William K. Turner
William K. Turner

Unlocking the Potential of International Third-Party Logistics: A Comprehensive Guide

8 min read

Published on: Jan 17, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 23, 2023

international 3PLs

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Are you looking to streamline your operations and boost customer satisfaction? Then unlocking the potential of 3PLs could be just what your business needs! 

But before diving into outsourcing, get up to speed on all things about 3PLs with our comprehensive guide. 

From how international 3PLs work to the benefits of 3PLs - we've got everything covered!

So, let's dive into this blog to discover more!

What is International Third Party Logistics (3PL)? 

An international third-party logistics provider (3PL) is a company that offers outsourced logistics services for businesses. These can range from warehousing and transportation to inventory management, order fulfillment, and more.

The 3PL provider acts as an extension of the company and will manage the entirety or some aspects of their supply chain. This allows companies to focus on core competencies, saving them time and money in the process. 

Put simply, 3PL service is essential for businesses looking to outsource their supply chain operations. It offers comprehensive solutions from packaging materials and handling orders to the delivery of products. 

Lastly, 3PL also ensures inventory management and order fulfillment run smoothly. 

Watch this informative video to learn more about how 3PLs do what they do so well!

Expert Tip

If you want to know how 3PL differs from a 4PL service check out this blog on 3PL vs 4PL!

10 Reasons Why You Need an International 3PL

Here are 10 reasons to consider using an international 3PL provider:

1. You need expertise and specialized services for shipping and logistics.

2. You want to take advantage of economies of scale regarding packaging and storage costs. 

3. You don't have enough dedicated staff to manage the entire order fulfillment process in-house. Such as ordering, packing/shipping, returns processing, accounting, etc. 

4. You need flexibility in order fulfillment — such as accommodating large orders with short lead times or being able to ship products from multiple locations.

5. You want to reduce the cost of fulfillment services by taking advantage of 3PL's established network with shippers and other vendors. 

6. You need access to advanced technology that can help streamline operations and provide better customer service. 

7. You want to expand your business into new markets quickly and cost-effectively. 

8. You need access to additional warehouse space to accommodate growing inventory needs. 

9. You want to reduce the risk of stock-outs and out-of-stock-related problems. 

10. You need a partner that is dedicated to constantly improving their services and staying on top of industry trends. 

How does an International 3PL work?

Are you curious about how 3PL operates? Let's take a look at the steps involved in the 3PL process. 

Send your Products

Your 3PL partner requires that you maintain a sufficient amount of inventory in storage. Hence, simply send them your products, and they will receive and store these in their warehouses.

You need to tell the 3PL ahead of time which products you will send and how many. This way, they can make the necessary arrangements. 

When the products arrive, they will be checked for damage or defects. Once everything is clear, they will be placed into inventory.

Storing The Products in Warehouses 

The next step is to store your products in a 3PL warehouse. They will keep track of how much inventory you have and make sure you have enough stock when you need it. 

They will also make sure your inventory is safe and has enough space.

Picking And Packing 

Once an order has been placed by a customer, it's time for 3PL to collect and package the item. This marks the commencement of the fulfillment process. 

The items are collected from their warehouse and then carefully packaged.


The 3PL will send the items using their shipping carrier partners, who have competitive rates and fast delivery times. This ensures that customers get their orders quickly without any hassle.

Returns Processing  

3PLs also handle returns. This means that if a customer wants to return a product, the 3PL will take care of it. They will process the return and refund the customer according to your policy. 

They will also inspect the product, figure out what went wrong, and take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. This helps improve customer satisfaction and retention in the long run. 

By doing this, they can help you minimize your losses and protect your profits.

Benefits of Working with an International 3PL

Let's take a look at some of the key benefits of working with 3PL companies.

Cost and Time-Saving 

Trusting an international 3PL for your logistics needs will not only save you time but money as well. By partnering with an experienced provider, you can free up your staff to work on different areas of the business. 

Furthermore, they usually have access to better pricing, such as shipping or packaging materials. So by utilizing these discounts, you can reduce costs even further!

Enhanced Productivity

A good 3PL provider can streamline your order fulfillment process and increase efficiency. This is especially beneficial if you're dealing with multiple warehouses or multiple countries.

A 3PL provider can easily manage multiple inventory locations in different regions without issues. 

In addition, most 3PL providers use software systems that enable them to track orders quickly. It reduces the risk of errors or delays in fulfilling orders. 

Flexibility and Scalability 

Another benefit of working with a third-party logistics company is flexibility. It's easy for 3PL providers to adjust their operations when needed. This allows you to scale up or down based on changes in demand easily. 

Additionally, 3PLs offer customization, packaging design, branding, labeling, kitting/bundling, etc. It can help set your company apart from its competitors.  

Tap Into Industry Expertise

With a 3PL provider, you gain access to experts who understand the industry inside and out. These professionals have years of experience managing complex supply chains. They know how best to handle any situation that may arise during order fulfillment. 

