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Say Goodbye to Logistics Headaches: How to Evaluate 3PL Providers

So, you’ve finally decided to pass the baton of your storage and distribution operations to someone else. Congrats! But hold up, now comes the tough part – finding the perfect third-party logistics (3PL) provider for your business. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack, but with more trucks and warehouses involved. Good luck, my friend!  

As businesses grow, managing logistics becomes a more complex task. Outsourcing logistics to third-party logistics (3PL) providers can alleviate this burden. However, not all 3PL providers are created equal, and selecting the right one requires careful evaluation. This article will provide a step-by-step guide to evaluating 3PL providers and ensuring they meet your business’s unique needs.

Benefits of working with 3PL

A 3PL provider is a third-party logistics provider that offers logistics services to businesses. These services can include transportation, warehousing, order fulfillment, and other logistics-related services. 3PL providers can help businesses streamline their logistics operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

Working with a 3PL provider offers several benefits, including:

  • Expertise: 3PL providers specialize in logistics and have the expertise to manage logistics operations effectively.
  • Cost savings: Outsourcing logistics to a 3PL provider can be more cost-effective than managing it in-house, as 3PL providers can leverage economies of scale to reduce costs.
  • Scalability: 3PL providers can scale their services up or down as a business’s needs change, making them an ideal solution for businesses that experience seasonal or fluctuating demand.
  • Focus: Outsourcing logistics to a 3PL provider allows businesses to focus on their core competencies and strategic goals rather than logistics management.

Factors to Consider When Evaluating a 3PL Provider

When evaluating 3PL providers, several factors should be considered to ensure they meet your business’s unique needs. These factors include:

Experience and Reputation

The experience and reputation of a 3PL provider are crucial factors to consider. Look for providers that have a track record of success in your industry and can provide references. Additionally, consider their experience in managing logistics operations similar to yours.

Services Offered

Not all 3PL providers offer the same services. Consider the services you need and ensure the 3PL provider can provide them. Additionally, consider their flexibility in providing customized solutions to meet your specific needs.

Technology and Infrastructure

Technology and infrastructure are critical to effective logistics management. Consider the technology and systems the 3PL provider uses and ensure they are compatible with your own. Additionally, consider the provider’s facilities and infrastructure, including warehouses, transportation networks, and IT systems.

Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are essential to successful logistics management. Consider the provider’s communication channels and protocols, and ensure they have a dedicated point of contact for your business. Additionally, consider their ability to work collaboratively with your team and provide regular updates on logistics operations.

Cost and Flexibility

Cost is an important factor when evaluating 3PL providers. Consider the provider’s pricing structure and ensure it is transparent and flexible enough to accommodate your business’s changing needs. Additionally, consider the provider’s ability to scale services up or down as your business evolves.

Questions to Ask When Evaluating a 3PL Provider

To ensure the 3PL provider you choose meets your business’s unique needs, ask the following questions:

Can you provide References?

A reputable 3PL provider should be able to provide references from satisfied customers. Contact these references to get a sense of the provider’s track record of success and ability to meet their customers’ unique needs.

What experience do you have in my industry?

Choose a 3PL provider that has experience in managing logistics operations similar to yours. This experience will ensure the provider understands your business’s unique needs and can provide customized solutions to meet them.

How Do You Handle Special Requirements or Unforeseen Issues?

Logistics operations can be unpredictable, and unforeseen issues can arise. Ask the provider how they handle special requirements or unexpected issues to ensure they have a contingency plan in place.

How do you ensure data security?

Data security is critical when outsourcing logistics operations. Ask the provider how they ensure data security and what protocols they have in place to protect sensitive information.

How do you handle disputes or conflicts?

Disputes or conflicts can arise in any business relationship. Ask the provider how they handle disputes or conflicts to ensure they have a fair and transparent process for resolving any issues that may arise.

Wrapping up

Outsourcing logistics operations to a 3PL provider can be an excellent solution for businesses looking to streamline their logistics operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. However, selecting the right 3PL provider requires careful evaluation of factors such as experience, services offered, technology and infrastructure, communication and collaboration, cost, and flexibility. By asking the right questions and carefully considering these factors, businesses can find a 3PL provider that meets their unique needs.

