Which E-Commerce Giants Trust 3PLs to Power Their Supply Chain?

Have you ever wondered how massive e-commerce companies are able to offer two-day shipping and seamless order tracking to customers across North America? The secret is that many outsource key parts of their supply chain operations to third-party logistics companies, known as 3PLs. As an e-commerce business owner, you’re likely managing everything from product sourcing to last-mile delivery, all while trying to scale fast. It can be overwhelming, but here’s the good news: some of the biggest players in e-commerce have been in your shoes and solved this by partnering with 3PLs. Companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Wayfair now trust 3PLs to power huge parts of their supply chain, from warehousing and fulfillment to transportation and reverse logistics. In this article, we’ll explore which major e-commerce companies are working with 3PLs and how those partnerships enable them to provide a world-class customer experience. You’ll gain insights into how 3PLs can transform your own e-commerce supply chain and take your business to the next level.

Amazon Relies on 3PLs to Meet Customer Demand

Amazon relies heavily on third-party logistics companies (3PLs) to keep their massive e-commerce machine running smoothly. As the largest online retailer, Amazon ships millions of packages per day to customers around the globe. They simply can't handle that volume on their own.

Instead, Amazon leverages 3PLs like UPS, FedEx, and USPS to transport goods from their warehouses to customers' doors. These logistics partners also help Amazon move products between their own fulfillment centers. Without 3PLs supporting their supply chain, Amazon wouldn't have the capability to offer their trademark fast, free shipping.

Not only do 3PLs physically transport Amazon's inventory, but they also handle crucial services like package sorting, tracking, and delivery. 3PLs have spent decades optimizing their distribution networks and developing advanced logistics software and automation. Amazon benefits from these efficiencies and technology without having to build them in-house.

Relying on established 3PL partners allows Amazon to focus on their core business of serving customers and expanding their product selection. The key is finding 3PLs that can scale with Amazon's astronomical growth while maintaining high standards for speed and service. For Amazon's 3PL partners, Amazon's massive volume also provides opportunities to gain more business and invest in new capabilities.

It's a symbiotic relationship that powers the modern e-commerce experience. As Amazon and other e-retailers continue to grow, 3PLs will remain instrumental in delivering goods to customers quickly and reliably at a massive scale. The logistics networks that make two-day shipping seem effortless are far more complex than most customers realize. But without them, the e-commerce giants wouldn't stand a chance.

Walmart Leverages 3PL Scalability for Omnichannel Growth

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, relies on third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to power its supply chain and enable its e-commerce growth. As Walmart expands its omnichannel strategy, offering customers the ability to shop in stores, online, and through mobile apps, 3PLs provide the flexibility and scalability Walmart needs.

Walmart partners with companies like UPS, FedEx, DHL, and XPO Logistics to ship millions of packages per year to customers across the U.S. These 3PLs handle everything from last-mile delivery and returns management to warehousing and freight forwarding. By outsourcing logistics to established providers, Walmart can focus on its core business while leveraging 3PL expertise and infrastructure.

Cost Savings and Efficiency

Working with 3PLs also allows Walmart to cut costs. 3PLs that specialize in e-commerce and retail logistics can often negotiate better rates with carriers due to their high shipping volumes. They also have the technology, resources, and streamlined processes in place to optimize routes and reduce wasted time and effort. These efficiencies translate into lower costs for Walmart and cheaper prices for customers.

Relying on trusted 3PL partners enables Walmart to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience across channels. As Walmart continues expanding its e-commerce operations, 3PL scalability and flexibility will be crucial to supporting future growth in a cost-effective manner. By building strong relationships with leading 3PLs, Walmart can leverage their logistics knowledge and resources to further enhance its supply chain.

Target's 3PL Partners Enable Seamless Omnichannel Experiences

Target has leveraged 3PL partnerships to enable seamless omnichannel shopping experiences for customers. 3PLs, or third-party logistics providers, handle key parts of Target’s supply chain like warehousing, fulfillment and shipping. By outsourcing these logistical functions to 3PLs, Target is able to focus on their core business of designing trendy yet affordable products and running their network of retail stores.

Target’s 3PL partners play an instrumental role in supporting their e-commerce operations and omnichannel initiatives. For example, many of Target’s online orders are fulfilled directly from 3PL warehouses scattered across the U.S. and Canada. 3PLs pick, pack and ship these orders, ensuring speedy, accurate deliveries to customers. Some 3PLs even handle returns for Target.com, accepting returns at their locations on Target’s behalf.

