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14 Best Order Fulfillment Services of 2021 (Ecommerce and 3PL)


Not all fulfillment companies are created equal. Every ecommerce fulfillment provider offers different types of order fulfillment services.

Best Order Fulfillment Services of 2021 (Ecommerce and 3PL)

For growing businesses, the choice between self fulfillment and outsourcing to a 3PL company is one that comes up one time or the other.

In massive self fulfillment operations, mistakes are unavoidable and detrimental to the accuracy and speed of deliveries and, ultimately, the overall customer experience.

3PL companies exist only to solve this problem and are important to any growing business.

There are a lot of 3PL companies providing fulfillment services today and here are the top Order Fulfillment Services that can help eCommerce businesses in keeping customer satisfaction high and beneficial.

What are the Best Order Fulfillment Services?

1. ShipBob

Best Small Scale eCommerce Fulfillment Service With Fast Delivery Options

ShipBob is the best Small Scale eCommerce Fulfillment Service With Fast Delivery Options

ShipBob is a Third Party Logistics (3PL) company founded in September 2014 and currently headquartered in Chicago, United States.

The company was founded by Drhuv Saxena and Divey Gulati after gaining experience and insight into the fulfillment plight of business owners and customers while running their own e-commerce business, SnailMailPics.

The fulfillment company helps eCommerce businesses to achieve their product delivery goals as it collects/stores the inventory of businesses and ships the products as soon as an order is received from customers.

ShipBob is known for its 2-Day express shipping program that allows for extremely fast product delivery and also offers shipping services to over 220 countries and territories worldwide.

ShipBob operates its logistics and fulfillment services on two different frontiers. 

Its main physical outlets are located in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas which act as warehouses and bases for operation, allowing customers to deal with issues directly with customer service representatives.

ShipBob also operates multiple fulfillment centers and allows business owners to choose any combination of fulfillment centers to store goods.

This luxury enables eCommerce businesses to have inventory spread out across the country, hasten delivery times and reduce the cost of deliveries.

ShipBob also offers a web-based fulfillment software platform that allows business owners to jointly manage logistics relationships with the company, supervise the situation of inventories, and also communicate with customers.

The software also offers built-in, automated reports and analytics that allow business owners to study the situation and effectiveness of supply chains and improve where needed, helping to gain a crucial competitive advantage in business.

ShipBob is integrated with several popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, and eBay, among a lot others, allowing eCommerce businesses to engage in inventory management from favorite marketplaces and eCommerce platforms.

All these extra perks come at no extra cost.

ShipBob also offers B2B wholesale services as well as custom packaging and branding on delivery packages.

There are no minimum order values and the company doesn’t execute delivery operations itself but, rather,  partners with top delivery agents like DHL, FedEx, and UPS to ensure efficient order delivery operations.

The company works with over 5,000 e-commerce businesses worldwide and is currently ranked as 115th in Deloitte’s fastest-growing technology companies in South America.

Pricing

ShipBob offers its pricing scheme according to which of its services is being sought after; Receiving, Storage, Pick & Pack, Standard Packing, and Shipping.

All plans are either flat rates, monthly charges, included in the cost of goods, or determined by quota.

Benefits

  • 2-Day express delivery program
  • Suitable for small scale and medium scale businesses
  • Powerful inventory and order management software
  • B2B wholesale services
  • Custom boxing and kitting
  • Integrations with popular eCommerce platforms
  • Multi-location inventory storage

2. FreightPros

Best 3PL Freight Service For Small and Medium-scale Businesses

FreightPros is the best 3PL Freight Service for Small and Medium scale Businesses

FreightPros is an online shipping company that offers quality freight services across a wide variety of business sizes and needs.

FreightPros was founded in 2009 to mainly specialize in offering small and medium-scale businesses the much-needed, quality LTL freight shipping services.

The company offers small and medium-scale businesses customizable options to enjoy its LTL freight shipping services, helping them save time and money.

FreightPros offers other quality freight delivery services which include truckload freight Shipping, expedited freight, temperature-controlled freight shipping, rail shipping, and other customizable Freight Solutions.

In the advancement of its host of shipping solutions, FreightPros takes its freight services to a whole new level and offers extended order fulfillment services.

As a 3PL company, FreightPro offers its customers extensive shipment management services which include quality inbound product management services to customers importing goods and raw materials from offshore locations.

These services range from professionally setting up bills of lading to tracking shipments in real-time to properly organizing the invoices of clients.

FreightPro also offers freight brokering services, helping vendors to negotiate costs, reduce the expense of importing goods, and getting the best deal out of inbound freight operations.

The company works closely with the vendors at the other side of the business transaction to secure great rates and ensure that every freight shipping operation is properly organized and streamlined with business needs.

FreightPros also provides a web-based platform for its customers to manage and monitor freight operations themselves, through the comfort of the internet.

It offers a Transportation Management Systems (TMS) which provides freight information for shipment tracking and also real-time GPS freight truck tracking.

Customers also have access to manage and negotiate freight quotes, bill payment, and load history of shipments, including all the previous, pending, and scheduled shipments.

In a bid to improve its customer knowledge-base and relationship, FreightPros also makes expert, educational articles, videos, and demos available through its website and emails.

The company works with over 70 couriers, including UPS, YLT Freight, and XPO, to make sure that customers get the best competitive order fulfillment rates to choose from.

Due to its highly considerate business model and service provision, FreightPros serves as a great option for medium and small-scale businesses to manage freight fulfillment operations. 

Pricing

The pricing of each freight operation is wholly determined by quota, with the defining factors being the origin and destination of shipments, the weight of the shipment, and the shipment type (either LTL shipment or Truckload shipment).

Benefits

  • Great for medium and small scale businesses
  • A diverse list of customizable freight services 
  • Inbound freight brokering services
  • Web-based freight tracking and management

3. WhiteBox

Order Fulfillment Service With Extensive Marketplace Management Options

WhiteBox is an Order Fulfillment Service With Extensive Marketplace Management Options

Founded in 2013, Whitebox has grown to one of the most trusted eCommerce fulfillment and management platforms today.

The company offers 3PL services that help business owners effectively manage and streamline their supply chain and eCommerce activities.

WhiteBox offers quality 3PL services that help business owners properly manage their order fulfillment operations.

The company offers powerful options that allow business owners to build their brand and engage in effective inventory management activities.

It provides an eCommerce fulfillment software that allows customers to engage in a long list of marketplace and fulfillment management activities.

The eCommerce fulfillment software also allows business owners to make wholesale orders, manage product inventories, keep track of order fulfillment and manage order prioritization according to expiration dates.

The powerful software platform also gives business owners expert insights on real-time marketplace trends and also helps in optimizing product listings, rankings, catalog recommendations, and advertising.

Alongside other marketplace services, WhiteBox gives business owners information about how they stack up against other competitors in the marketplace.

Business owners are given listing quality checks, review, and product analysis as well as insightful information about competitor sales velocity, competitor market sizing, and search term insights.

The eCommerce management platform is most especially optimized for Amazon and Walmart eCommerce marketplaces, giving business owners on this platform properly optimized order fulfillment options to choose from.

