Finding a reliable fulfillment center is the fundamental precondition of a profitable business. Therefore, you need to make sure that the 3PL company has all that it takes to handle your logistics requirements.

As the world is turning into a global village, it is getting increasingly difficult for businesses to keep up the pace and satisfy the expectations of their demanding customers. Logistics is one of the most significant pain points in this field, so most companies cooperate with fulfillment centers to handle deliveries.

According to the report, more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies use dedicated contract carriage, warehousing, distribution, transportation management, and software services. Warehousing and storage in the US is currently a $25 billion industry employing over 230 thousand people.

But the big question for entrepreneurs is how to find a reliable third-party logistics (3PL) partner. To help you with this, we decided to explain how 3PL can help you improve your business and describe 6 distinctive traits of a successful fulfillment center.


The Benefits of Establishing a 3PL Partnership

A 3PL partnership gives you a number of advantages, most of which come directly as the result of fulfillment center features. Some of the most important benefits include:

  • Tailored service: Hiring a 3PL company, you can successfully handle even the most sensitive cargo projects. They rarely provide clients with “one size fits all” solutions but rather customize their offers to manage the needs of each partner individually.
  • Quality customer service: Most of the fulfillment centers build professional customer service teams to ensure quick and concise communication, thus building trust between the two parties.
  • Cheap value-added service: Once you establish a partnership with the 3PL provider, you can expect value-added services that cost close to nothing or even free of charge.
  • Advanced reporting: Modern fulfillment centers offer immaculate reporting possibilities, ranging from small-scale daily statements to the biggest annual reports and industry predictions.
  • Real-time tracking: The digital era enabled 3PL operators to monitor deliveries around the clock. As a client, you can also follow the progress of your orders to make sure that everything goes as planned.


What Makes a Great Fulfillment Center: Top 6 Features

Now that you know the benefits of establishing a 3PL partnership, it is time to learn more about the features that make a good fulfillment center. There are dozens of different traits to discuss here, but we selected the top six qualities:

1. Flexibility

Flexibility is one of the most essential characteristics of a successful fulfillment service. We already mentioned the ability to customize services and adapt to the needs of each client separately, which is impossible if 3PL is not flexible enough to meet all requirements.

If you need a 24-hour delivery, it’s not a problem for the best companies. Do you need combined transportation services that require multiple transport models? Again, it’s not a problem for the best companies.

They also offer the possibility of less than truckload (LTT) shipping, making sure that you deliver smaller loads promptly. And you can always negotiate the payment terms, particularly if you do a lot of business together.

2. Inventory optimization

A lot of companies are really struggling to manage inventory and keep the optimal amount of stocks. According to the study, almost half of small and medium businesses either don’t track inventory or use a manual method. With 3PL, this is not a big issue anymore.

Fulfillment centers don’t only handle your goods but also analyze and evaluate the supply demand. That way, you take neither too much nor too little, but just enough inventory to keep your business running smoothly. It will cost you less long-term, keeping your business more profitable.

3. Expertise

The best fulfillment centers build teams of experienced professionals who possess the knowledge and expertise to successfully operate various logistics-related projects. These people know your problems even before you do, but they also know how to solve them.

At the same time, 3PL professionals have valuable contacts both locally and internationally. They can suggest you optimal routes and tell you things to avoid and improve your services. Besides that, fulfillment centers always know industry laws and regulations.

All this gives you the opportunity to focus on your core competencies, so you can improve performance in terms of sales, marketing, and customer relationships. Do what you do best and outsource the rest.

4. Big network

If you are running a business internationally, you need a 3PL that already has a big network of distribution centers all across the globe. You can ask a fulfillment center to show you a map of all locations, so you can comfortably make the partnership decision.

You also need to see how close they are to the major logistics hubs. Do they have quick access to the highways, airports, railroads, and shipping docks? Top-notch companies are able to fulfill all of your requirements in this field.

5. Scaling opportunities

With 3PL expertise, networks, and flexibility, you don’t have to waste your time, money, and human resources on logistics operations. This is extremely important because warehousing and logistics procedures often discourage companies and prevent further growth.

They tend to follow year-on-year results in order to avoid overstocking and shipment issues. On the other side, fulfillment centers give you the opportunity to scale the business more naturally. You don’t have to worry about logistics, but only focus on sales and acquiring new customers. The rest is up to your 3PL partner.

6. Technology

A report shows that 27% of shippers demand information technology services from 3PLs in 2018, which is a 10% increase compared to last year. The most successful fulfillment centers embrace state of the art IT solutions, which gives you additional advantages:

  • Automation: No need for manual operations of any kind.
  • Business intelligence: Learn details such as peak fulfillment times or travel distances.
  • Error reduction: No human errors, duplicate work, data entry typos.
  • Improved customer service: You can always answer customer inquiries with updated information.


Finding a reliable fulfillment center is the fundamental precondition of a profitable business. Therefore, you need to make sure that the 3PL company has all that it takes to handle your logistics requirements.

In this post, we showed you how 3PL can help you improve your business and described 6 distinctive traits of a successful fulfillment center. Keep our tips in mind while searching for the business partner – it might save you a lot of time and make your business more productive in the long run!

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