Do you want more information about the benefits of working with 3PL? Email [email protected] or call us at 818-510-1499. Let’s talk about your third-party logistics needs.


Ship Smarter, Not Harder: How 3PL Can Save You on Shipping Expenses

Are you tired of constantly worrying about your shipping expenses and looking for ways to reduce them? Look no further than third-party logistics (3PL) providers. In today’s global economy, shipping costs can be a significant expense for businesses of all sizes. Many companies struggle with finding ways to reduce their shipping costs while still providing fast and reliable service to their customers. One solution to this problem is to partner with a third-party logistics provider (3PL). In this article, we will explore how a 3PL can help you save on shipping costs and improve your overall logistics strategy.

“Free shipping is the magic word that makes online shoppers fill up their virtual shopping carts.”

– Amy Gesenhues

According to the survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, 75% of consumers surveyed expect delivery to be free even on orders under $50. Additionally, Parcel Monitor in partnership with Rakuten Insights, found out that 59% of e-commerce shoppers will spend more if there is free shipping, and Baymard Institute research shows that too high shipping costs are one of the main reasons for cart abandonment. Therefore, either offering free shipping or fair shipping rates can improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and ultimately lead to long-term business growth and success. 

Based on the figures mentioned, business owners should evaluate their current shipping policies and determine if changes are needed to align with customer expectations. Here’s how 3PL can help you save on shipping costs: 

  1. Negotiating better shipping rates

One of the primary ways that a 3PL can help you save on shipping costs is by negotiating better rates with carriers. 3PLs have significant buying power and can negotiate volume discounts that are not available to individual businesses. By partnering with a 3PL, businesses can access these discounted rates and save money on their shipping costs.

  1. Providing access to multiple carriers

Another benefit of working with a 3PL is that they can provide access to multiple carriers. This allows businesses to compare rates and choose the carrier that offers the best combination of price and service for their specific needs. With access to multiple carriers, businesses can avoid being locked into a single carrier which may not be the most cost-effective option.

  1. Optimizing shipping routes

A 3PL can also help businesses optimize their shipping routes to reduce costs. By analyzing shipping data and using sophisticated software, a 3PL can identify the most efficient routes and modes of transportation. This can help businesses reduce transportation costs and improve delivery times.

  1. Offering warehousing and fulfillment services

In addition to transportation services, many 3PLs offer warehousing and fulfillment services. By outsourcing these functions to a 3PL, businesses can reduce their overhead costs and improve their overall logistics efficiency. A 3PL can provide warehousing space, inventory management, order fulfillment services, and many more services that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each business.

  1. Providing technology solutions

Finally, many 3PLs offer technology solutions that can help businesses reduce shipping costs. For example, a 3PL may offer a transportation management system (TMS) that can automate the shipping process and provide real-time visibility into shipping costs. This can help businesses identify cost-saving opportunities and make more informed logistics decisions.


Partnering with a 3PL can be a smart strategy for businesses to reduce their shipping costs and improve their logistics processes. By leveraging the expertise and buying power of a 3PL, businesses can negotiate better rates, access multiple carriers, optimize shipping routes, outsource warehousing and fulfillment services, and utilize technology solutions to reduce costs. If you’re looking to improve your logistics strategy and save on shipping costs, consider partnering with a 3PL.


1. How do I know if 3PL is right for my business?

If your business has a significant logistics operation that takes up a lot of time and resources or if you’re looking for ways to save money on shipping expenses, then 3PL could be a good fit. It’s important to evaluate your business needs and determine if outsourcing logistics services makes sense for you.

2. Are there any downsides to using 3PL?

While there are many benefits to using 3PL, there are also potential downsides. One potential drawback is a loss of control over your logistics operations. You’ll need to trust your 3PL provider to make decisions on your behalf. Additionally, 3PL providers may have less visibility into your business operations, which can create challenges when it comes to managing inventory and meeting customer expectations.

3. Can 3PL providers handle international shipments?

Yes, many 3PL providers have experience handling international shipments. They can help navigate customs and regulations, choose the best carrier and shipping mode, and provide visibility into the status of international shipments.

