Skip to content

Going Beyond Your Typical 3PL

3PL For eCommerce

3PL, also known as Third Party Logistics, involves retailers outsourcing their eCommerce logistics processes. Outsourcing in this way provides merchants with the time and money to achieve more for their business, while leaving order fulfilment to a 3PL, such as RedSky.

Typical 3PL Services and Processes

  • Warehousing
  • Inventory Management 
  • Distribution 
  • Packaging
  • Shipping

3PLs are logistics experts, and as a result, provide huge value to eCommerce businesses. By choosing a 3PL, you can outsource warehousing, distribution, shipping,  inventory management, and more.

When working with a 3PL such as RedSky, eCommerce order fulfilment is made easy for online merchants. From packaging to shipping, all services are combined and looked after in one location. Outsourcing logistics and supply chain management needs will become easy with a 3PL.

The RedSky Approach to 3PL Fulfillment

  1. Inventory Receipt
  2. Warehousing
  3. Picking
  4. Packing 
  5. Delivery

1. Inventory Receipt 

The first step when working with a 3PL such as RedSky, is sending inventory to the eCommerce warehouse. Once a merchant’s inventory arrives at the warehouse, it is then accepted, quality checked, categorised and prepared for storage. 

2. Warehousing

All inventory is then stored inside the warehouse fulfilment centre. Every product has a unique SKU and is uploaded onto a warehouse management system. The various SKUs are then divided and taken to separate storage locations, which in our case at RedSky, may be in a bin, on a shelf or on a pallet. Items are pre-identified based on barcodes and location.

3. Picking 

The 3PL fulfilment process begins the moment a customer places an order. At RedSky, our sophisticated technology integrates directly with every merchant’s eCommerce platform or marketplace. Orders, shipments, inventory stock levels and inventory tracking are a number of the details captured that are used to streamline the fulfilment process for more automated shipping. When an online order comes in, it is assigned to our picking team. This team then receives a picking list of various terms, quantities and locations within the warehouse, in order to locate the items required for the order. 

4. Packing

When all products for the order have been picked, they are then brought to the packing desk. Here they are packed for secure shipping. The materials used will vary depending on the items being shipped and whether there are brand preferences. Our standard packaging includes unbranded boxes, poly bags, bubble envelopes, packing tapes, bubble wrap and dunnage. 

5. Delivery

At RedSky, we offer an international delivery service. Every product that leaves our eCommerce fulfilment centre is fully tracked until it reaches its final destination. Our teams understand the importance of customer satisfaction, fast delivery times and easy returns. We offer delivery in Europe between 2-4 days.

5 Benefits of Choosing a 3PL

  1. Reduced Operational Costs
  2. Time-Saving
  3. Logistics Experts at Hand 
  4. Scalability
  5. Continuous Optimisation

1. Reduced Operational Costs

Choosing to work with a 3PL reduces both an eCommerce merchant’s start-up costs and operating costs. 3PLs allow online retailers to purchase such services at scale, making them a significantly cheaper alternative than doing it alone.

For example, a small online retailer may purchase 100 pallets to store their inventory, while a 3PL will purchase 10,000 pallets, making their bulk buying costs much lower. This is the same for costs such as shipping and packaging. Additionally, working with a 3PL eliminates an online retailer’s need for warehouse staff and technology.

2. Time-Saving

3PLs have large warehouses, staff and facilities. This enables them to process large order numbers at any given time. From smaller-scale orders to large-scale orders. No matter what size the customer order is, a 3PL will have the time to process it with ease. It also gives you more time to focus on the growth of your business.

3. Logistics Experts at Hand

A 3PL ensures there are a wide variety of reliable, skilled and seasoned professionals on hand at all times. At RedSky, our team is always available to assist eCommerce retailers with queries or advice in relation to their fulfilment needs. Leaving this part of the business to a 3PL allows time for online merchants to focus on the core competencies of the business.

4. Scalability

Working with a 3PL provides small and large businesses with the opportunity to grow into new regions without barriers. RedSky can assist online merchants in new market growth and can help you scale both at busy peak season, and quieter off-peak season. 

5. Continuous Optimisation 

3PLs always ensure they are using the most cost-effective methods for your business. They will always have the most up to date sophisticated management software to streamline the supply chain, and they always analyse and monitor best practices for your business.

Looking for a trusted partner?

Reduce your shipping, returns and VAT headaches throughout Europe with a dedicated team experienced with global brands, big and small. We’re here to answer questions and give you options.

Latest from our eCommerce blog