With their help, you can rest assured that your shipments will always arrive on time! 

Why Should You Work with 3PL Fulfilment Prep?

Are you ready to join the global marketplace? "3PL Fulfilment Prep" can get your products in front of customers worldwide quickly. 

Here are some benefits of working with us:

Ensure Timely Delivery 

Providing a superior customer experience for international shoppers is now possible with us! Our storage solutions worldwide make it easy to reduce delivery times dramatically. 

You can ensure that even far-flung customers receive their orders quickly and hassle-free. Make sure your global fanbase always gets what they need without waiting too long – choose "3PL Fulfilment Prep" today!

Cut down the shipping cost

Worried about too-high shipping costs? Don't be! With 3PL Fulfilment Prep, you can lower the cost of getting your goods to customers. Enjoy international shipping at less cost.

What's more, enjoy bulk discounts from domestic and overseas carriers with 3PL Fulfillment Prep today!

Effortless Operation 

With just a few clicks, our technology will sync your online store and get you up and running in no time. Once we receive the inventory, orders are automatically dispatched to their destination. 

We ensure they are picked, packed, and shipped as quickly as possible!

Monitor Progress in Real-Time

With the 3PL Fulfilment Prep dashboard, you'll never miss a beat. We monitor inventory in real-time and get fulfillment & shipping insights to forecast demand without hassle. 

Whether it be tracking orders or viewing order history, the power of this revolutionary tool is undeniable. 

100% Coverage Across the United States

Want to develop your business in the US market? We offer 2-Day Express Shipping.  

3PL Fulfilment Prep provides 100% coverage in the US with just one fulfillment center. We also provide services worldwide. This is an ideal way to get started on your expansion!

Order Management

We streamline your order tracking from start to finish. With our useful filtering capabilities, you can easily monitor orders based on their status and search for specific ones. 

Additionally, the timeline feature displays exactly where an order is in the fulfillment process. Not only that, but shipping-related information (e.g., weights & dimensions) are at your fingertips right away. 

Reporting and Analytics

We want to give you transparency into our operations and performance so that we can be held accountable. For this reason, we have created a free analytics tool that will assist with year-end reporting as well as help improve your supply chain decisions.

Gaining an edge over the competition is essential; our reports will help you do that. We provide a detailed analysis of the following: 

  • Which fulfillment centers to stock up on
  • Inventory before running out
  • How promotions affect stocking levels 
  • Each shipping method's cart value on average
  • Associated costs for shipping and transit days needed
  • Your order fulfillment cost per purchase and storage cost per unit 

Seamless Customer Service

3PL Fulfilment Prep is here to be an extension of your team and ensure it's a great one! From custom-branded boxes for unboxing with flair to cost saving on shipping - you're covered on all fronts! 

Plus, our top-notch tracking technology means they'll always know when their order ships and returns beyond easy thanks to our return label system. All this adds up to a seamless shopping journey. 

Let's Sum up!

3PL providers help simplify your supply chain and reduce the costs of warehousing, shipping, and order fulfillment. If you need a 3PL provider for your business, ensure they can deliver what they promise cost-effectively.

Want to make your 3PL partner search easier? 3PL Fulfillment Prep is here to help! 

We are the premier international warehousing, order fulfillment, and shipping solutions provider. We take pride in providing customers with cost-efficient services designed specifically for their business. 

Let us simplify your process today!

Our team of professionals provides quality customer service. We ensure the safety of your products throughout the shipping process. 

By utilizing 3PL Fulfillment Prep, your logistic operations are guaranteed to run smoothly. Whether you need assistance with warehousing or order fulfillment and shipping services, we offer all that and more. 

So why hesitate? Take advantage of our services at 3PL Fulfillment Prep to help ensure the success of your venture!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 3PL vs. 2PL?

3PL (third-party logistics) is an arrangement wherein an organization outsources its logistics and distribution operations to a third-party business that specializes in providing these services. 2PL (two-party logistics) involves two organizations working together to manage the supply chain. The two parties negotiate rates, terms, and conditions of the agreement.

What are the four types of 3PL?

Here are 4 types of 3PL providers:

  1. Standard 3PL Provider
  2. Service Developer
  3. Customer Adapter
  4. Customer Developer


William K. Turner


William K. Turner (Supply Chain Management)

Willian K. Turner, our esteemed author with expertise in International Trade, Global Logistics, and Supply Chain Management, has a lot to offer when it comes to writing about these topics. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with readers. Whether he's writing blog posts or articles his insights will be surely valuable to anyone interested in these industries.

Willian K. Turner, our esteemed author with expertise in International Trade, Global Logistics, and Supply Chain Management, has a lot to offer when it comes to writing about these topics. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with readers. Whether he's writing blog posts or articles his insights will be surely valuable to anyone interested in these industries.

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