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What to Evaluate When Choosing A Fulfillment Center?

If your product is delicate, heavy, contain hazardous materials, or is otherwise difficult to ship, you might want to consider hiring a 3PL firm. The earlier you integrate with your 3PL service provider, the smoother your operations will run and the happier your customers will be.

When you’re evaluating a fulfillment partner, you should be looking at scalability. You want to find a fulfillment center that helps your business with its current needs while also having the capacity to grow with your business. To that end, here are some of the factors you should consider with any 3PL eCommerce fulfillment center:

Fees

Fulfillment providers often have different fee structures. Some may only charge a per-order and storage fee, while others may break down fees into various services (such as a picking fee, packaging fee, etc.). Onboarding fees are charged by some providers, too.

Bear in mind that many fulfillment centers will scale their fees based on how many orders you process in a given month. The more orders, the lesser the fees. Some fulfillment centers won’t even do business with you unless you meet a certain minimum monthly order volume.

Multiple fulfillment centers

To meet the demand for fast, free shipping, many fulfillment providers offer multiple strategic fulfillment center locations (both national and international). Choosing centers that have multiple locations can significantly cut down on shipping costs by sending products shorter distances. By using trends in your order data, you may be able to identify particularly high-volume locations, which will help you narrow down your ideal fulfillment center(s).