Shopping for 3PL’s is as much an art as it is business modeling. There are 5 critical components to consider when researching warehouse and prep partners. This article explores what typical 3PL requirements have for FBA Sellers & how to shop 3PLs.
Will My Product Work with a 3PL Requirements?
3PL’s come in many shapes and sizes – much like the cartons they service. So where does your product and its packaging fit within the 3PL space. What is the size of your product or its master cartons? Do you have enough product to meet the minimum cubic volume a 3PL requires for storage? Do they offer more than storage services? What level of prep do you need? This article explores these questions and outlines several scenarios you will encounter in your 3PL research.
Is my Product Oversized Per 3PL Requirements?
Per FBA guidelines, an oversized carton extends beyond 25″ in Length, Width or Height. How does your current carton sizes measure up to that? Additionally, heavy cartons require extra documentation. Any case over 50lbs requires a label that declares “Team Lift Required”. Any case over 100lbs requires a label that declares “Mechanical Lift Required”. Makes sure to ask about 3PL requirements related to larger cartons. They might have stricter limits or capabilities compared to Amazon’s warehouse.
Do I have enough Product to Meet 3PL Requirements?
A lot of 3PL’s employ a basic product minimum to render their services. For example, they do not want 100 clients with 10 cartons or else. They’d rather have 1 client with 1000 cartons. Operationally – this just makes sense. If you can service just one client’s need one set of products – why would you create x10 more work for yourself by juggling nine other client requests. So make sure you inquire as to product minimums when scouting 3PL partners. A small note, FbaZoom started as sellers, who now support sellers with our warehouse. We learned how to scale our e-commerce business. That means we do not have the same 3PL requirements that other warehouses put on newer sellers.
What Type of Product Prep do I Need?
Firstly, understand what is required of your product. If you do a supply chain audit, which products will need different prep at different times. What labels do your master cartons need? What barcodes do your products need? Does your product need safety or expiration date stickers? Are you bundling two or more products together? These are big questions if you are both wholesaling or private labeling.
What Type of Product Prep Does a 3PL Offer?
In short, know the needs of your products and when they need them. For example, a private label client shipping containers of product, might be able to coordinate FBA labeling on their cartons. Smaller sellers might need that FBA labeling built by a 3PL, once they are delivered from port to warehouse. Alternatively, most internal product prep is completed by the factory. But maybe a miscommunication caused an error in labels or packaging. So make sure you understand what you need or might need vs what a 3PL partner can offer. Certain 3PL requirements need products delivered in certain state of prep to do work on them. Alternatively, at FbaZoom, we offer a full suite of FBA prep services and always offer custom built prep services for unique requests.