7 of The Best Shopify 3PL Companies to Level-up Your Fulfillment
Are you seeking a Shopify 3PL (third-party logistics) provider to scale your eCommerce business?
You are in the right place.
As your Shopify business expands, logistics and fulfillment consume more time and effort.
Focusing on aspects that ensure business growth - product development, marketing, and customer relationships - becomes increasingly challenging.
This is where third-party logistics (3PL) companies become involved. Mordor Intelligence estimates that the 3PL market will reach USD 1.59 trillion by 2028.
If you are searching for a Shopify 3PL company to partner with or reviewing a few companies to diversify, here is all you need to know to choose the right fit for your Shopify business.
What is 3PL for Shopify?
Third-party logistics, or 3PL, involves outsourcing logistics and supply chain management to external service providers.
These 3PL companies serve as B2B service providers, assisting e-commerce businesses in managing their entire supply chain. They provide various services like order fulfillment, inventory management, warehousing, and order distribution, allowing you to save money and focus on what matters the most - selling unique products.
First, Shopify 3PL companies handle the logistics and alleviate associated challenges. Then, a 3 PL company will take the products from your supplier, store your goods in their warehouse, package them, deal with paperwork, and send them out from the warehouse nearest your customers. You can track the whole process from your Shopify dashboard as a bonus.
The study shows that 90% of Fortune 500 companies use the services of 3PL companies to preserve cash and increase supply chain efficiency. For many businesses, large or small, partnering with 3PL companies provides a chance to navigate challenges like a supply chain crisis.
How Does a 3PL for Shopify Work?
While the fulfillment process can differ from provider to provider, the process usually looks like this for retailers using a 3pl for Shopify:
- Your inventory is delivered to the 3PL warehouse, where they store and meticulously document each product, arranging them by SKU. This process indicates that your logistics have been handed over.
- When a customer places an order on your Shopify store, the order should either be forwarded manually to 3PL or 3PL gets an automatic notification about a new order (if the software is synced with Shopify).
- Once the order is in the system, a warehouse team member will collect the ordered items and prepare them for shipment using suitable materials, like envelopes, boxes, packing, and labels, and include receipts and order details.
- When the order is ready, the shipping carrier collects and processes the package. The carrier provides tracking information that is uploaded to 3PL and synced with your Shopify store.
- Some 3PL platforms also handle your returns and exchanges.
Key Benefits of Using a Shopify 3PL for Your Store
Now that you understand the services 3PL companies provide, you may be curious about the benefits your Shopify store can gain from such a partnership. Here are several advantages of partnering with 3PL company.
1. Reduces your capital investment
In the long run, investing in your own warehouses and distribution centers is more expensive than your initial investment in a 3PL. While working with 3PL, you will not need to spend money on facilities, employee training, and equipment.
2. Saves money
3Pl handles all your logistic-related expenses. For example, robotic machinery works 24/7, so retailers can process orders immediately, benefiting from instant shipping. While buying a robot for a standalone business may seem extravagant, automating a warehouse that handles hundreds of firms makes sense.
3. Allows to focus on your business
Fortune 500 companies utilize the services of 3PL companies to outsource their supply chain function that specializes in it. It takes away the pains of following ever-changing logistic compliance and regulations. You can instead focus on growing your revenue.
4. Boosts international expansion
If you dream of selling your goods abroad, teaming up with a 3PL company will help you test the market without navigating the deep waters of foreign country legalities. It allows you to test if the market is worth it without understanding the local labor laws and real estate.
5. Faster delivery for customers
In a world where customer's delivery expectations are continuously increasing, using a 3PL for Shopify can give you a competitive edge. Many 3PL providers offer extremely fast shipping options - such as 2-day, 1-day and even same day delivery. Fast delivery and easy returns are among the most influential factors for online shoppers.
Disadvantages of a Shopify 3PL
No matter how enticing new opportunities may seem, it's natural to question whether partnering with 3PL companies is the right choice for you. Here are some downsides you should consider when you outsource your logistics.
1. Initial investments
Setting up with a 3PL provider can require significant funds. There are usually account set-up fees associated with software integration. Transportation costs you pay to have your product shipped to a 3PL warehouse, monthly warehousing fees, and sometimes, you must meet the minimum monthly spend. If you’re only fulfilling a few orders a month, or operating on a very tight budget, it may be more cost effective to handle order fulfillment yourself
2. Different workflows and operating hours
3PL warehouses located in various locations and time zones cannot work according to your own schedule. Partnering with the 3PL company means that you lose some control over how and when things happen. You can add contact centers to ensure that your customers are not affected.
The 7 Best Shopify 3pl Solutions for Your Businesses
There are plenty of 3PL companies for Shopify you can choose from. However, a few of them truly shine.