WhiteBox’s fulfillment services cover every level of business sizes; from new startups to fast selling retailers to wholesalers.

It provides data-driven tips that help in managing Direct to Customer fulfillment effectively.

Business owners are given great information about potential customer markets and get a chance to store inventories in appropriate and strategic warehouses.

Through these tips and strategically located warehouses, order fulfillment and dropshipping are made as fast, effective, and seamless as possible.

WhiteBox also offers B2B wholesale fulfillment services to make sure that large orders are fulfilled and executed hassle-free.

WhiteBox also engages in marketplace preparation activities and with products stored in its warehouses, the company takes care of order packaging and kitting and also recommends safe packaging styles for different products to businesses.

Orders are fulfilled fast with 1-day and 2-day shipping programs available to business owners and companies.

WhiteBox also takes care of order returns management and partners up with multiple, top delivery services like UPS, FedEx, and DHL, to make sure that delivery rates are competitive and quality customer experience is assured.

Apart from Amazon and Walmart, WhiteBox also works closely with Shopify, Target, Costco, and eBay, among a lot others.

Pricing

WhiteBox determines prices based on individual quotas and this quota is determined by the type of fulfillment service each business owner wishes to engage with.

Benefits

  • Extensive insights and analytics
  • Listing optimization
  • Returns management
  • Special Amazon and Walmart optimizations
  • Fast delivery programs
  • DTC and B2B order fulfillment services

4. FedEx Fulfillment

Best Order Fulfillment Service For Extremely Fast International Deliveries 

FedEx Fulfillment is the best Order Fulfillment Service for Extremely fast International Deliveries

Although FedEx fulfillment launched quite recently in February 2017, the order fulfillment service is a subsidiary of the FedEx corporation that has been around since 1971.

FedEx Corporation is an American multinational delivery company that makes worldwide order delivery and is best known for its air delivery service, FedEx Express, offering overnight 1-day deliveries.

The delivery company also offers the largest, trusted LTL freight delivery service in the United States alongside truck delivery options for direct home deliveries.

The company launched its FedEx fulfillment service to give business owners more control and freedom in their order management activities. 

It allows users to focus on building business brands while the company handles all background activities that have to deal with managing and fulfilling orders.

FedEx Fulfillment provides an easy-to-use software platform that allows business owners to streamline all order fulfillment activities in one place.

Business owners can monitor, control, and manipulate product inventories from the platform dashboard, allowing them to know when to renew stocks and get access to other important information without any hassle.

The FedEx fulfillment software platform also allows business owners to track orders and control sales channels and shipments, giving real-time access to control the situation of orders.

Business owners also have access to data reports and analytics.

Useful information about business trends and customer reviews about order fulfillment helps business owners to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of business operations and strategies.

The platform also offers quality integrations with third-party eCommerce marketplaces and shopping platforms like eBay, Shopify, and Walmart, among others.

Alongside its order management integration with top eCommerce platforms, FedEx Fulfillment also offers business tools such as Square and Xero to organize payments and accounting activities.

Its quality customer support system also entails a Customer Success Specialist that guides clients through different problems and ensures that the experience of both business owners and their customers is seamless.

The fulfillment company also offers custom packaging & gift services, kitting & assembly, and also wholesale batch order fulfillment.

FedEx Fulfillment services generally involve business owners uploading inventories into its platform, integrating the software platform with preferred marketplaces or eCommerce platforms, shipping products into its warehouses, and seamlessly monitoring the fulfillment of orders.

Being a large delivery service with a versatile list of order delivery mediums, FedEx Fulfillment handles all its order delivery independently.

Pricing

FedEx Fulfillment pricing scheme is structured around inbound shipment receiving and inventory storage and mainly varies based on the volume of all orders.

Benefits

  • Inventory management 
  • Order tracking
  • Report and analytics
  • Customer Success Specialist for expert guidance
  • eCommerce marketplace integrations
  • Highly trusted, versatile delivery service

5. ShipMonk

3PL Service With A Main Focus On DTC Order Fulfillment Services

ShipMonk 3PL Service With a Main Focus on DTC Order Fulfillment Services

Shipmonk is a multichannel order fulfillment service and software founded in 2014 by Jan Bednar, Kevin Sides, and Vash Jares to give eCommerce businesses the chance to effectively automate the management of supply chains and products inventories.

Based in Florida, U.S.A., it aims to help small and medium scale businesses to focus on building business brands and avoid worrying about shipments or order fulfillment activities.

Shipmonk’s order management portal is the core and most important aspect of its fulfillment operations.

It allows business owners to integrate its software platform with preferred eCommerce/ sales channels and automate the management of orders coming from these channels.

Through a focus on Direct-to-Customer (DTC) fulfillment services, business owners can track the status of orders from the moment they are placed to when they are delivered to the doorsteps of customers.

With ShipMonk’s inventory management portal, business owners can seamlessly track the volume of stocks still existing, receive prompt alerts about low stock levels, and ensure productive SKU management.

ShipMonk also provides quality shipping management options and partners with top carriers and delivery agents like UPS and DHL to ensure that order fulfillment is placed in the most trustworthy hands.

Its transparent approach to shipping management allows business owners to track real-time shipping rates as items are being delivered and also get access to an abundance of shipping reports.

These options give business owners enough control of their shipping operations and allow for proper evaluation and improvements where needed.

Alongside order management, ShipMonk also offers quality warehouse management options through its software platform.

Business owners can properly store and manage inventories across multiple warehouses and also schedule order fulfillment and organize customized order fulfillment projects.

ShipMonk’s warehouses are spread across the United States and fixed at three different locations; Florida, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles.

The strategic locations of these warehouses offer business owners the chance to split product inventory storage and get deliveries across to customers as quickly as possible.

ShipMonk’s software platform also gives business owners information about the warehouse that offers the best time and money-saving deals fitting different delivery needs and business models.

The fulfillment company also places importance on customer satisfaction and makes both online and physical customer service options available to clients.

Business owners can make complaints through online chats, calls, and emails as well as physical customer service representatives at the different warehouses.

ShipMonk has enjoyed different major media mentions from magazines like Forbes and has also received prestigious awards and recognition on ranking lists.

Pricing

ShipMonk spreads its proving scheme across four different plans; E-commerce, Subscription Box, Retail, and Amazon FBA Prep pricing.

All plans are determined on a quota basis and defined by the size of the order and estimated warehouse storage requirements.

Business owners are also offered customizable proving schemes, and defined pricing schemes for special projects, container unloading, and packaging.

Benefits

  • Quality DTC fulfillment services 
  • Effective SKU management options
  • Report generation
  • Strategic Warehouse locations
  • Stock and order tracking options

6. Red Stag Fulfillment

Speedy And Highly Accurate Order Fulfillment Services

Red Stag Fulfillment is a Speedy and Highly Accurate Order Fulfillment Services

Red Stag Fulfillment is a world-class 3PL and order fulfillment service founded in 2013 by Eric McCollom and headquartered in Tennessee, USA.

The company was created after the founder, then an eCommerce retailer, realized the inadequacy and lack of dependency in existing order fulfillment services and a need for more reliable fulfillment providers.

