Understanding 3rd Party Logistics (3PL)

Order fulfilment is an integral part of any ecommerce business, and as a business grows it may soon become apparent that fulfilling orders in-house is no longer viable. It is at this point that many businesses consider third party logistics services to assist them in dealing with increased orders and therefore fulfilment issues. 

What is third-party logistics (3PL)?

Third party logistics (3PL) refers to the outsourcing of fulfilment processes to a specialist, third party company. These 3PL companies will specialise and offer services such as stock management, warehousing and storage solutions, and of course, order fulfilment. All in all outsourcing these processes means that businesses are able to achieve more and invest more time into other areas of their business.

Services offered

As mentioned above, the basis of 3PL is that businesses can outsource a large amount of work to a third party in order to focus their efforts and costs on growing their business in other areas. The services which can be outsourced are outlined below.

Warehousing & Storage Solutions

Something a 3PL will have extensive expertise on is storing and organising stock and they will have the warehousing space to do so. Stock will be stored according to demand and required access making picking, packing and general stock management more efficient.

Stock Management

The 3PL can help to streamline your stock management by syncing with your online store and offering real time inventory levels. This will then provide continual data to assist in predicting sales trends. This can also feed information back to your customers via your website and possibly let them know when out of stock items are likely to be available again. 


If your business does benefit from an integrated stock management system, it can better assist with feeding online orders to the 3PL warehouse. A fully integrated system such as this will revolutionise the order fulfilment process. Order fulfilment consists of picking, packing and ultimately shipping of goods. An efficient and organised warehousing space together with real time data on stock levels will only serve to offer a more efficient fulfilment process. 

By pairing with a 3PL you consolidate several elements into one whilst also gaining invaluable expertise and knowledge. It can also help to lower costs, outsourcing means you cut the cost of warehousing space and subsequent equipment as well as labour and staff costs.

At Xpediator our eCommerce fulfilment solutions are modelled to be scalable and flexible, providing the perfect platform to help businesses grow internationally with our domestic and global e-commerce delivery, returns and e-commerce integration solutions. 

Xpediator offers sophisticated eCommerce fulfilment software. WMS offers seamless integration with our customers’ systems, providing a full audit trail of inbound and outbound movements. Our ability to integrate with any eCommerce delivery and warehousing system keeps customers completely up to date with extensive reports and management information, allowing them to work across multiple channels, monitor stock levels in real time, as well as seamless access to all order statuses and returns information.


To find out more about how Xpediator can help you grow your ecommerce business through outsourcing fulfilment, then contact us on [email protected]

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