First, ShipBob is a Shopify Plus Certified App Partner and easily integrates with other major e-commerce platforms (Amazon, TikTok, WooCormmerce, and Bigcommerce). ShipBob provides a worldwide network of strategically located warehouses in Australia, the UK, Canada, the US, and Europe. While the broad network ensures swift delivery, ShipBob provides a 2-day Express Shipping Program at an additional cost.
ShipBob offers various 3Pl services, such as order fulfillment, state-of-the-art warehousing, an express shipping program, order management, inventory management, reporting and analytics, and return management services. Pricing depends on package weight, dimensions, and destination. You can request a quote on the company website.
2. ShipNetwork (Rakuten Super Logistics)
ShipNetwork, also known as Rakuten, has 20 years of expertise in the logistics industry. They’re undoubtedly one of the best Shopify 3pl options. The company boasts a broad US network of over ten fulfillment centers, offering one of the best options for Shopify business owners. This also allows them to deliver most packages within a 1-2 day window.
ShipNetwork extends its services beyond standard order fulfillment and offers return management, subscription box management, kitting, and additional services. The company understands that every Shopify business has different needs; therefore, they base their custom pricing on volume, SKU mix, average product weight, and more.
FedEx is a well-established and recognized global e-commerce logistics company and is considered one of the most reliable 3PL companies to partner with. Partnering with FedEx may improve your conversion rate as customers trust recognized companies more. The company provides an all-in-one integrated solution, allowing you to enjoy seamless processes.
In addition to standard 3PL services, FedEx offers branded packaging to boost your product recognition and make customers’ unboxing experience unforgettable. The company also provides domestic and international freight shipping options. FedEx offers various shipping options and pricing models, including possible business discounts.
4. Total Quality Logistics (TQL)
TQL is an excellent Shopify 3pl for US and Canadian businesses. It offers everything from order fulfillment, warehousing, labeling, kitting, customer brokerage, picking and packing, and more. With an impressive 1400 warehouses in 455 cities and more than 50 platform integrations, TQL is an excellent choice for any Shopify store.
Can it get any better? Sure. TQL offers 24/7 live customer support and various phone lines you can dial to address your concerns. You can call 800-580-3101 to learn more about their pricing models.
ShipMonk stands out as it focuses on 3PL for e-commerce fulfillment, while most other companies offer fulfillment as one of many services. The company fulfillment centers are in the UK, the US, Canada, and Mexico. ShipMonk provides various Shopify 3pl shipping options and aims to deliver domestic parcels in 1-3 days.
ShipMonk offers robust and scalable software, including the Shopify app, API integrations, and automated mapping and bundling capabilities. The company offers a comprehensive onboarding process to ensure you can make the most of the software. The company also has one of the most detailed pricing calculators that provides a rough estimate based on your needs.
6. Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN)
No surprise, Shopify offers its fulfillment network. A Shopify store has to apply to become a part of the network. The store must be located in the US and meet eligibility requirements. Successful applicants proceed to onboarding, which usually takes two weeks. SFN promises to deliver 98% of orders on time, in three days or less.
SFN integrates with numerous sales channels such as Facebook, Google, Instagram, TikTok, and Walmart Marketplace. Working with SFN can grant your store the “Shop Promise” badge. The badge lets your customers know your store offers prompt and reliable delivery, thus boosting their trust. SFN pricing covers inventory management and delivery with no up-front fee. Check out their cost calculator for detailed pricing.
DHL is another well-recognized company with an impressive global presence based on 1,400 warehouses across 22 countries. A dedicated team of 380,000 professionals offers their warehousing, inventory management, kitting, picking, packing, and assembly expertise. A direct integration with Shopify makes teaming up with DHL a seamless experience.
DHL encourages innovation and uses indoor mobile robots to improve the fulfillment stage. The company sets trends in logistics and thinks ahead to ensure that its customers have the best experience. While this affects their pricing, many companies pay more for a streamlined shipping process and a customer-centric approach.
Choose the Best Shopify 3pl for your Business Today!
Shopify 3PL companies are a to-go choice for scaling your business without investing much. While the initial cost may seem high, using a Shopify 3PL is worth every cent in the long run. It allows you to reach the word on your terms without leaving your home.
Once you choose your ideal Shopify 3PL partner, you can spend more time improving customer satisfaction and learning new ways to sell more products on Shopify.
Shopify 3pl FAQ
Let’s quickly cover some of the most commonly asked questions related to 3pl providers for Shopify:
What is 3PL in Shopify?
3PL in Shopify stands for Third-Party Logistics. It involves outsourcing logistics and fulfillment services to a specialized company to streamline order processing and delivery.
Does Shopify provide logistics?
Shopify offers its own logistics service called Shopify Fulfillment Network which is available to qualifying retailers. However Shopify also integrates with various third-party logistics (3PL) providers to offer a range of fulfillment solutions for merchants.
Does Shopify manage logistics?
While Shopify manages some retailers' logistics via its 3pl service called Shopify Fulfillment Network, Shopify also facilitates integration with third-party logistics (3PL) providers, allowing you to choose and manage your preferred logistics partners.