Logistics and fulfilment are two of the areas most often underestimated by first-time e-commerce entrepreneurs. Even for well-established companies, minor bugs in the fulfilment software can cause havoc and long-lasting issues.
Since we are often getting asked which 3PL we can recommend we thought it might be a good idea to share our 3PL Rolodex with you. They are not ranked in any particular order and we can’t vouch for their services across the board. However, they should give you a head-start when searching for a potential logistics partner.
FLOSHIP - Floship is a leading provider of international crowdfunding and e-commerce fulfilment. Based in Hong Kong, they are known for fast and cost-effective worldwide shipping services. Being located so close to the Southern China’s manufacturing hub Floship has a unique advantage when working with brands who manufacture in this area. We've been informed that Floship works on a direct integration with Shopify and on a China inbound service for shipments B2C from Hong Kong. To find out more, click here.
ORIENTAL LOGISTICS - Oriental Logistics is a major asset-based 3PL service provider in Hong Kong seamlessly providing one-stop logistics management solutions to today's supply chain management requirements. They have been in the logistics and fulfilment business for more than 20 years. Even though we would strongly suggest them to give their website a facelift, we assume you can rely on them as providing a seamless one-stop logistics management solution and contract logistics. Click here to find out more.
EASYSHIP - Easyship is a technology company that provides eCommerce sellers with a one-stop solution to ship their orders worldwide. It allows eCommerce merchants and marketplaces to integrate a seamless shipping gateway to their shopping cart. Easyship integrates with more than 100 different shipping services including major couriers such as DHL, FedEx, USPS and UPS, at prices discounted up to 70%. In addition, they offer e-fulfillment services and have warehouses in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the US. We've also been told that by the end of 2017 Easyship will additionally offer shipping and warehousing from the Netherlands. Find out more by clicking here.
FIRSTSHOTZ - This is not your average 3PL company but E-Commerce brands looking for a launch partner in China should not look any further. FirstShotz is a digital marketing and distribution agency that connects innovative brands to the Chinese marketplace, on commission, with localized advertising techniques, a network of 300+ top influencers, and a team of storytellers. Reach out to them and try to collaborate with them. But be aware, their brand selection process is rigid and they only work with a handful of brands. If you have a unique product you’ll increase your chances dramatically to be accepted. Their tagline is “No Risk Marketing and Distribution to China”. Click here to find out more.
KW LOGISTICS - Another company you might want to check out is KW Logistics - Even though KW Logistics isn't a 3PL it’s worth checking them out in particular if you sell on Amazon in Europe! They have huge warehouse facilities in Mainland China and offer a wide range of professional services optimized for the time-conscious Amazon seller. For example, they can help you prepare shipments (sales packaging, labels, etc.) before you send your goods to an Amazon warehouse in Europe. We've been told that they air-ship "2 tons of goods via to Germany every single day" which shows you the massive size of their operation. Best of all, your goods could be part of those shipments and it's needless to say that you could benefit from some of the best shipping rates ever! Their German/Chinese management should help ensure things are handled in a professional and timely manner. Find out more here.
ADSTRAL - We’ve had direct touch with Adstral and they make a professional impression. Based a few miles outside of London, they can offer a direct Shopify integration and most packages are sent via DHL, TNT or DPD. However, be advised that they will most likely not work with you unless you meet a certain minimum monthly shipping volume. Click here to see their website.
AMAZON FBA - Our favourite amongst the 3PL providers in particular for these brands who sell on Amazon anyways. We know this option comes with a handful of downsides (such as not being able to collect email addresses, not being able to customise packaging and continuously rising fees) we believe the overall benefits prevail. Click here for more information on FBA.
TORQUE - Another UK-based logistics provider which provides an integration with Shopify - yet at a cost according to our latest information. Still worth checking out their web page and speak to a salesperson. Even though we've not worked with them directly, we know of a luxury UK fashion brand who seems quite happy with their services. Click here to see more.
SKUTOUCH - By no means the most attractive web page but based on what we hear a pretty decent 3PL to work with. We don’t know if they create custom API for your web page but it’s worth asking. To find out more about their services, click here.
SHIPBOB - The new kid on the block. As of 2016, they had two warehouses, one in Chicago and one in New York. We like their fresh & modern web page, their apparent young team and their bold vision. According to recent coverage on TechCrunch they've raised a lot of venture capital, i.e. we hope they can turn their vision into reality. For more info, click here.
MOCHILA - Mochila is a 3PL serving a variety of e-commerce brands, fulfilling products ranging from home goods to high fashion. Mochila fulfills orders from two warehouses - one in New Jersey and one in California - to reach customers quickly and lower shipping costs. Found by a team of mathematicians and computer scientists, Mochila's fulfillment services are powered by proprietary technology that enables customized packaging, fast and accurate shipping, and an easy-to-use, real-time web interface. For more info, click here.
AMAZON FBA - Just like in the case of Europe, we believe Amazon FBA is one of the best fulfilment options, in particular in the US where Amazon builds more and more warehouses every year. With 60+ million Prime customers in the US alone, Amazon Fulfillment will continue to reduce its delivery time and enlighten its customers. Click on the logo for more information on FBA.
SHIPWIRE - Since this company comes up quite often in the context of 3PL we have to make a statement on them as well: We have unfortunately not made good experiences with their services and judging by their Trustpilot profile we are not the only ones. It's not in our interest to discredit any 3PL company in this blog post, however, we can just advise being cautious. Their well-polished web page can be found here.
As we said in the introduction, choosing the right logistics/fulfillment partner can be one of the most challenging tasks when starting an e-commerce company with physical goods. We can't highlight enough how important a solid 3PL vetting process is. Take your time and compare all options very thoroughly. If you make a mistake it's highly possible that you lose thousands of dollars and that you need to endure countless sleepless nights. If you want some help during the 3PL-vetting process, don't forget to download our checklist we included in one of our recent blog posts.