New England has a population of 14.8 million people and covers roughly 72,000 square miles. The location and size of the region give it some unique advantages when it comes to e-commerce fulfillment.
Here are the benefits that the region provides and what to look for when searching for the best fulfillment company in New England.
How Geography Benefits E-Commerce Fulfillment in New England
New England is a business center for East Coast and Northern distribution. This includes many of the central states on the East Coast, including Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Boston is the central hub for the region and is an ideal location for e-commerce fulfillment due to its Northeastern location, which cuts down delivery times significantly.
Centrally located on the New England coast, the region benefits from easy access to major ports. A number of rail lines pass through the state as well, making it simple to utilize freight shipping. Additionally, the I-95 runs all the way down the East Coast, and the I-90 connects the East Coast with the West, making a wide range of other states easily accessible from New England.
The Port of Boston is the oldest active port in the U.S., and it features the only full-service terminal in New England. 1.5 million tons of cargo come through there every year, with consistently reliable results.
Why Choose a New England E-Commerce Fulfillment Company?
An e-commerce fulfillment company takes the burden off online businesses with limited staffing and resources. Staff can focus on what they do best and don’t need to worry about shipping requirements, returns, delays or tracking down lost orders.
Previously, many e-commerce businesses used FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) to take care of their fulfillment needs. However, in light of some frustrations with Amazon fulfillment, such as skyrocketing fees and restricting sellers that compete with Amazon products, e-commerce businesses have begun to look elsewhere for a fulfillment partner, and a New England e-commerce fulfillment center is tough to beat.
In addition to the ideal geographic location, a New England e-commerce fulfillment partner can provide personalized service, customized solutions and improved delivery times. This is especially important given recent supply chain issues. Consumers still have high expectations when it comes to online shopping, and working with an e-commerce fulfillment partner can mitigate many of the supply chain issues.
For instance, an e-commerce fulfillment partner has multiple warehouse locations in strategic regions and markets, which can expedite delivery times since shipments are closer to the customer. Shipping costs and delivery times are of paramount importance to your customers, so by offering same-day and next-day delivery options, you’ll give your business an edge over competitors.
Partnering with an e-commerce fulfillment company with an extensive network of shipping partners means they’ll be able to identify the best shipping options for your business and create custom solutions that allow e-commerce businesses to:
- Expand to the international market.
- Expedite delivery times to customers.
- Reduce shipping, storage and labor costs.
What to Look for in a New England Fulfillment Company
Your e-commerce business likely needs some – or all – of the following services to get products into the hands of your customers:
- Pick and pack
- Inventory management
- Marketing collateral management
- Domestic and international shipping
- International duties and taxes
- Customs clearance
Working with multiple vendors for fulfillment services is costly, difficult to manage and can create weak links in your supply chain.
This is why you’ll want to look for a New England e-commerce fulfillment company that can provide all-in-one solutions for your fulfillment needs.
In addition to asking a potential fulfillment partner if they offer all of the services listed above, you’ll also want to ask:
Does their software easily integrate with your e-commerce storefront?
Not every storefront integrates with fulfillment software. Be sure to find a fulfillment company that can plug their inventory management software directly into your storefront without disruption or delay. Bonus points if they have an in-house development team that can create custom solutions to meet your business needs.
>>>Related Resource: Learn how GLF integrates with e-commerce storefronts, like Shopify.
What level of customer service do they provide and is there a fee? Is pricing easy to understand?
When it comes to fees and pricing, You’ll want to look for a fulfillment provider that offers transparent pricing. You should not be surprised with hidden fees for things for services that should be included, such as customer service or administrative support. A reliable fulfillment company will walk you through all of the associated fees and explain whether they’re charged monthly or annually.
>>>Related Resource: Explore six fees associated with e-commerce fulfillment.
Do they offer printing and marketing collateral services?
Adding targeted print marketing collateral (instructions, product information, brand story, coupons, promotions, etc.) to packages will keep your store top of mind and keep customers coming back for more. Printing and adding marketing materials to shipments shouldn’t require a separate vendor, so make sure your fulfillment partner can provide these services.
>>>Related Resource: Find out what print materials should be included in shipments.
Are they well-versed in taxes, duties and regulations for international shipping? Can they assist with importing goods and customs brokerage?
Navigating the regulations, taxes, duties and fees associated with importing and international shipping requires extensive experience. Look for an e-commerce fulfillment company that has an extensive global distribution network, in-house customs brokerage team and global logistics team to set your business up for success when importing or shipping internationally. This is an extremely efficient way to differentiate your e-commerce business.
>>>Related Resource: Learn how to differentiate your e-commerce business from competitors.
How long does it take to get up and running?
Time is money, so it’s important to look for a fulfillment partner that can get you up and running fast. Many fulfillment partners have lengthy implementation processes that can take up to four weeks to get set up and running. Look for a fulfillment company that can get you running in 24 to 48 hours. Bonus points if they can get your software fully integrated before your inventory arrives at their warehouse.
>>>Related Resource: Read how to find the right fulfillment partner for your e-commerce business.
New England E-Commerce Fulfillment with GLF
If you are looking for the best e-commerce fulfillment company in New England, you’re looking for GLF. With 20 years of experience in e-commerce fulfillment, GLF understands the importance of finding a reliable fulfillment partner. Contact us today to learn how we can create a custom fulfillment solution for your e-commerce business.