Red Stag Fulfillment offers web-based B2B and B2C ( Business to Customer) order fulfillment, and other 3PL services for eCommerce businesses.

The company operates four strategically located warehouses to business owners across the US that allow quick delivery of products and reduced delivery rates.

These warehouses are spread out and located in Utah, Tennessee, California, and Pennsylvania to make sure that its fast order fulfillment services cover the whole country.

Red Stag provides same-day order fulfillment services to ensure businesses are able to execute order deliveries as fast as possible.

The company also provides highly accurate order fulfillment and completes up to 99.602% of its US-based order fulfillment operations in 2 days or less.

While helping business owners handle order fulfillment operations, Red Stag Fulfillment also gives users great inventory management control and easy integrations with other eCommerce platforms and marketplaces like Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce, among others.

Red Stag Fulfillment’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) allows business owners to keep track of the status of inventories in the company’s different warehouses and monitor when/how these products are received and shipped out.

Business owners also receive real-time shipment reports and inventory updates, providing a chance to make quick business decisions about inventories at the right time.

Red Stag Fulfillment also takes care of reverse logistics, ensures that products are returned within 2 days, and deals with the timely refund of customers.

Images and videos of the package are provided to business owners to keep them updated about the condition of the returned products.

Businesses are also allowed to determine how returned products are dealt with, ranging from repackaging, refurbishing and restocking.

Red Stag also offers Zero Inventory Shrinkage allowances meaning clients don’t receive allowances for damaged goods as they are completely assured of the safety of inventories from loss or damage.

The company also provides custom packaging and kitting services to business owners and a 30-day risk-free trial after signup to test out its fulfillment services.

Pricing

Red Stag Fulfillment determines its pricing scheme by quotes and offers a 30-day free trial of its services.

Benefits

  • High fulfillment accuracy and speed
  • Widely speed out warehouse locations
  • B2B and B2C order fulfillment services
  • 30-day free trial
  • Quick and transparent reverse logistics
  • Customizable fulfillment services
  • Discounted shipping rates

7. RedHawk Global

Order Fulfillment Service With Multiple, Insured Freight Shipment Options

RedHawk Global is an Order Fulfillment Service With Multiple, Insured Freight Shipment Options

RedHawk Global is a freight company founded in 2002, based in Ohio, USA, that provides goods transportation services within North America.

The company offers a wide list of order fulfillment options including heavy haulage, truckload, LTL, intermodal, and temperature-controlled logistics services.

Business owners are also offered safe warehouse storage and inventory management options for goods placed in their expert hands.

With its heavy haulage services, the company helps business owners to safely and speedily move equipment of up to 80 tons such as cranes, structural steel, and fabricated buildings, among a lot others.

Clients are also provided with design recommendations, route surveys, and maximum shipping dimensions to help them reach decisions and determine the budgetary needs of moving heavy cargo.

RedHawk Global’s intermodal freight services help businesses move goods including hazardous materials, using rail lines from dock to dock without any additional work.

The company moves goods all the way to the West Coast and insures the freight with at least $200,000, giving business owners enough confidence in the company’s intermodal services.

RedHawk Global also offers business owners great truckload services that help to save time and money.

It allows business owners to move a wide range of goods through full and partial truckloads and also offers competitive prices and cargo insurance between $50,000 to $500,000, giving clients enough confidence in its services.

LTL services are also offered alongside same-day pickups, lane/cost analysis, guaranteed transit times, and specific delivery times, allowing business owners to accurately weigh all important options in order fulfillment.

RedHawk Global’s 185,000 square feet distribution warehouse is also placed in a strategic location that allows it to fulfill orders to a massive number of customers across the United States.

Its warehouse at Columbus, Ohio is located within 500 miles of up to 147 million people, placing it within a 1-day transit distance of over 47% of the United States population.

The warehouse is also situated within 500 miles of major Canadian border crossings and is also in close proximity with up to 13 intermodal rail terminals.

All these ensure that the company’s inbound and outbound order fulfillment operations take less time in both the US and Canada.

RedHawk Global also offers a software platform that offers business owners and customers extensive inventory and freight management options.

Through its eFreightLine web-services, business owners are provided with a powerful API that offers shipping and freight rating services.

This API allows both employees of businesses and their customers to automatically estimate the requirement and cost of shipments and also generate shipment quotes on one platform.

Alongside its eFreightLine platform, the company offers a vSpeed software platform integrated with over 70 LTL carriers which allow users to control, route, and manage freight operations.

Business owners are also provided with multiple LTL and parcel rates to know which is the best cost-effective medium to choose from.

RedHawk Global, through its software platforms, allows both business owners and their customers to effectively manage order fulfillment options and have access to crucial data for decision making.

Pricing

RedHawk Global sets all prices by a quote and offers insured freight services to business owners.

Benefits

  • Heavy haulage services
  • Insured shipment options
  • Software platform for both business owners and customers
  • Strategic warehouse location

8. Ships-a-Lot

Order Fulfilment Service Dealing With Small-sized inventory Items and DTC operations

Ships-a-Lot is an Order Fulfilment Service Dealing with Small sized inventory Items and DTC operations

Ships-a-Lot is an order fulfillment service founded in 2014 by two brothers, Zach and Max Zitney, that specifically offers its DTC services to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The company makes use of a single warehouse located in Memphis, Tennessee, where it focuses on dedicated client inventory management for centralized and consistently quick, accurate, and efficient order fulfillment operations.

Ships-a-Lot also provides ample technology integrations allowing business owners to have a level of control over the management of inventories.

The company’s Warehouse Management System allows business owners to integrate its services with preferred marketplaces such as Shopify, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, among a lot others.

Ships-a-Lot doesn’t offer inbound freight processing services but has partnerships with trustworthy air, rail, truck, and ocean freight carrier agencies, like FedEx, to ensure that clients are well covered in all areas of cargo transportation.

The company receives inventories through well-trained and equipped team members and stores these products through a variety of different storage formats.

Strictly dealing with SKUs of limited variety and size/weight, Ships-a-Lot helps business owners to choose the storage format that is best for each of their SKUs, with storage formats ranging from bins to pallets to a lot more others.

Ships-a-Lot takes care of kitting alongside fast and accurate order packaging and also provides customizable shipping options to clients in its Transportation Management System (TMS).

The company maintains partnerships with major carriers including UPS, FedEx, DHL, and Passport, among others, to make sure clients enjoy discounted and competitive delivery rates.

Ships-a-Lot also provides reverse logistics and ensures accurate return processing by stocking returned items in special storage sections and performs other returns management services like inspection and disposition, among others.

Pricing

Ships-a-Lot determines its prices by quote mainly based on the estimated amount of monthly shipments.

Benefits

  • Limited SKUs for focused inventory management
  • A great option for small-scale businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Major focus on DTC order fulfillment
  • Complementary partnerships with major carriers

9. FloshipEurope

Provides Extensive Cross-Border Fulfillment Operations And Logistics

FloshipEurope Provides Extensive Cross Border Fulfillment Operations and Logistics

Founded In 2014 by Steven Suh, FloshipEurope is a cross-border order fulfillment and shipping company based in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong.

