When running a business, your main priority is growing and expanding your customer base profitably. However, expanding into international markets can be expensive and complicated. When assessing a new market’s potential, evaluating 3PL providers that are based in your target market should be part of your research. By basing stock in country, you can reduce delivery costs and the carbon emissions from distribution, speed up delivery lead times and keep your customers even happier.
What is a 3PL?
A 3PL provider is a logistics company that specialises in handling the transportation, warehousing and distribution of products. It is ideal for brands with customers outside their immediate geographic area. Learn more about using a 3PL warehouse versus your own.
A 3PL can help you with cross-border customers by providing the following:
- Warehousing and storage services
- Customs clearance services (import and export)
- Order fulfilment services for D2C (direct-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) customers
- Returns management services
See the full list of our ecommerce services.
One of the most significant benefits of using a 3PL is its agility: it can onboard brands or new product lines quickly if needed, which makes it especially useful for brands looking to expand their reach into new territories.
A 3PL will handle all the moving parts of your supply chain
When shipping goods to overseas customers, you need to consider the logistics of your shipments. Shipping to multiple markets requires more stock visibility throughout the order fulfilment process. A good 3PL will provide accurate, real-time inventory data via a warehouse management system to improve stock visibility and ensure all orders placed can be fulfilled. See how international brand HydroJug used a 3PL to fulfil orders in a new territory.
Using a 3PL with expertise across multiple sales channels – from D2C channels, such as online ecommerce, to supplying stock to retailers to get your products in front of customers in store – can provide cost savings by giving you one base for storing and distributing products. This reduces costs for both the company and the customer by avoiding multiple storage locations as well as reducing labour costs, as there’s only one party doing the storage and fulfilment instead of various parties, which often causes duplication. This, alongside the returns management services offered by most 3PLs, can give your brand the agility to get products back into saleable condition quickly.
Another core benefit to using a 3PL is its investment in its warehousing and fulfilment processes. As efficiency is king in the world of ecommerce fulfilment, a good 3PL will continue to innovate its systems. At Linney, we have invested in robotic fulfilment to automate picking and packing, making the fulfilment process even more seamless. Find out more about manual versus automatic warehouses.
Helping with international shipping services and customs clearing
A 3PL can also help with international shipping. It’ll have experience in customs clearance and can assist you with shipping costs, times and documentation. Importing and exporting regulations can vary by country – and sometimes even by state within a single country! Importers and exporters need to keep track of their local laws to avoid unexpected fees or restrictions on how much merchandise they can bring into their country (or vice versa). Using a 3PL based in the country that your customers are based in can give you the reassurance that your products will arrive as expected and without any additional carrier charges.
Linney – a 3PL you can rely on
A 3PL such as Linney can help you expand your business without taking on unnecessary risk or cost. Our wide range of services from warehousing and distribution to ecommerce website builds make us an ideal partner for your brand. Using a 3PL will enable you to focus on what’s most important – getting the right products to customers quickly and safely and building brand trust – while saving money along the way! Want to learn more? Let's talk