4. Is it more expensive to use a 3PL provider?

While there are costs associated with using a 3PL provider, the overall cost savings can outweigh these expenses. 3PL providers have established relationships with carriers and can negotiate better rates. They also have the expertise to optimize shipping routes and reduce transportation costs. Additionally, outsourcing logistics services can free up time and resources for other aspects of your business.

5. How do I choose the right 3PL provider?

Choosing the right 3PL provider depends on your business needs and goals. Some factors to consider when evaluating providers include their experience in your industry, their network of carriers and warehouses, their technology capabilities, and their customer service. It’s also important to evaluate pricing and service level agreements to ensure you get the best value for your money.


Automation in 3PL Warehouses: Benefits, Challenges, and Trends

Automation is a hot topic in 3pl providers nowadays. In fact, according to a recent survey by the logistics software company Descartes, nearly 70% of logistics professionals believe that automation will be a key driver of growth for the industry over the next five years. As the logistics industry continues to evolve, technology has become a driving force behind increased efficiency and productivity. Of course, implementing automation in 3pl warehouse operations is not without its challenges. Get to know in this blog the benefits, challenges, and trends associated with automating 3pl warehouse operations.

The Benefits of Automation in 3PL Warehouses

Automating warehouse operations offers several benefits, including:

  1. Increased Efficiency: Automation reduces the need for manual labor, which means faster and more accurate processing times. Automated systems can handle repetitive tasks, such as sorting and labeling, freeing up employees to focus on more complex tasks.
  1. Improved Accuracy: Automated systems are more accurate than human workers, which reduces errors and improves the overall quality of service. This is especially important when it comes to order fulfillment, where accuracy is critical.
  1. Cost Savings: Automation can reduce labor costs and increase productivity, resulting in cost savings for 3pl providers. Additionally, automated systems can help reduce waste, which can further cut costs.
  1. Scalability: As warehouses grow, automation can help them keep up with demand without the need for additional manual labor. Automated systems can handle higher volumes of orders, making it easier to scale operations.

Challenges of Automation in 3PL Warehouses

While there are many benefits to automating warehouse operations, there are also some challenges to consider. These include:

  1. High Upfront Costs: Implementing automation can be expensive, especially for smaller 3pl providers. The cost of equipment, installation, and maintenance can add up quickly.
  1. Training: Employees need to be trained on how to use and maintain automated systems. This can be time-consuming and requires a significant investment in resources.
  1. Integration: Automated systems need to be integrated with existing warehouse management software, which can be complex and challenging.
  1. Maintenance: Automated systems require regular maintenance to ensure they continue to operate efficiently. This can be time-consuming and costly.

Trends in Automation in 3PL Warehouses

The use of automation in 3pl warehouses is on the rise, and there are several trends to watch:

  1. Robotics: Robotics is one of the most significant trends in automation, with the use of robots for picking, sorting, and packing orders increasing. Robotics can improve efficiency and accuracy while reducing labor costs.
  1. Artificial Intelligence: AI is being used to optimize warehouse operations, from predicting demand to automating the routing of orders. AI can help warehouses operate more efficiently and make data-driven decisions.
  1. Internet of Things (IoT): IoT technology is being used to connect warehouse equipment and sensors, allowing for real-time monitoring and analysis of warehouse operations. This can help optimize processes and identify potential issues before they become problems.
  1. Autonomous Vehicles: Autonomous vehicles, such as drones and self-driving trucks, are being used to transport goods within warehouses and between facilities. This can improve efficiency and reduce the need for manual labor.


The rise of automation in 3pl warehouses is changing the game and revolutionizing the logistics industry. While automation offers numerous benefits such as increased efficiency, improved accuracy, cost savings, and scalability, it also comes with challenges such as high upfront costs, training requirements, integration issues, and maintenance needs. As technology continues to evolve, trends such as robotics, AI, IoT, and autonomous vehicles will shape the future of 3pl warehousing. 3pl providers need to stay up-to-date with these trends and carefully consider the benefits and challenges of implementing automation in their warehouses to stay competitive in the rapidly evolving logistics landscape.