Floship is a leading international order fulfillment company that provides cost-effective cross-border services and allows business owners to ship products to up to 180 different countries around the world.

The company also takes care of DTC order fulfillment operations in Asia, Europe, America, and the Middle East.

Floship works with a team of diverse experts that help business owners with order fulfillment solutions that are optimized for the different countries in which the company operates.

Business owners don’t have to worry about customs, duties, and carrier regulations, as the company helps to simplify the whole export process through its team of consultant fulfillment experts.

Floship also makes a dedicated account manager available to business owners to help in expertly guiding through daily order fulfillment operations and determining appropriate cross-border fulfillment strategies.

Floship has a massive network of fulfillment centers located in three different continents and works with over 30 different carrier services to offer business owners competitive delivery rates.

Business owners are allowed to split inventories across its different continental fulfillment centers and also automate order fulfillment processes in choosing the best 3PL warehouse to ship from.

These spread-out fulfillment centers allow the company to accomplish its international order fulfillment operations fast, giving both business owners and their customers much-needed ease and satisfaction.

A technology-driven Order Fulfillment Platform is also provided to clients.

Business owners have access to real-time information about the status of orders, inventory monitoring and management, parcel tracking, and reverse logistics management.

This real-time inventory and order management platform allows business owners to make important decisions about order fulfillment at the right time and with the right amount of information.

The platform makes sure that cross-border order fulfillment is automated, comprehensive, and made easy.

Floship also offers seamless integrations with up to 60 different eCommerce platforms and shopping carts, allowing users to automate all the processes involved in order fulfillment operations, from the moment a customer places orders to when the items are delivered. 

Pricing

After submitting information about your business, Floship generates a quote and also charges predetermined rates on picking, packing, and marketing.

Benefits

  • Expert order fulfillment consultant
  • International DTC order fulfillment
  • Real-time inventory and order management
  • Dedicated account manager

10. Shipwire

Wholly Cloud-based Order Fulfillment Service With A Global Network Of Warehouses

Shipwire ia wholly Cloud based Order Fulfillment Service with a Global Network of Warehouses

Shipwire is an eCommerce software platform founded in 2006 by Damon Schechter to provide eCommerce businesses with a chance to automate the fulfillment of their orders.

Damon served as the CEO of the company until 2013 when it was acquired by Ingram Micro.

Shipwire is a cloud-based platform that offers global logistics and order fulfillment solutions to business owners looking to satisfy customers across international borders.

As a proud SaaS platform dedicated to helping small businesses, the company introduces clients to its network of global fulfillment centers, shipment optimization options, and many more.

The company provides up to 1.6 million square feet of storage space through 145+ fulfillment centers spread across 45 countries managed by Ingram Micro.

Through this extensive network of fulfillment centers across the world, the company makes sure that its order fulfillment operations are as fast and effective as they should be.

Businesses can achieve DTC deliveries in Europe and North America within two days, thanks to this network of fulfillment centers.

Shipwire also provides business owners a chance to manage inventories stored at third-party locations and personal stores.

Shipwire’s software platform helps to automate rate determination and order processing conditions based on different factors included in its algorithm.

These considered factors allow business owners to save time and cost in the process of executing order fulfillment operations.

Business owners are also offered multiple reverse logistics solutions to allow them to choose the most preferable method of return shipment and save cost. 

Shipwire also works with a variety of courier options and provides clients with a lot of regional, national, and international courier options to choose from, helping to reduce cost and increase fulfillment efficiency.

eCommerce businesses can integrate its services with different eMarketplaces and shopping carts, enjoy its custom packaging and kitting services.

Shipwire also provides automated B2B fulfillment services and gives clients the freedom of choosing the party that absorbs the shipment cost, either the retailers/customers or the clients themselves.

Pricing

Shipwire provides a defined pricing scheme based on a long list of services provided including receiving, storage, reverse logistics, and other miscellaneous fees.

Clients are also charged per hour, month, unit, or order, depending on the service being charged.

Benefits

  • Award-winning SaaS platform
  • Multiple cross-border warehouses for fast international order fulfillment
  • Automated B2B and B2C order fulfillment options
  • Optimized carrier options

11. Fulfillment By Amazon

Order Fulfillment Service Extensively Optimized For Amazon-Prime Members

Fulfillment By Amazon is an order Fulfillment Service Extensively Optimized for Amazon Prime Members

A subsidiary of Amazon, Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) is one of the most advanced fulfillment services in the world that offers small business owners great order fulfillment services to grow their businesses.

Although Amazon has been around since 1994, the fulfillment service was launched in 2006 to provide fast and trustworthy fulfillment services and help business owners get rid of order fulfillment worries.

With Amazon being an eCommerce shopping platform itself, business owners are provided with comprehensive eCommerce business options that streamline Amazon online stores and 3PL operations seamlessly.

Leveraging the vast networking and coverage of Amazon around the globe, FBA offers business owners fast business scaling and international order fulfillment services.

Apart from Amazon’s shopping platform, FBA can be integrated with multiple online marketplaces as well as personal websites or eCommerce platforms.

The company provides numerous free services for Amazon Prime members which makes order fulfillment more cost-effective for both business owners and customers.

These free services include order packing, delivery, and customer service, putting the mind of Amazon Prime members at rest in order fulfillment processes.

FBA also provides free reverse logistics and customer service on returns but only on products purchased on Amazon’s eCommerce platform.

Business owners are given a chance to focus fully on finding customers, making sales, and building their business brands.

FBA provides business owners with an inventory management platform that allows for extensive order fulfillment management options.

Clients get to create shipping plans, send in shipments, and remove selected inventory items from fulfillment centers.

Both business owners and customers can also track and monitor orders and keep tabs on how well stored-inventory is being managed.

Business owners can deal with excess inventory, replenish low stocks, and take care of stranded inventory items that may be attracting extra fees.

Access to detailed information about storage fees and sales opportunities is also provided to improve the effectiveness of inventory management.

Alongside these extensive inventory management options, business owners also enjoy fast 2-day shipping in Amazon Prime-enabled European countries.

Pricing

Fulfillment By Amazon offers its major pricing scheme, Selling Plan, on two different levels; Individual and Professional.

The Individual plan is for small-scale entrepreneurs looking for basic order fulfillment services while the Professional plan offers more advanced eCommerce options like advertisement, APIs, and report generation, among others.

For Amazon Prime members, some services like picking, packaging, shipping, and customer service are provided for free.

Benefits

  • Discounted shipping rates
  • Seamless customer service and reverse logistics management
  • Fast delivery across international borders
  • Multichannel integration
  • Integration with personal websites
  • Extensive storage space

12. Easyship

Forwarder-Based Order Fulfillment Platform With International Reach

Easyship is a Forwarder Based Order Fulfillment Platform with International Reach

Easyship is a technology company founded in 2014 that provides over 100,000 eCommerce businesses with easy solutions to order fulfillment and shipment.

All of the company’s services are provided through its cloud software platform, allowing business owners to sync eCommerce activities and have easy access to the much-needed order fulfillment solutions.

