It is not a surprise that the best 3PL companies are not the largest, rather they are the midsize companies who focus on small and medium size customers with customer service in Mind.
As a customer of a 3PL company who handles your order fulfillment , you want the lines of communication open at all times. You need the flexibility that larger 3PL’s don’t offer. In most cases this will not be provided by the large size 3PL’s. They focus on revenue and they love to work with large customers.
Another reason why large 3PL’s might not be a good fit for small or medium size customers is because these 3PL companies are converted freight forwarders .
Best 3PL companies VS Freight Forwarders
Order fulfillment is a totally different animal that required better skill set. Freight Forwarding does not require the daily minute by minute involvement.
A shipment Via ocean from China to Miami does not require the constant attention until the cargo is about to arrive at the port. Order fulfillment ,on the other hand, requires involvement from the 3PL Company with the customer to make sure that the order is delivered as promised to the end user. That just one instance.
Here are some of the steps commonly followed in order fulfillment.
1-Customer initiates shipment to end user either via email or the 3PL ecommerce portal.
2- Order confirmed by the 3PL
3- 3PL prepares shipment ( “Pick and Pack” ) paying attention to special instructions.
4- Order is shipped
5- Both customer and end user ( Consignee ) are advised
6- Delivery is confirmed.
The above applies to any shipment large or small. A true 3PL company typically handles hundreds of such orders on daily basis.
One of the best 3pl Companies we have worked with is International 3PL in Miami, Florida