3PL Logistics Service Providers For eCommerce Businesses

You've got an e-commerce business and you're looking to scale. Congrats, that's exciting! But with increased sales comes increased complexity. How are you going to ship more orders, handle returns, track inventory and still keep your customers happy? That's where a third-party logistics provider comes in. A 3PL can take over key logistics functions so you can focus on growing your business.

But not all 3PLs are created equal. How do you find one tailored to e-commerce companies like yours? One that can handle the seasonal spikes, the multiple shipments per order, the kitting and assembly? One with the technology, infrastructure and experience to help you scale? One that provides the customer service your buyers expect?

This article will walk you through what to look for in an e-commerce focused 3PL and some of the leading options on the market today. Because while logistics may not be your core business, in today's on-demand economy, delivery experience is everything. Your customers want their orders fast, accurate and hassle-free. The right 3PL logistics service provider can help you make that happen.

What Is a 3PL Logistics Service Provider?

A third-party logistics provider, or 3PL, is an external company that handles logistics and supply chain management functions for businesses. As an e-commerce company, using a 3PL for your logistics needs means handing over warehouse management, inventory control, fulfillment, and shipping to a team of experts. This allows you to focus on your core business.

Working with a 3PL logistics service provider offers several benefits. They have the infrastructure, technology, and logistics expertise that would be costly and time-consuming for a small e-commerce business to develop in-house. A 3PL can also negotiate better shipping rates with carriers due to their high volume.

ENVOY is a full-service 3PL for e-commerce and B2B companies. We handle:

  • Warehousing: We operate secure warehouses with inventory management software to effectively store and track your products.

  • Fulfillment: We pick, pack and ship your customer orders promptly and accurately. Our team follows your specific packing requirements and can even include custom product inserts or promotional materials.

  • Shipping: We've negotiated rates with major carriers like UPS and FedEx to get you the best prices. We handle all aspects of shipping from printing labels to drop-off.

By outsourcing your logistics to ENVOY, you eliminate the hassle and cost of managing multiple warehouses and shipping operations in-house. As an established 3PL, we have the expertise and resources to scale with your growing business and ensure a superior delivery experience for your customers. Focus on sales - we'll handle the rest!

Benefits of Using a 3PL for eCommerce Businesses

As an ecommerce business, using a third-party logistics or 3PL provider offers some major benefits.

Cost savings

Outsourcing fulfillment and shipping to a 3PL means you can avoid the costs of warehousing, packaging, and delivery yourself. 3PLs already have the infrastructure and resources in place, allowing them to handle logistics more efficiently and pass the savings onto you.


3PLs specialize in logistics and have expertise in areas like warehousing, transportation, and technology integration that you likely lack. They stay up-to-date with the latest tools, software, and best practices to optimize your supply chain.


It's difficult for a growing ecommerce company to quickly scale their own fulfillment operations. 3PLs give you flexibility to ramp up or down for seasonal peaks and as your business expands or contracts. They have the space, staffing, and ability to handle increases and decreases in volume.

Improved delivery

3PLs have relationships with major carriers and can often negotiate better rates and faster delivery options for your customers. They are also able to offer more custom delivery choices as your business grows.

Using a 3PL for logistics and fulfillment allows ecommerce businesses to focus on their core competencies while providing an improved customer experience. For hassle-free shipping and warehousing, partnering with a 3PL is a smart strategic move.

How to Choose the Right 3PL Partner for Your Business

Choosing a 3PL logistics service provider is an important decision that can make or break your ecommerce business. Here are some tips to find the right match:


Look for a 3PL with experience handling ecommerce orders and the specific types of products you sell. They should understand the fast shipping expectations of online shoppers and have streamlined processes to get orders out the door quickly. Ask about their experience with fulfillment during peak seasons like the holidays.


Determine what services you need like warehousing, pick and pack, shipping, and returns management. Make sure any 3PL you consider offers a full range of solutions to support ecommerce and can scale with your business. It’s best if they provide integrated software to give you visibility into your inventory and orders at every stage of the fulfillment process.


Compare the rates and fees of different 3PLs to find an affordable option that fits your budget. While cost is important, don’t choose a 3PL solely based on price. Cheaper service often means lower quality, slower fulfillment, and less transparency into your operations. Look for a 3PL with reasonable, straightforward pricing that aligns with the level of service you need.


Evaluate the technology platforms and software of each 3PL. They should offer tools for inventory management, shipping integration, reporting and analytics, and more. Make sure their systems are compatible with your ecommerce platform and any other business software you use. Advanced technology and automation will ensure faster, more accurate fulfillment.


Choose a 3PL that is willing to customize their services to your needs. They should be open to starting with a limited range of options so you can scale up as your business grows. Look for a provider who treats you as a long-term partner, not just another client. The right 3PL match will support your success every step of the way.

Your 3PL Logistics Service Provider Is Waiting For You

So there you have it, the key things e-commerce businesses should understand about third-party logistics providers. As you scale your operations, a 3PL partner could be a game changer in managing the complex logistics and helping you provide the best customer experience. Do your research, find a provider that suits your needs and budget, and make sure you have a solid contract in place. Once you find the right fit, you'll be able to focus on growing your business knowing that your logistics are in good hands. The shipping and logistics world may seem complicated, but with the right 3PL by your side, you'll be navigating it like a pro in no time.

Have a question about our pricing? We offer cost-effective and transparent pricing.

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