Easyship provides worldwide shipping services, works with leading international couriers, and helps to take care of cross-border taxes, custom papers, and duty costs imposed by the different countries in which it operates.

Its large network of international couriers allows for competitive shipment rates and gives business owners the luxury of scaling their options and determining the courier that helps to conveniently save cost.

Information about delivery times and landing costs is also provided to clients, giving the whole picture and information needed when choosing a courier.

Easyship also allows business owners to integrate its web-based order fulfillment services with any eCommerce platform and marketplace of their preference.

Business owners can automate order fulfillment operations and compare quotes, generate labels, schedule pickups, and manage finances.

Through its platform, Easyship also allows business owners to automate package sizes, manage orders and track shipments, among a lot others.

Customers expecting the delivery of orders can also track and get updated on the status of orders through dedicated tracking pages and emails.

Offering extensive inventory management solutions through its software, Easyship also works with third-party warehouses located on four different continents.

Working with warehouses in Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia, it provides business owners with opportunities to spread products around the world.

This move ensures that global product delivery is cheap and as fast and efficient as domestic deliveries.

Clients are also provided with dedicated account managers to help in determining the best fulfillment strategy to help in dealing with every aspect of global order fulfillment.

These dedicated account managers help to choose the best courier shipping rates and avoid unnecessary tariffs, among a lot of others.

Pricing

Easyship offers its fulfillment order fulfillment services on two different subscription plans; Monthly and Annually.

Both plans consist of Free, Plus, Premier, and Enterprise plans that offer different levels of advanced order fulfillment services.

The cost of its Enterprise plan is determined by quotes and business owners get to enjoy a 20% discount when they choose to subscribe annually.

Benefits

  • Easily scalable pricing plan 
  • Widespread warehouses and fulfillment centers 
  • Competitive courier rates
  • Dedicated account managers
  • Extensive eCommerce platform and online marketplace integration

13. Rakuten Super Logistics

3PL Service With Cost-Effective And Fast Deliveries Across The US

Rakuten Super Logistics 3PL Service With Cost Effective and Fast Deliveries Across The US

Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is a subsidiary of the Rakuten Global company based in Las Vegas, USA that was established in 2001 to provide eCommerce order fulfillment services to businesses all around the world. 

Due to its long stay in the business, Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is regarded to be one of the leading experts in the eCommerce order fulfillment industry.

The company works with top courier services and offers numerous fulfillment centers spread across the US to ensure that businesses and their customers enjoy one of the fastest transit and delivery times within the US.

With its 15 fulfillment centers spread across all regions in the US, business owners can 

achieve 1-2-day ground order deliveries to 98% of the US, helping to reduce the overall cost of shipping orders and keep customers satisfied.

The fulfillment company also offers seamless and convenient freight and cross-border shipment services.

RSL is a global freight forwarder licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission of the US, allowing it to take care of inventory pickups and order deliveries in different locations around the world.

The company works with a team of expert brokers that guide business owners through every import and export need.

RSL also works with a team of in-house professionals that help in guiding account setup and provide advice about the best courier service to use as well as ensuring order fulfillment runs smoothly.

An order management system is also made available, offering multi-channel order fulfillment services through integrations with multiple eCommerce platforms, shopping carts, and online marketplaces.

The company’s Smallfill plugin allows business owners to integrate its order fulfillment services with different platforms like Walmart, Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and other top online marketplaces.

The Smartfill plugin offers a user-friendly dashboard and allows business owners to engage in extensive inventory and order management activities.

Business owners are provided with real-time information about the status of inventories and orders, allowing important decisions to be promptly taken.

Businesses also have access to automatically generated inventory reports that help to monitor trends such as the items that sell the most or have higher returns.

Pricing

Rakuten Super Logistics charges its services by quotes and final prices are mainly determined by the volume of inventory to be picked up, stored, or delivered monthly.

Benefits

  • Cost-effective order fulfillment services
  • Constant 1-2 day delivery time within the US
  • Inventory tracking and analytics
  • Cross-border freight services
  • Dedicated customer support

14. IDS Fulfillment

3PL Service Comprehensively Optimized For Both B2B And DTC Fulfillment Operations

IDS Fulfillment 3PL Service Comprehensively Optimized for Both B2B and DTC Fulfillment Operations

Founded back in 1960 and based in the US, Integrated Distribution Services (IDS) provides multi-channel order fulfillment services for B2B and D2C order fulfillment operations across North America.

The company provides business owners with customizable eCommerce order fulfillment services through its Inventory and Warehouse Management System.

Clients have access to real-time information about inventories and the status of orders in the process of being shipped to different customers.

Through these reports, information about issues that may arise is quickly acknowledged and promptly dealt with, ensuring order fulfillment operations are under control at all times.

IDS is also integrated with major eCommerce platforms and has a team of IT experts that help in creating custom integrations for clients using unfamiliar platforms.

IDS helps to store and ship a wide variety of commodities including apparel, nutraceutical products, food, electronics, and medical equipment in temperature-controlled environments.

The company’s safe, dry, and temperature-controlled warehouses are located on the east and west coast of the US, allowing business owners to ensure 2-day delivery times to 92% of the country.

These strategic warehouse locations in Indianapolis and Utah also give the company access to a cost-friendly territory, massive workforce, and a favorable tax environment, ensuring business owners enjoy cost-effective order fulfillment operations.

IDS also provides other fulfillment services including kitting, packaging, custom branding, cross-docking, and drop shipping.

Business owners enjoy convenient and transparent reverse logistics services and are assisted with deciding whether to restock or dispose of inventory items.

IDS ensures that return processing is as seamless and cost-effective as possible for both business owners and their customers.

Pricing

IDS Fulfillment’s pricing scheme is determined by quote.

Benefits

  • Fast delivery times across the US
  • Temperature-controlled storage for food and fragile products
  • D2C shipments
  • Quality kitting and custom packaging services

What are the Benefits of Using an Order Fulfillment Service?

Order fulfillment consists of all the processes involved in making sure customer orders are taken care of appropriately.

From picking and packing items from suppliers to storage and delivery, all stages in getting goods or products to buyers are important elements of business and customer satisfaction.

However, a business owner or company taking care of these activities alone, known as self-fulfillment, leaves him/her with a heavy task in business management and open to a lot of errors.

Third-Party Logistics services exist to solve these problems.

These companies only exist to make sure that all operations involved in getting orders to buyers or consumers are efficiently dealt with.

So in what way are 3PL services beneficial to eCommerce businesses?

1. Efficient Business Management

A lot of activities are involved in order fulfillment and efficiently managing fulfillment operations is one of the most time-consuming activities in running a business.

Apart from dealing with marketing and advertising, self-fulfilling companies or businesses take care of receiving goods, storing and maintaining this massive amount of goods, and delivering these goods to customers.

As expected, these operations require a lot of organization and expertise in making sure that errors that may be detrimental to customer relationships are avoided.

3PL services are specialized in dealing with fulfillment operations and take over the entire burden involved with managing product inventories.

Not only are order fulfillment operations placed in professional hands, but 3PL services also make sure that business owners have extra time resources in running other areas of growing a business.

