Today’s e-commerce market is thriving–the pandemic boosted online shopping by 43% in the first year alone. But the surge of shoppers came with an increase in competition and complication.
In fact, shipping and supply chain delays have created complications for nearly 40% of e-commerce businesses. With these challenges expected to continue in 2023, e-commerce businesses need to have a rock-solid fulfillment plan in place.
This is why online retailers are increasingly outsourcing fulfillment to a third-party logistics service (3PL).
If you’re considering outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL, it’s important to understand the following:
- Why the location of a 3PL matters for your e-commerce business.
- Benefits of partnering with a Dallas 3PL.
- What to look for in a Dallas 3PL fulfillment partner.
Why the Location of a 3PL Matters for Your E-Commerce Business
Say you make dresses in Milwaukee in a style similar to some of the top Italian designers overseas. Your biggest consumer markets are in Latin America. Why? Because there is a huge Italian population and love for all things Italian in Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires. You also sell a large volume in the Mexican urban centers of Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Mexico City because there is a high demand for European style there, which you can provide at a price lower than designer products imported from Italy.
But shipping from Milwaukee is a nightmare. There aren’t any direct international flights from Milwaukee to Buenos Aires or to the largest metropolitan areas of Mexico. Instead, everything is routed through a larger hub, like Chicago, New York or Dallas. That adds additional costs and time in shipping, which translates to another link in the chain. That makes it tough to provide free shipping, which many customers have come to expect, and it makes overnight or even two-day shipping, which is also in demand, challenging.
What are your options?
- Stop shipping to Latin America.
- Charge customers more for the extra link in the supply chain.
- Switch to a major airline hub.
- Relocate or open locations in Latin America.
Unfortunately, these options will either impact sales or require a substantial expense. However, there is one other option that can actually boost sales and reduce shipping costs: partnering with a Dallas 3PL.
Even if you don’t ship internationally, the central location of a Dallas 3PL has many benefits that can allow online retailers to easily offer their products to the international market.
Benefits of Partnering with a Dallas 3PL
Major Hub for International Shipping
Dallas is the perfect location for a 3PL because of its largest airport, DFW, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. With daily direct flights to many of the biggest cities around the world, a Dallas 3PL eliminates an extra link in your supply chain, reduces shipping costs and expedites delivery times.
If you ship to Latin America, Dallas is an ideal gateway, being just hours from the southern border. For online retailers that need to assemble or manufacture products, proximity to Mexico comes with another major benefit: near-shoring to avoid supply chain hold-ups. Many U.S. e-commerce businesses are assembling merchandise in Mexico, thanks to the inexpensive labor and duty/tariff-free reimportation of finished products back into the U.S.
Centrally-Located for Domestic Shipping
The central location of Dallas is also ideal for domestic shipping, whether you’re sending parcels from DFW, smaller airports around Dallas or via ground transport.
Better Climate than Northern Locations
If you routinely ship from places like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago or Minneapolis, you know how often winter weather interferes with your logistics. From November to May, you can expect snow and ice to cause flight delays and cancellations, as well as highway closures.
However, with rare exceptions, Dallas experiences mild weather all year long. This can significantly cut down on weather-related shipping delays.
Greater Efficiency and Cost Savings
Of course, improved efficiency in shipping means e-commerce businesses save money in the long term. You can pass some of that on to your customers and use it to garner new sales.
Fewer shipping delays also result in happier customers and better reviews.
What to Look for in a Dallas 3PL
If you’ve decided that a Dallas 3PL suits your e-commerce needs, how do you choose the best partner? The best Dallas 3PL services, like GLF E-Commerce Fulfillment, go far beyond simply shipping your goods and provide a host of other business-boosting services, including:
- Inventory storage and management, with comprehensive reporting to help with forecasting.
- Kitting and assembly, in addition to basic picking and packing.
- Both domestic and international shipping.
- Agile e-commerce logistics capabilities for unexpected events that cause delays.
- Processing exchanges and returns.
- Marketing materials to include in shipments.
- Custom integrations with your current software and platforms.
Ready to learn more about what a Dallas 3PL can do to help your e-commerce business run more smoothly and profitably? Contact GLF E-Commerce Fulfillment today!