Optimizing Your 3PL Partnership: Best Practices for Effective Collaboration

As businesses continue to expand and grow, they often require the services of a third-party logistics (3PL) provider to manage their supply chain operations. A 3PL can provide businesses with a range of services such as warehousing, pick/pack, inventory management, transportation, and distribution. However, to ensure that the partnership is effective, it’s important to optimize the collaboration between the business and the 3PL provider. In this article, we’ll discuss the best practices for optimizing your 3PL partnership for effective collaboration.

In recent years, businesses have increasingly relied on 3PL providers to manage their supply chain operations. A 3PL provider can offer businesses a range of services such as warehousing, transportation, and distribution, which can help streamline their operations and reduce costs. However, to ensure that the partnership is effective, it’s important to optimize the collaboration between the business and the 3PL provider.

Optimizing Your 3PL Partnership: Best Practices for Effective Collaboration

To optimize your 3PL partnership for effective collaboration, consider the following best practices:

Establish clear communication channels

  1. Clear communication is critical to the success of any partnership. Establishing clear communication channels with your 3PL provider can help ensure that everyone is on the same page. This can include regular meetings, progress reports, and performance metrics.

Define expectations

  1. To ensure that the partnership is effective, it’s important to define your expectations. This includes defining your goals, timelines, and quality standards. Make sure that your 3PL provider understands your expectations and is capable of delivering on them.

Build trust

  1. Trust is a critical component of any partnership. Building trust with your 3PL provider can help ensure that they are fully invested in your success. This can include sharing information, providing feedback, and treating your 3PL provider as a valued partner.

Collaborate on problem-solving

  1. Supply chain operations can be complex and unpredictable. Collaborating with your 3PL provider on problem-solving can help ensure that any issues are resolved quickly and efficiently. This can include identifying areas for improvement and developing action plans to address them.

Continuously evaluate performance

  1. To ensure that your 3PL partnership remains effective, it’s important to continuously evaluate performance. This can include analyzing key performance indicators, reviewing feedback from customers, and identifying areas for improvement.


Q: What is a 3PL provider?

A: A third-party logistics (3PL) provider is a company that provides logistics services to businesses. This can include warehousing, transportation, and distribution.

Q: What are the benefits of partnering with a 3PL provider?

A: Partnering with a 3PL provider can offer businesses a range of benefits such as reduced costs, increased efficiency, and improved customer satisfaction.

Q: How can I optimize my 3PL partnership?

A: To optimize your 3PL partnership, consider establishing clear communication channels, defining expectations, building trust, collaborating on problem-solving, and continuously evaluating performance.


Partnering with a 3PL provider can offer businesses a range of benefits such as reduced costs, increased efficiency, and improved customer satisfaction. However, to ensure that the partnership is effective, it’s important to optimize the collaboration between the business and the 3PL provider. By establishing clear communication channels, defining expectations, building trust, collaborating on problem-solving, and continuously evaluating performance, businesses can ensure that their 3PL partnership is optimized for effective collaboration.


Amazon vs Walmart: The Battle for E-commerce Supremacy

In the world of e-commerce, two giants stand tall: Amazon and Walmart. Both companies have been around for decades and have revolutionized the way people shop. However, only one can claim the title of the king of e-commerce. In this blog, we will take a closer look at Amazon and Walmart, their market share, and the factors that contribute to their success.

Amazon: The Pioneer of Online Shopping

Over the years, the company has expanded into a vast array of product categories, including electronics, clothing, groceries, and more. Today, Amazon is the largest e-commerce company in the world, with a market capitalization of over $1.5 trillion.

One of the reasons Amazon has been so successful is its focus on customer experience. The company has made shopping as easy and convenient as possible, offering features like one-click ordering, free two-day shipping for Prime members, and a vast selection of products. Amazon has also invested heavily in new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to improve the shopping experience for its customers.

There’s nothing Amazon doesn’t get into & lead by first principles. There’s nothing that’s not ripe for innovation! In their words, “it’s always Day 1”

Walmart: The Brick-and-Mortar Giant Goes Digital

Walmart has been known for its massive brick-and-mortar stores and its commitment to low prices. In recent years, however, Walmart has made a major push into e-commerce, recognizing the growing importance of online shopping.