Business owners or companies have additional time, manpower, and creative resources to invest in improving the general management of a business venture.

The most frequent cause of inventory fulfillment issues

2. Warehousing And Inventory Management

Warehousing or Inventory storage is important to any business that deals with a considerably large amount of goods or commodities.

Except the business venture is built around dropshipping, warehousing constitutes another area of business management that brings more burden to businesses.

Alongside safeguarding and properly managing inventory items, for large, self-fulfilling businesses, the cost of leasing and maintaining a warehouse could eat up extra resources best used somewhere else.

3PL services provide a wide variety of warehousing services, helping different business owners to avoid the extra costs in leasing warehouses or storage facilities.

Picking or receiving inventory directly from wholesalers is handled by 3PLs as well as packing and storing these inventory items without the active participation of business owners.

Business owners also get access to advanced software platforms, which answers the question of how inventory items are properly managed and accounted for according to each business’ preference.

The real-time monitoring and control of stored inventory items is kept in the hands of business owners.

In addition to manipulating the inventory stored with 3PL services, businesses also have access to real-time tracking, report, and analytics information, giving them enough knowledge-base to improve on inventory management activities.

3PL companies’ software platforms also automate the process of determining a target customer base and studying sales trends.

This information helps in recommending the best warehouse location to improve cost efficiency and productive inventory management activities.

In addition to manipulating the inventory stored with 3PL services, businesses also have access to real-time tracking, report, and analytics information, giving them enough knowledge-base to improve on inventory management activities.

3PL companies’ software platforms also automate the process of determining their target audience and studying sales trends.

This information helps in recommending the best warehouse location to improve cost efficiency and productive inventory management activities.

3. Geographical Reach

A lot of 3PL services situate warehouses and fulfillment centers in strategic locations stretched wide apart.

Business owners and companies are given the chance to spread inventories across multiple geographical locations and improve the customer range of business activities.

International business operations are also made more convenient and cost-effective.

Due to cross-border regulations, international self-fulfillment activities require a lot of knowledge-base from businesses.

Professional employees with expert knowledge in international business relations take a huge toll on the finances of business ventures.

International 3PL services help to provide cost-effective solutions to these technical problems and improve the operational efficiency of cross-border deliveries.

From expert advisors to brokerage services to dealing with international tax and duty papers, 3PL services offer all the comforting solutions to international business operations. 

4. Speedy Order Fulfillment

Another advantage springing from the warehousing services of 3PL companies is the possibility of swift order fulfillment to different areas around the world.

Maintaining quick delivery times through self-fulfillment requires businesses or companies to be situated close to these areas or have operational bases and storage facilities near all customers.

It is evident that self-fulfillment involves a lot of financial resources to satisfy customers spread across a wide geographical area.

3PL services, on the other hand, can offer cheaper and quicker order fulfillment services through strategic locations of warehouses and fulfillment centers.

For instance, Floship, an order fulfillment service based in Hong Kong, has warehouses situated in Asia, Europe, North America, and The Middle East.

Businesses can spread inventory storage and effortlessly achieve 1 or 2-day deliveries across these locations.

International customers are kept satisfied and the financial resources required to achieve this are greatly reduced.

5. Completely Streamlined Supply Chain

Offering both B2B and DTC order fulfillment services, 3PL companies give business owners and companies a chance to totally streamline their supply chain from the manufacturer to consumer without being actively involved.

Alongside picking and packing, 3PL companies provide a lot of miscellaneous and beneficial services like branding, custom packaging, and kitting, among others.

eCommerce businesses also enjoy additional benefits in dealing with order fulfillment services. 

Order fulfillment services offer integrations with popular eCommerce platforms, marketplaces, shopping carts, sales funnels and even personal online shops.

Business owners can manage inventory from the comfort of these platforms and automate all processes involved in making sure customer orders are duly dealt with.

While some of these 3PL services independently take care of order deliveries, other 3PL services form partnerships with multiple, popular delivery agents, making sure that the supply chain is complete.

3PLs also oversee customer service operations and promptly deal with problems causing dissatisfaction to customers. 

Reverse logistics is handled and inventory items are inspected, disposed of, or restocked through a transparent process.

All operations from picking to order delivery and reverse order processing are directly managed by 3PLs and business owners or companies are kept updated and given a level of  control through inventory and order management capabilities on 3PL software platforms.

What are the Different Types of 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) Companies?

By definition, 3PLs are companies or firms that help businesses in managing supply chains by receiving inventories from businesses or factories, storing these inventories in warehouses, processing orders, and delivering these orders to customers.

However, not all 3PL services are based around fulfilling inventory operations in the whole supply chain process.

While some only focus on warehousing, others focus on transportation.

To present a more comprehensive knowledge, here are the different types of 3PL services available to businesses.

1. Full-Service 3PL Solutions

Full-Service 3PLs are order fulfillment services that directly deal with every operation involved in both B2B and D2C order fulfillment.

Full-service 3PLs directly deal with suppliers or factories on behalf of business owners by receiving, picking up, and packing inventories or goods for storage.

These companies own multiple warehouses and fulfillment centers where inventory management, order processing, and distribution are directly taken care of.

Full-service 3PLs engage in kitting, branding, and custom packaging services, giving business owners all they need in building a customer-oriented brand without having to put in extensive time and financial resources. 

Software platforms for inventory and warehouse management are also provided to business owners to monitor the status of inventories, track order processing, and also control the inventories stored with these 3PL companies by restocking or disposing of inventory items.

While some of these full-service 3PLs may form partnerships with third-party couriers, others independently take care of both shipment and comprehensive inventory management.

They also deal with reverse logistics and help in the marketing and financial aspects of order fulfillment through reports and analytics.

An example of a full-service 3PL is FedEx Corporation.

FedEx is a popular international courier service that provides comprehensive domestic and international shipment and logistics services.

FedEx also has a subsidiary outlet called FedEx Fulfillment that controls multiple warehouses and fulfillment centers, helps in kitting and packaging, and deals with the logistics and distribution of orders.

The combination of these different parts of its services makes FedEx Corporation one of the most popular full-service 3PLs worldwide.

From picking and packing to extensive warehouse and inventory management to logistics and shipping, full services 3PLs directly provide business owners with all the required services involved in order fulfillment.

2. Transportation-based 3PL Services

Transportation-based 3PLs are logistics services that help in transporting goods from one location to another.

They help to transport goods from manufacturers or factories to warehouses and also help to transport inventories from warehouses to retailers or consumers. 

These types of specialized 3PLs, also known as 2PL services, are independent delivery agents that help in transporting goods and can be hired only for this purpose in the whole supply chain.

A few popular and specialized transportation-based 3PL companies include DHL and USPS, among a lot others.

Some transportation-based 3PLs also provide extended order fulfillment services like warehousing and inventory management.

Most of these extended transportation-based 3PLs make use of the warehousing units of third-party companies.

However, a few have the luxury of owning and managing their own warehousing units due to financial and administrative prowess or the support of a parent company.

For instance, popular transportation-based 3PL, UPS, specializes in offering shipment and delivery services but also has numerous warehouses, providing business owners with warehousing and inventory management options.

