3PL Checklist: Signs You Should Break Up with Your Shipping Partner

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As an eCommerce retailer, order accuracy and on-time delivery are the keys to great relationships with your customers. As your business grows, you will need to recruit help to continue meeting your shoppers’ requests. This is where a 3PL can help. However, not all shipping partners are made equal. Instead of helping streamline your shipping and fulfillment, many 3PL’s cause more friction with your business. Working with a 3PL should improve your business – not hold you back. Here’s a checklist to help you determine if it’s time to break up with your current 3PL.

Let’s start with some questions to get you started:

  • How is your 3PL’s order accuracy?
  • Have you experienced fulfillment errors?
  • How many warehouses are you using?

Order Volume

Is your current 3PL able to handle your order volume? Late deliveries and lost merchandise are sure signs that your current shipping partner is failing. As we’ve seen in the last year, consumers have a growing demand for eCommerce. As your business expands nationally, so will the number of customer orders. It’s important that your 3PL can scale their methods with your growing database and eliminate the potential for any errors to occur along the way.

Storage Space

Scalability is an important factor in determining whether it’s time to break up with your 3PL. The busier your business becomes, the more space you will need to house products, package them, and manage returns. Using a shipping partner with only one warehouse will cause difficulties with efficient shipping, especially if your customers are located across multiple states. Instead, recruit an experienced 3PL with fulfillment centers located closest to your customers. Rakuten Super Logistics, for example, offers a nationwide network of 15 fulfillment centers to clients, allowing them to cut down on shipping costs and time.

Related Article: Challenges Facing Growing eCommerce Businesses

Inventory Management

Whether you have an outgoing order or an incoming return, you need an efficient process. Ideally, your 3PL should effortlessly handle your reverse logistics while also accurately shipping and fulfilling your customers’ orders. However, not all 3PLs have the most up-to-date inventory management systems and can keep your business stuck in the dark ages. Old technology and the inability to adapt to changing demands in eCommerce are huge red flags and clear signals that you need to break up with your 3PL.

In addition to these major areas of your logistics, there are other obvious signs that your 3PL is no longer a great fit for your business. Late deliveries, mixed up orders, and damaged products are major signs that your shipping partner is hurting your business. It’s time to stop wasting your time and hard-earned dollars on an unreliable shipping partner.

At Rakuten Super Logistics, our team is dedicated to supporting your business in every aspect of shipping and logistics. We’ll help you cut your costs, improve your order accuracy, and deliver your products faster.

Ready to ditch your 3PL? Contact us today! We’ll even cover up to $10,000 in moving costs.

Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is the leader in eCommerce order fulfillment services and freight brokerage. RSL offers national fulfillment services and a network of 15 US fulfillment centers located in Anaheim (CA), Atlanta (GA), Austin (TX), Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Miami (FL), Olean (NY), Reno (NV), Salt Lake City (UT), and Scranton (PA). Their state-of-the-art technology allows for integration with popular shopping cart platforms and online marketplaces including Amazon, Big Commerce, Channel Advisor, eBay, Magento, ShipStation, Shopify, Volusion, Walmart Marketplace, and WooCommerce.