In a most basic sense a third party logistics warehouse can receive, store and forward products. These 3PL services are the core of their business. 3PL’s can offer these services to any volume of product. For example, they help clients with Cartons, Pallets or 40’ft Shipping Containers. Let’s break that down to understand these five 3PL services.
Products can be received by individual carton, pallet or shipping container. Let’s review what each scenario looks like. Which level of inventory do you need support with?
Carton Receiving – Small Parcel Delivery (SPD)
3PL services start with receiving individual cartons. 3PL’s will receive cartons of a client’s product into their warehouse. The cartons are organized, counted and forwarded or stored. The 3PL will offer to cross dock or store these products.
Is Cross-Docking apart of 3PL Services?
Yes. The term ‘cross docking’ denotes the act of receiving cartons through an inbound dock, completing any prep to forward them, and then transferring them to an outbound dock, where an empty truck trailer is waiting for pick up. The products do not sit. They are not stored. They move immediately out of one truck and into another waiting to take them to their next location. 3PLs offer this service for clients who want products forwarded immediately after arrival. But what if you want to move ALOT of cartons? 3PL’s help with Pallet Receiving of Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipments.
Pallet Receiving – Less Than Truckload (LTL)
3PL services also offer receiving of pallet shipments. 3PLs can receive a client’s Less than Truckload (LTL) delivery of pallets into it’s warehouse. The 3PL will offer to cross dock or store these products. If the pallets arrived with several types of cartons mixed together, they are broken down, organized, counted & forwarded or stored.
40’ft Container Receiving – Loose Loaded Cartons in a Shipping Container
3PL services offer receiving of 40’ft shipping containers. 3PLs receive either delivery of a 20’ft or 40’ft shipping container. These are typically loose-loaded/floor-loaded. The 3PL will offer to cross dock or store these products. If the container arrived with several types of cartons mixed together, they are unloaded, organized, counted, palletized and either cross docked or stored.
Pallet Storage – 3PL Service
A core 3PL service is product storage. This is done by the process of palletization, whereby the warehouse team builds cartons onto organized pallets to safely organize and store them until the client makes an outbound request.
Per FBA guidelines, pallets should not exceed a height of 72″ inches, nor should they extend beyond a pallets Length and Width of 48″ inches and 40″ inches. Additionally, pallets cannot weigh more than 1500lbs for delivery to Amazon’s Fulfilment Centers.
That being said, 3PL’s will often store pallets of larger sizes and bigger weights to help clients reduce storage costs. Certainly at FbaZoom, we do our best to optimally store products so as to save space and minimize monthly storage costs for clients. That means we’ll exceed FBA pallet dimensions for storage but rebuild them to FBA standards once they’re ready to go out.
Carton Forwarding – Small Parcel Delivery (SPD)
After a 3PL receives your cartons, you’ll probably want some forwarded to Amazon. Small Parcel Delivery (SPD) Forwarding is a 3PL service that allows clients to re-stock inventory to fulfilment centers, while storing the rest. A good 3PL will build the shipments on behalf of their clients. That includes printing and applying labels for a daily UPS pick up.
Pallet Forwarding – Less Than Truckload (LTL)
After a 3PL receives & services your pallets, you’ll probably want some product forwarded to Amazon. LTL Forwarding offers clients a chance to re-stock inventory in bulk. A good 3PL will build the shipments on behalf of their clients. That includes applying FBA labels to cartons and pallets + printing LTL shipping documents. It also includes fork-lifting the pallet into a shipping carrier’s box truck or trailer. FbaZoom offers this, so you don’t need to do all of this in your garage!
Container Cross Docking – Less Than Truckload (LTL)
When a 3PL receives your container, a 2-3 hour unload takes place. The ‘loose-loaded’ or ‘floor-loaded’ container is either crossed docked to another empty tailor, or emptied out and palletized for storage.
3PL Product Prep Services
Beyond receiving, storage and shipping – sellers might need more hands on services in terms of product prep. Product prep varies from seller to seller, product to product. But there are two camps where a majority of products’ prep resides.
Online Arbitrage Prep – 3PL services for Wholesalers
Online Arbitrage requires a high level of prep across five basic services. For clients who are relisting branded products under their own FNSKU, they’ll need those old barcodes covered with an new FNSKU label for each product. Additionally, they might need an expiration date, if there’s none listed. Alternatively, you might need goods bundled with polybags. Or even need the product wrapped in bubble wrap first. Here’s a short list of these to review:
Private Label Prep – 3PL services for Brands
Most private label sellers complete their product prep with the factory. A factory can FNSKU, bundle, and label products before they arrive to America. In fact, we recommend this for sellers! The more work a factory can do equals less work we need to do. However, private label sellers focus brand building. Brand building requires its own product prep. Here’s a short list of different product prep services for private label sellers:
These are the most basic and frequent of prep services that a 3PL offers. Sometimes clients need alittle extra attention. And that’s okay. FbaZoom offers custom solutions to any prep request to ensure your clients receive a 5-star product experience. But at what cost does all this prep come with?
3PL Services for Daily Product Orders
Pick & Pack, Order Fulfillment
Pick and pack fulfillment is the physical process of picking stock off warehouse shelves and then packaging them to fulfill customer orders that have been received – usually via an Order Management System (OMS).
Most e-commerce companies outsource their pick and pack fulfillment needs. Afterall, most sellers want to focus on building a brand, not build a prep team. A 3PLs infrastructure allows its employees to complete the actual picking and packing of products when orders roll in. In fact, this service is important for many sellers in the B2C space, such as Fulfillment By Merchant orders. What goes into the Pick and Pack Process? There are fours steps:
- Order Receiving
- Order Picking
- Order Packing
- Order Shipping
Any worthy 3PL has this process well mapped out for efficient order fulfilment on behalf of your products. Make sure you ask about system integration and pricing involved.
What 3PL Service Makes FbaZoom Standard Apart?
The owners of FbaZoom are former Amazon Sellers. As a boutique 3PL, our clients work directly with FbaZoom’s Co-Founders. This is an owner-to-owner customer service model. It guarantees 24 hour turn around on any communications. When you need support – call, email or text. Scale your success with 3PL partners you can trust. 5-Star Customer Service distinguishes Fbazoom from other 3PL’s.