3pl Service Provider

How 3PLs Help Your Ecommerce Business Grow

Is your ecommerce business growing or ready to expand? Then it's time to find a 3PL service provider, like Ninja Van.
6 mins read
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The rapid rise of the ecommerce business model has set off a chain reaction in the retail and commercial industries. 

By giving consumers another avenue to shop, sometimes with just a click of a button, supply chain logistics needed an upgrade to keep up with demand. A higher level of fulfillment capabilities was now a necessity.

As a business owner with a digital option to your store, ask yourself this crucial question: Is my business ready to take on the logistical challenge of expanding online?

Not many are, because commercial businesses aren’t usually built that way. Businesses excel at supplying clients with quality products and services. But if you deal with fulfillment and logistics, then you’ll most likely need to pivot, learn a complex and new system, spend more on logistics or get a little outside help.

The former option is too much work. It pulls your attention away from your real business. Fulfillment logistics organically grew alongside the ecommerce boom, and you can easily find several third-party logistics providers like Ninja Van operating in your area.

Also read: From Storage to Shipping: How Ninja Van Can Boost Your ECommerce Fulfillment

The trick is finding the right one for your business’ needs. Here’s a handy guide on the ins and outs of 3PL.

What is 3PL?

A third-party logistics partner or company is a service entity or contractor that often exists independently from their partner businesses. They specialize in customizing order logistics and fulfillment and management operations services for their partners.

Fulfillment Warehouse
A 3PL service provider takes care of the business’ warehousing and fulfillment operations.

Ecommerce businesses are then able to pass the logistics side of their operations to a capable 3PL that can focus on the job better than an in-house department. 

The result of such a partnership is that businesses can avoid fulfillment errors and concentrate on organization-growing activities, like marketing and product development.

Download your quick 3PL guide here!

How do 3PL processes look like?

Each 3pl service provider has its own process to suit the needs of their business partners. Right now, we’ll be discussing the base structure that every 3PL process follows right after your customer confirms their order on your online store:

Receiving and Storing Inventory  

When you hire a 3pl service provider, you’ll have to send them your inventory. 

It’s important that you verify 3PL partner’s receiving and inventory storing capabilities before signing them on so you know what to expect when they take over the lifeblood of your business.

one-stop logistics


A 3PL’s warehouse shouldn’t just be able to handle the volume of inventory you send them. It should ideally have more room to scale up with your growing operations.

Picking and Packing 

This is the actual fulfillment portion of a 3PL’s process. Picking refers to what the warehouse picking team does before an order is packed. The picker receives a list of items they need to retrieve from within the warehouse. 

Information on item quantities and storage locations also come with the order list to help speed up the picking process.

Some 3PLs are fully automated, integrating fulfillment software that brings order and shipment details, inventory and stock level tracking, and more into one streamlined system.

The other half of a 3PL’s fulfillment process is Packing, which refers to the work of preparing the orders to be shipped to the customer. 

Packing Orders At Ninja Fulfillment Warehouse
A Ninja Fulfillment staff packing orders for one of our partner businesses.

The concept may seem basic, but an experienced 3pl service provider would know the best packaging material to use to protect an item while achieving the lowest possible practical dimensional weight on the package. They can also optimize the shipment order to eliminate the need for split shipments.

When choosing a 3PL to outsource your business to, make sure they offer you the opportunity to customize the packing process (special box and packaging choices, etc.) to your business’ unique needs. 

The extra attention to detail pays off quite well when the customer receives the package and gets a good impression on the delivered item.

#NinjaTip: Ninja Van gives you the option to use your own packaging for more sustainable shipping. Perfect for businesses looking for an eco-friendly courier partner. Learn about our logistics solutions today!


Part of a 3PL’s process is assigning your parcels to a courier. Some 3PLs have preferred couriers, some provide a variety of options to give the consumer the best deal for their money. 

That is, it allows businesses to offer the best delivery pricing all in all for the delivery speed the customers indicated.

But with Ninja Van, you’ll get an all-in-one storage, order and inventory management, fulfillment and delivery services. No need to look for different suppliers, you have one point of contact for everything!


Not all 3PLs offer to handle item returns, but many do. Once they receive and process a returned item from a customer, they can either update the warehouse inventory or dispose of the item—it all depends on your business’ policies and preferences. 

If you’re shopping around for a 3PL that offers this service, look for one that provides return shipping labels as they help customers track their package even while it’s in transit.

Check out the Top RTS Reasons and How to Avoid Them.

#NinjaTip: Ninja Van provides free RTS to VIP shippers. We’ll return your parcels door-to-door and give you a free RTS report so you can double-check for discrepancies. Claim your Free RTS now!

What you should look for in a 3PL service provider?

When looking for a 3PL partner, these are the essential features and services to check for.

Inventory and returns management

Ideally, a 3pl service provider would be capable of syncing their warehoused inventory with the front of your online store. The real-time database not only allows you to easily take inventory of the day’s sales, but also lets your customers (and you) know if an item is out of stock as soon as possible. 

The same goes for their ability to process returns quickly and according to your policies.

Advanced data analytics

Data from a 3PL’s inventory management system can be put to further use to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. By analyzing item demand and movement over time, you could make better supply-chain related decisions. 

For instance, you could prepare your business for busy seasons by stocking up on historically popular products so you won’t run out. Likewise, you could lessen stock on less popular items during a specific season.

Fast Shipping 

The advent of ecommerce has made buying a product as easy as clicking a button. However, prolonged delivery times may take away much of the enjoyment of a quick buy online. 

Matching the customer’s enthusiasm to get their hands on your product by partnering with a 3PL that offers fast shipping options.

why hire a 3PL
A 3pl service provider can sync their warehouse inventory with your online store.

Distributed inventory

Online customers come from every corner of the country, which is why storing your entire inventory in one location, while convenient, may not be the most streamlined plan. 

With a distributed inventory model, you can utilize advanced data analytics to show the optimal product volume and warehouse locations to store your products so they can easily reach your customers.

B2B and international fulfillment

Your customers aren’t always the local consumer. Sometimes, it could also be a wholesaler or a person from outside of the country. When that happens, you’ll need an experienced 3PL to smoothly handle the process.

How can your business benefit from using 3PLs?

Partnering with an experienced and trustworthy x-party logistics provider can spell the difference between an average business and a great one:

  1. With the logistical technology they have at their disposal, a 3PL service provider can significantly expand your customer reach while cutting down your delivery times. 
  1. It can also save you time and money as their expertise allows you to focus on what your company does best: coming up with newer, better products or improving on your existing ones.
  1. Last but not the least, a partnership with a highly competent 3PL comes with the assurance that you’re gaining access to industry talent and expertise. 

Leverage these properly, and you could build a solid customer base and a reputation as a dependable business.

Streamline your fulfillment process with Ninja Van

Ninja Van provides flexible and cost-effective 3PL solutions for your ecommerce business through Ninja Fulfillment.

We have state-of-the-art logistics and warehousing distribution centers that will keep your products safe and secure until we ship them to your customers.

Enjoy operational efficiency and reduced cost while having full visibility of your inventory’s movement:

  • Real-time inventory management
  • Control over your Inventory
  • Website and marketplace integration
  • Seamless tracking of deliveries
  • One point of contact for all your logistics needs

For inquiries about Ninja Fulfillment:

  • Reach out to Erick Paul Ramos at 0917-7161495
  • Send an email to ph-niu-fulfillment@ninjavan.co

Is Ninja Fulfillment for you? Hear it from our valued shipper: Dermtropics & Ninja Fulfillment on Building Business Efficiency While Fostering Sustainability

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