3PL means outsourcing logistics to an outside company that manages your supply chain and ensures day-to-day operations. Most importantly, it deals with 3PL warehouse management and transportation procedures.
A 3PL eCommerce fulfillment center for local small businesses may offer return management, customs clearance, distribution center space, or freight forwarding. Such services are in great demand by businesses whether large or small as they allow clients to focus on their core business without interrupting their efforts.
The main steps of the 3PL process can be described as follows:
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Each order must be carefully inventoried prior to storage. It is important to avoid errors in the documentation that can lead to loss and short delivery.
The next step is to store the goods in the supplier's warehouse. After receiving the goods, the specialists distribute them to the appropriate processing centers. Each storage unit is stored separately in a suitable container or placed on a shelf.
Your 3PL provider should have storage capacity that meets your needs, as storage capabilities may vary. You must pay attention to the storage conditions your 3PL provider can offer. The main difference between 3PL and general warehousing is that 3PL manages the logistics center itself, while company warehousing gives you less storage space.
This is the first point in the order fulfillment process and means sourcing and exporting goods from warehouses to fulfill customer orders.
All selected items must be packed before shipping. The type of packaging material depends on the goods to be packaged, their size, and weight.
Then 3PL takes care of shipping your goods and there is the option of affixing a shipping label to the packaging on your behalf.
Sometimes buyers return their purchases to retailers for various reasons. In this case, the 3PL provider will guide the return, restock, or pick-up process depending on the condition of the item and the customer's return policy.