Walmart has several advantages over its competitors, including its vast network of stores and its strong logistics capabilities. This allows the company to offer same-day pickup and delivery services, which is a big selling point for customers. Walmart has also made a major investment in technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to enhance the online shopping experience.

Total Walmart stores in United States… this map is staggering

Market Share of E-commerce Sales

According to recent data, Amazon dominates the e-commerce market with a 38% share of all online sales in the United States. Walmart, on the other hand, has a 7% share of the market. While Amazon is ahead, Walmart has made significant progress in recent years and is closing the gap.

Final Thoughts

Both Amazon and Walmart are powerhouses in the world of e-commerce, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Amazon has a significant lead in the market, but Walmart is making a strong push to close the gap. The competition between these two companies is only heating up, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the coming years.

Both companies have invested heavily in technology and customer experience, and it will be fascinating to see how they continue to evolve and grow in the future.

It’s clear Amazon is leading the way but do you think Walmart, other marketplaces or direct-to-consumer sites will have a bigger grasp in the market share of eCommerce?


The Power of Third-Party Logistics: How 3PLs are Revolutionizing eCommerce Selling

In today’s world, eCommerce has become a major player in the retail industry, with tens of millions of people shopping online every day. As eCommerce continues to grow and evolve, the need for efficient and reliable logistics has become increasingly important. Third-Party Logistics (3PL) providers have emerged as a solution to the challenges faced by eCommerce sellers and have become an integral part of the eCommerce ecosystem.

A 3PL is a company that provides outsourcing services for all or part of a company’s logistics operations. This can include warehousing, inventory management, prep work, pick/pack, transportation, distribution of goods and more. 3PLs have become popular among eCommerce sellers because they offer a range of benefits that can help businesses grow and become more efficient.

Ship Depot pic/pack area with docks for receiving & outgoing pallets

One of the biggest benefits of using a 3PL is cost savings. When a company outsources its logistics operations to a 3PL, it can save money on technology, rent, staffing, equipment, and infrastructure. 3PLs typically have economies of scale, which means they can offer lower prices on services compared to what a company could do on its own.

In addition to cost savings, 3PLs can also provide eCommerce sellers with a higher level of flexibility. They can quickly adjust to changes in demand, making it easier for eCommerce sellers to respond to changes in the market. This can be especially important for businesses that experience spikes in demand during the holiday season or other peak times.

Another benefit of using a 3PL is the ability to access a wider range of services. 3PLs typically offer a variety of services, including warehousing, transportation, and distribution. This allows eCommerce sellers to outsource all of their logistics operations to a single provider, making it easier to manage their supply chain and ensure that their products are delivered to customers on time.

One of the most significant benefits of using a 3PL is the ability to improve delivery times. 3PLs have a large network of warehouses and distribution centers, which allows them to get products to customers faster than a company could do on its own. This can be especially important for businesses that operate in competitive markets, where fast delivery times can be a key differentiator.

In addition to improving delivery times, 3PLs can also help eCommerce sellers improve their overall customer experience. By outsourcing their logistics operations to a 3PL, eCommerce sellers can focus on other aspects of their business, such as marketing and product development. This can lead to a better customer experience, as eCommerce sellers can provide more attention to customer needs and provide a higher level of customer service.

Another benefit of using a 3PL is the ability to expand into new markets. 3PLs have a global network of warehouses and distribution centers, which allows eCommerce sellers to easily expand into new markets. This can be especially important for businesses that are looking to grow their customer base and reach new customers.

Finally, 3PLs can also help eCommerce sellers improve their environmental impact. By outsourcing their logistics operations to a 3PL, eCommerce sellers can take advantage of the latest technologies and processes to reduce waste and emissions. This can help businesses become more environmentally sustainable and improve their reputation among customers who are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy.

In conclusion, the power of third-party logistics cannot be overstated. 3PLs are revolutionizing the way eCommerce sellers do business by providing cost savings, increased flexibility, access to a wider range of services, improved delivery times, better customer experiences, expanded market reach, and a reduced environmental impact. If you are an eCommerce seller looking to grow your business and become more efficient, consider partnering with a 3PL