E-commerce sales are expected to cross the $1 trillion mark for the first time ever in 2022—a milestone that was originally set for 2024, but that was moved up courtesy of the pandemic. As sales continue to grow, so does the need for shippers to develop scalable distribution strategies that allow them to keep up.
Anyone shipping anything today has a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) to hit when it comes to fulfillment, the most important ones being:
- On-time in-full (OTIF)
- Order accuracy
- Days to delivery
- Returns turnaround time
- Next-day shipping
When you add in the complexities that manufacturers have with creating and developing quality items, or the challenges a brick-and-mortar store faces taking sales online, fulfillment becomes an even tougher nut to crack.
This is where third party logistics (3PL) providers come in. According to Logistics Management, more and more companies are exploring the 3PL route:
“For help meeting changing customer expectations and dealing with the supply chain disruption, labor constraints, transportation woes, inflation and other challenges that have become the “new normal” in today’s operating environment.”
But in order to take advantage of new e-commerce fulfillment opportunities, traditional 3PLs must adjust their operations to be more flexible and automated. With that in mind, Made4net reached out to six industry experts for their insight into how 3PLs can adapt their operations to best service the needs of e-commerce retailers. We’ll cover their top tips in this paper.