Third-party logistics companies, also known as 3PLs, offer fulfillment logistics services for e-commerce retailers, including inventory management, picking, packing, and shipping orders. Some 3PL companies have multiple fulfillment centers across several locations, which can make them a more cost-effective and efficient choice for e-commerce merchants.

Why work with a 3PL company with multiple fulfillment centers?

Working with a 3PL company with multiple fulfillment centers allows you to leverage distributed inventory. Distributed inventory means that your inventory is split across fulfillment center locations. Splitting your inventory across more than one warehouse can be cost-effective and make shipping faster for you and your customers.

When you work with a 3PL company with multiple fulfillment centers, you can match the speed and shipping costs of the largest retailers without having to build your own infrastructure or warehouse network.

ShipBob has warehouses in Chicago, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, and Dallas, with more being added. Based on your backers’ locations, you can split inventory across any of Ship- Bob’s fulfillment centers to enable faster, less expensive delivery. This allows for two-day shipping and other perks of distributed inventory.

Is working with a 3PL company with multiple fulfillment centers right for you?

If you ship a high volume of orders, distributed inventory can be a good choice for you. Even if your business is not ready for distributed inventory yet, partnering with a 3PL with multiple fulfillment centers means that you will have a scalable solution when your business grows enough to the point that the shipping and logistics costs exceed the cost of additional warehouse space, in which case it would be more cost-effective to split your inventory across fulfillment centers.

Another great reason to work with a 3PL company with multiple fulfillment centers is the ability to offer affordable two-day shipping to customers across the US. Many customers expect two-day shipping, and using multiple fulfillment centers through one 3PL provider can help you reduce shipping costs and delivery times. This can help you compete with e-commerce giants.

Finally, if your customers reside in a variety of geographical regions, it can be more cost-effect to split inventory across fulfillment centers for the same reasons detailed above. For example, if you only sell Chicago sports team girl, you’re likely to receive the majority of your orders from within Illinois; in that case, it might not be wise to have a warehouse in Los Angeles.

ShipBob owns several fulfillment centers within the continental US to enable same-day or two-day shipping across the country. We strive to further reduce the distance packages travel and to help our clients save on fulfillment costs and times.

Hear from a ShipBob customer

Meal replacement company Ample Foods switched to ShipBob from a different 3PL and increased their 2-day ground shipping coverage by 103% while saving a lot of money by using ShipBob’s distributed inventory model.

“From expanding into a second ShipBob fulfillment center, we are excited to be able to offer 65% of our customers with 2-day shipping, up from 32% by only having a single West Coast facility. Soon, this will be 100%. Not only is this better for our customers but we also gain a 13% savings to our bottom line.”

Pablo Gabatto, Business Operations Manager at Ample Foods

For more information on splitting inventory, download our white paper, “Why Distributed Inventory is a Game Changer for E-Commerce,” or reach out to receive a quote and a demo from our dedicated ecommerce fulfillment Account Executives.



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