Selecting a Warehouse and Third Party Logistics Provider

So you‘ve decided that shipping from your house, garage or lock up isn’t going to work anymore…

Or maybe you’ve taken the decision to expand overseas and need to find a warehouse (third party logistics company) to work with, well now comes the important process of deciding which of the myriad of providers to go with. There are several types of 3PL’s (third party logistics providers) but I’m going to assume you would need an asset company, i.e. one who uses their own trucks, warehouses and people.

The first thing you need to do is to request a quotation from several companies who you feel might be possible contenders. This stage is critical!!!

Within the documented scope of work, you should include as much detail as you know, so that would include:

  • the number of products
  • the expected volume in singles, cases and pallets
  • how many deliveries/containers into the warehouse per week or month
  • how many PO’s (purchase orders) to process each week
  • any label requirements requested by retailers etc.

Then you need to evaluate the responses based on their ability to meet the criteria you’ve set, the technology required e.g. EDI, the space they have, the number of people, the costs of course, their geographic coverage, their financial stability, and their environmental policy.

Always remember to take up at least one existing customer reference and importantly talk to a variety of their team, especially anyone who would be working on your account.

Based on their responses do a final check on costs to ensure that if demand for your product shoots up, how this effects the costs ensuring and your profit doesn’t reduce with scale.

Post any questions you have about selecting a warehouse / third party logistics provider in the comments below or message us if it’s of a more confidential nature.

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