3. Warehouse-Based 3PL Services

Warehouse-based 3PLs are companies that mainly focus on logistics operations about the storage, organization, and distribution of inventories.

Warehouse-based 3PLs are independent warehousing firms that provide a massive number of warehouses and help customers in managing inventories stored in these warehouses.

Customers may deal with these companies only with the sole aim of storing inventories.

However, as 3PL providers, these companies also help in other logistics operations by partnering with third-party logistics companies that are specialized in other areas of order fulfillment.

They work with transportation-based 3PL services as well as forwarding services to make sure that the whole supply chain is complete.

An example of these warehouse-based 3PL services is Fulfillment By Amazon, a subsidiary of Amazon that provides over 200 warehouses and a Warehouse Management System with numerous inventory management options.

The company partners with other delivery agents like UPS and DHL to provide transportation-based logistics to businesses and complete the whole order fulfillment process.

Being a warehouse-based 3PL, business owners or companies are required to prepare shipments to meet the standard of FBA themselves before being stored in its warehouses.

However, the company provides access to specialized order preparation services if clients are interested.

4. Forwarder-based Fulfillment Services

Forwarder-based fulfillment services are a mix between transportation-based 3pls and distribution-based 3pl, only that they do not own any asset or directly get involved with these services.

Forwarder-based fulfillment services serve as middlemen in the whole supply chain, making sure that all stages and operations are properly streamlined without having to deal with these goods or inventory directly.

These fulfillment companies make sure that the movement of goods between multiple transportation mediums is as seamless as possible by forming partnerships with different couriers.

These companies also form partnerships with warehousing firms to take care of inventory management and distribution.

An example of forwarder-based fulfillment services is Easyship.

Easyship works with popular cross-border couriers across different continents and oversees that the movement of goods through air, land, and sea is properly connected.

It also connects its clients to offshore warehouses, providing international reach and a complete cross-border order fulfillment service wholly through third-party partnerships.

Forwarder-based 3PLs also form partnerships with Financial information-based 3PLs or provide these services themselves.

5. Financial And Information-based 3PL Services

Financial-based 3PLs are companies that help with the financial administration of businesses and organizations.

These companies deal solely with the financial aspects of business administration which includes providing multiple payment channels and auditing,  cost determination, and accounting.

While most financial-based 3PLs also provide information-based services, these two services constitute different areas of third-party logistics.

Information-based 3PL services provide insights into the marketing needs of a business venture.

From industry trends to product analysis and customer reviews to information about competitors, information-based  3PL services specialize in giving business owners a competitive advantage through extensive access to information.

To ensure accurate insights, reports, and analytics, these financial and information-based 3PLs also provide warehousing and inventory management services.

Business owners and companies are provided with financial advice and advanced inventory management platforms that help in making financial and business administration easy and seamless.

Business owners have easy access to comprehensive, industry-oriented financial information through real-time reports and analytics.

Through these advanced inventory management systems, business owners or companies can also track inventories and have sufficient information before making prompt, important, and appropriate financial decisions. 

An example of information-based 3PL services is WhiteBox.

Alongside other warehouse management and fulfillment options, WhiteBox provides business owners with extensive insightful information that helps in championing brand-building activities and business competitions.

Although most 3PLs are a combination of two or more of these services, business owners are advised to evaluate business needs and select a 3PL company that specializes in a much-needed aspect of order fulfillment.

This ensures that businesses efficiently save the most time and money while having a lot of control in running a business.

What Should You Look For in an Order Fulfillment Service Provider as an eCommerce Company?

Order fulfillment services can be just what any eCommerce business needs to seamlessly and successfully take a brand or business venture to the next level.

Due to the number of order fulfillment services available today, making the right choice is always going to be a tough decision.

It is understood that order fulfillment services have their peculiarities, yet,  certain features common in top fulfillment services are important in securing a great order fulfillment experience. 

Alongside evaluating the total cost of hiring an order fulfillment service,  what are the features every eCommerce business should look out for?

1. eCommerce Integrations 

eCommerce has become one of the fastest-growing industries in modern times and a lot of order fulfillment providers are trying to adapt to this through software platforms.

As an eCommerce business, one of the most crucial areas of an order fulfillment service to look out for is the eCommerce features of its software platform.

A lot of fulfillment services optimize their software for different eCommerce platforms or marketplaces and, hence, offer different features.

While some may be optimized for integrations with only Top shopping carts or marketplaces, other fulfillment services like FBA offer more diverse optimizations, such as customized integrations or integrations with personal online shops or stores.

Fulfillment services also offer integrations with point of sales systems, Enterprise Resource Planning systems, and accounting software platforms, all very important tools in eCommerce.

Different fulfillment services offer different features and choosing the one that best suits your eCommerce business activities and needs is very important in ensuring a satisfying order fulfillment experience.

2. Fulfillment Management Features

Entirely placing the fulfillment of orders in the hands of third-party services, on the surface of it, takes a lot of control away from business owners or companies about how inventory and orders are being managed.

In a bid to give clients more control in order fulfillment operations, fulfillment services provide software for managing orders, inventories, and warehouses.

An inventory management software allows businesses to monitor inventory levels in real-time, manipulate inventories, have access to inventory notifications, kit, and also bundle products, among a lot others.

Order management software allows businesses to view incoming orders, edit orders, specify the details of the shipment, track orders and also provide tracking updates to customers.

Tracking is a very important aspect of order fulfillment services as, according to Dropoff, 88% of customers say they largely prefer being able to track orders in real-time.

Businesses can also view customer information and manage returns processing.

A warehouse management software allows businesses to manage multiple inventory locations, choose and change the location of inventories between multiple storage units, and also assign pinpoint locations, like aisles or rows. 

A fulfillment management software provides the much-needed control that businesses require to make sure that order fulfillment operations are carried out according to preferred practices or strategies.

Most fulfillment management software platforms also provide eCommerce integrations and selecting a fulfillment service that provides a comprehensive fulfillment management software ensures seamless and automated processes for any eCommerce business.

3. Fast Delivery Times

In any business, customer satisfaction is crucial and the speed of deliveries is one of the most important elements of order fulfillment that affects customer satisfaction.

According to Dropoff, 43% of US-based consumers expect much faster deliveries and are most likely to cancel orders due to deliveries taking up to a week.

74% of consumers say they are more likely to patronize a business that has achieved same-day deliveries while dealing with them.

Delivery is changing consumers shopping habits

This trend is spearheaded by Amazon’s 1-2 day delivery times, followed up by multiple fulfillment services, and, considering these, eCommerce businesses should not settle for less.

In transportation-based 2PL relationships, for instance, courier services can be properly studied through reviews of customers before any choice is made.

Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance and choosing an order fulfillment service provider that is guaranteed to achieve fast delivery times will help in satisfying customers and improve recurring sales.

4. Location And Number Of Warehouses

The location of warehouses or fulfillment centers also has a lot of impact on multiple areas of order fulfillment.

Fulfillment service providers either make use of in-house warehouses or employ the services of external warehousing firms.

The location of these warehouses or storage units has a bearing on how consistently fast delivery speeds are expected to be, the customer reach of businesses, and how much shipping rates cost.

