics provider ("3PL" or 3PF") is not as straightforward as you might like it to be. In this short post, we'll share our insights and highlight the 4 3PLs we've selected to seamlessly integrate into the Zentail platform.

When Amazon announced that brand neutral packaging for FBA Multichannel Fulfillment would be discontinued effective September 1, 2016, we took swift action to support our extensive customer base that was overly reliant on using FBA to fulfill their orders to channels outside of Amazon.

The first thing we did was poll our customers to understand which 3PLs they were most interested in and why. Next, we reached out to roughly 15 of the top US-based 3PLs to better understand their service offerings, technical capabilities and pricing structures.

It became obvious that in the world of 3rd Party Fulfillment, there isn't a one size fits all solution.

Not all 3PLs are created equal.

Some offer great value, while others offer a premium "white glove" service in designing your end customer's experience receiving and unpacking your product. Some have robust technical capabilities and the flexibility to offer custom integrations, while others are extremely limited as it relates to anything software. Some offer same day processing reliably, others need one day to get to your order. Some work with startups doing as little as 250 orders per month, others require 250 orders per day.

What kind of service are you looking for?

If you're selling your own branded product and you have high margins, you may be willing to pay slightly higher for a higher level of service. By this we mean everything from carefully branded packaging to 2-day ground fulfillment capabilities to 98% of the continental United States.

If you're selling competitive products on Walmart Marketplace and you're looking for an alternative to FBA, you're definitely going to want the lowest rates you can find.

One thing is true of any online retailer when it comes to fulfillment; you want consistency and confidence that your orders are shipping on time and the expectations of your customers are met without compromise.

Official Zentail Fulfillment Partners

Don't see your preferred 3PL on our list? We're able to integrate new partners quickly.

We're here to help you grow your online retail business. Visit our website to learn more about Zentail and let us know if you have any questions.

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