Target also relies on 3PLs to enable services like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). When you place an order on Target.com and select in-store pick up, a nearby 3PL will often process and pack your order. They then coordinate with the store you chose for pick up to have your items ready within a couple hours. This seamless process is made possible through close collaboration between Target, their 3PL partners and individual stores.

In addition to e-commerce and omnichannel support, 3PLs gives Target greater flexibility and efficiency. They can quickly scale up or down their supply chain to match demand, especially during the busy holiday season. 3PLs also allow Target to expand into new markets faster since they don’t have to build their own distribution centers from scratch. Overall, Target's smart use of 3PL partnerships helps them achieve an optimized, customer-centric supply chain.

Best Buy 3PLs Optimize Inventory and Fulfillment

As an e-commerce business owner, you want a 3PL partner that can optimize your inventory and fulfillment. Some of the biggest e-commerce companies put their trust in 3PLs to handle this crucial part of their supply chain.


The e-commerce giant Amazon relies on 3PLs to help manage their massive selection of products. With over 12 million items for sale, Amazon utilizes 3PLs in their Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. Sellers can ship their inventory to Amazon's fulfillment centers, where 3PLs store the products and ship orders directly to customers. This allows Amazon to offer fast, free shipping through Prime without being overwhelmed by the volume of orders.


Walmart, another leader in e-commerce, works with 3PLs to fulfill online orders from their website and mobile app. Walmart has over 4,700 stores in the U.S. alone, so they partner with 3PLs that can quickly ship products to customers from local stores and dedicated e-commerce fulfillment centers. Offering in-store pick-up and fast shipping is key to competing with Amazon.


Wayfair, the popular furniture and home decor website, relies on 3PLs to handle fulfillment for their large, bulky products. Wayfair utilizes massive fulfillment centers, often over 1 million square feet in size, that are operated by 3PL partners. These 3PLs have the space, staff, and logistics capabilities to quickly and efficiently ship couches, tables, lighting fixtures, and more directly to Wayfair customers.

By partnering with major e-commerce brands, 3PLs gain valuable experience in optimizing inventory and streamlining the fulfillment process for high-volume orders. As an e-commerce business owner, you can benefit from this expertise by choosing a 3PL that has a proven track record of success in the e-commerce industry. The right 3PL will help you scale your operations, reduce costs, and keep your customers happy with fast, accurate deliveries.

Etsy Sellers Depend on 3PLs for Order Fulfillment

As an e-commerce seller on Etsy, you know how important fast, accurate order fulfillment is to your business. Rather than managing your own warehouse and shipping logistics, many Etsy sellers opt to outsource fulfillment to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider.

3PLs like us handle the storage, packaging, and shipping of your products so you can focus on designing, creating, and selling. We provide consistent, accurate logistics services at competitive prices while maintaining a proactive relationship with every client we work with.

Why Etsy Sellers Choose 3PLs

There are several benefits to using a 3PL for order fulfillment:

  • Save time. Managing your own fulfillment in-house requires a major time commitment. 3PLs handle everything from receiving inventory to shipping orders, freeing up your time to handle other areas of your business.

  • Reduce costs. 3PLs leverage economies of scale to negotiate lower shipping rates and save on operational costs. These savings are passed onto you. 3PLs also eliminate the need for you to invest in your own warehouse space and equipment.

  • Improve accuracy. 3PLs have advanced warehouse management systems and trained staff to ensure orders are fulfilled accurately and on time. They can also handle special requests like gift wrapping or including promotional materials.

  • Scale easily. As your Etsy shop grows, a 3PL makes it easy to scale your fulfillment operations. They have the space, staffing, and logistics capabilities to support you at every stage of growth.

  • Satisfy customers. Fast, accurate fulfillment and shipping is critical for keeping your Etsy customers happy. 3PLs ensure your orders get out the door quickly so you can maintain a high level of customer satisfaction and positive reviews.

For Etsy sellers, outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL is a smart way to streamline operations and set your shop up for success and scalability. The time and cost savings, combined with the ability to provide fast, reliable shipping and great customer service, make 3PLs an invaluable partner.

Outsource and Grow

That’s the scoop on which massive e-commerce players are leaning on third-party logistics providers to keep their supply chain running like a well-oiled machine. As you scale your own online business, partnering with a reputable 3PL is a smart move to ensure fast, accurate shipping without the headache of managing your own warehouses and fleet. Focus on what you do best - sourcing great products, building your brand, and optimizing the customer experience. Leave the heavy lifting of order fulfillment to the pros so you can continue innovating and pushing the envelope of e-commerce. The big guys are doing it, and with good reason. Why not you?

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