For instance, an order fulfillment service provider with multiple warehouses spread across the world, like Floship is able to achieve extremely fast international delivery times, including DTC deliveries.

This global location of warehouses allows for an effective international eCommerce business reach that can be exploited in many ways.

Shipping rates are lower and businesses can spread inventories across multiple locations, vastly wide apart.

In choosing an order fulfillment service provider, eCommerce businesses are expected to compare the locations of warehouses or storage facilities and determine how business strategies can be easily achievable.

5. Branding And Packaging Options

Today, there are a lot of eCommerce businesses selling or providing the same products and services in the market today.

Branding is a very important move in standing out from the crowd and making a recognized and distinguishable name for a business venture.

Fulfillment services provide business owners or companies with a chance to customize products and orders and eCommerce businesses must do well in ensuring that any chosen fulfillment service provider offers these services.

Alongside branding, the variety of packaging options offered by an order fulfillment service provider is important for any business.

From corrugated boxes to plastic boxes to rigid, protective boxes to custom packaging, fulfillment services offer selected packaging options, and choosing a provider with a suitable set of packaging options is the best way to go.

6. Returns Processing

Returns processing is an area of order fulfillment that isn’t wished for but, sadly, cannot be avoided.

Returns processing is so rampant that, according to Invesp, at least 30% of all online orders are returned.

Even with the most perfect of order fulfillment operations and products, customers may choose to cancel orders and it is why eCommerce businesses should ensure that they are well covered by any chosen order fulfillment service provider.

Order Fulfillment Services FAQ

What is 3rd party fulfillment?

Fulfillment entails every process involved in the supply chain and ensuring customer orders are dealt with accurately.

This includes ordering items from suppliers to delivering these items to customers and all the operations in between.

It also involves taking care of return logistics when customers are not satisfied with products.

While a lot of small businesses take care of these activities themselves, other businesses which deal with a massive amount of inventory items and orders may encounter problems or find these activities too tasking.

This is where 3rd party fulfillment comes in.

3rd party fulfillment is a form of outsourcing where business owners or companies hire other specialized firms in handling operations in the supply chain.

Companies that offer these services pickup or receive goods from suppliers, store these goods in warehouses or fulfillment centers and deliver these goods to customers.

3rd party fulfillment helps growing businesses in achieving extensive business goals and also saves time, manpower, and money in running a large or growing business.

What does a fulfillment center do?

A fulfillment center serves as a storage unit where the inventory items of businesses are stored and all order preparation processes take place.

As opposed to warehouses, fulfillment centers hold onto inventory items for a short period of time and immediately take care of inventory management, order processing, and fast order delivery to customers

How do fulfillment services work?

Fulfillment services work through strategic warehouses and fulfillment centers to ensure that all the processes involved in the supply chain are well streamlined, fast, and accurate.

Making sure that orders get to the purchaser, fulfillment services collect, store, and keep track of inventory items, provide inventory management systems to businesses, and process deliveries after an order is placed for an item.

Fulfillment services also take care of distributing large amounts of inventory to retailers (B2B) and home or direct distributions to end-users (DTC)/(B2C).

Where an external courier service is needed, fulfillment services also help in negotiating shipping rates.

The status of orders is also presented to customers and businesses for proper tracking and transparency.

The overall goal of fulfillment services is to ensure that product management and delivery are as efficient as possible.

How do fulfillment centers make money?

Order fulfillment centers charge different amounts and at different time rates, however, these companies charge businesses or clients fees for similar services.
Some of these services and fees include;

A Setup fee, which is a one-time charge paid by businesses when signing up and usually covers eCommerce platform integration, warehouse preparation for storage of items, and, sometimes, order testing

A Storage fee, charged for the amount of storage space inventory items are projected to take up and may also include additional charges for slow-moving merchandise.

Pick And Pack fees, usually charged when a fulfillment service is required to physically pick up inventory items from suppliers or warehouses.

Receiving and inventory management fees, charged for receiving items at warehouses or fulfillment centers, and consistent accounting for stored inventory items.

Order handling fees, which are not common among fulfillment services and are charged for handling heavy or fragile orders or inventory items.

Packaging fees, charged for packages and packaging of orders and may vary, depending on the type of packaging service required.

Returns Processing fee, charged for processes involved in reverse logistics which include inspection, restocking, shipment to sellers, and disposal of merchandise.
Account management fee, charged for constant customer support services of fulfillment companies.

Technology/software platform fees, required to be paid by businesses or companies to have access to various warehouse, inventory, and order management software platforms.

Fulfillment services also make money by charging additional fees for express/rushed order processing, kitting, international shipping, and document preparation, among many others.

What is the order fulfillment process?

The order fulfillment process entails all the operations involved in the supply chain.
To go deeper into details, the order fulfillment process includes; 

Picking up or receiving inventory items from suppliers or warehouses;
Packing and storing these inventory items in storage units which could either be warehouses or fulfillment centers.

Inventory management, which consists of stock-keeping, report generation, analytics, and a software platform for businesses to have control of inventories and access to inventory information. 

Order processing begins the moment orders are received and involves inventory tracing, picking, distribution, and logistics as well as packaging.

Packaging processes range from branding to custom packaging to kitting.
After order processing, the shipment or delivery of orders or goods through in-house or external couriers takes place.

Updates are usually enabled for businesses and customers to keep track of the status of orders where a software platform is involved.

Returns processing, which is ultimately the last operation in order fulfillment and takes place where customers are not satisfied with the orders delivered.

How can I improve my order fulfillment?

Business owners or companies can improve order fulfillment operations by making little adjustments and strategic changes.

Firstly, choosing appropriate warehouses or fulfillment centers that are close to target customers is a good way to start.

If target customers are indefinite or not easily determinable, spreading inventory across multiple storage locations helps to improve the speed and efficiency of order fulfillment.

Secondly, it is advised that businesses which require outsourcing should employ 3PL services with trustworthy inventory visibility, order tracking, and management systems throughout the supply chain.

As customer satisfaction is the main goal of fulfillment operations, keeping close contact with or updating customers in real-time, throughout order processing and shipping, also helps to improve customer trust, satisfaction, and relationships.

A shipper or courier in 2PL relationships also has a lot of influence on customer satisfaction and searching for reviews about good or bad courier experiences before picking a shipper will help in avoiding regrets.

Ready to Grow Your eCommerce Business with Order Fulfillment Services?

Dealing with the fulfillment of a growing eCommerce business can be one of the most stressful parts of running a business venture.

3PL services exist to ensure that this burden is taken away and businesses can focus on other areas of building an eCommerce brand.

However, 3PL services come in different forms and provide different services and advantages to eCommerce businesses.

FedEx Fulfillment and FloshipEurope are the best, highly dependable choices for international order fulfillment services.  

Rakuten Super Logistics offers specialized fulfillment operations only in the US. While ShipBob is the best choice for small scale businesses and DTC shipments within the US.

Properly weighing options and choosing the best order fulfillment service that suits your eCommerce business needs is the right step in saving time and money while keeping business operations efficient and productive.

Written by
Martin Luenendonk
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