6 Things To Consider Before You Pick a 3PL Partner (+ Our Top Pick Providers)

Person In Logistics Distribution Warehouse Using Digital Tablet

Are you struggling to keep up with your fulfillment? Are you spending too much money storing inventory? Is hiring logistics staff a headache? 

The time is probably right to consider adding a 3PL (or third party logistics) provider. 

3PL services come to the rescue of many brands when they find themselves without the operational infrastructure to support rapid growth. Providers can be brought in to support your scaling business with warehousing and fulfillment, so you can expand into new markets and continue on your planned trajectory. 

However, 3PLs are far more than just a place to hold and ship stock – and joining forces with a 3PL isn’t a decision to take lightly. 

Choosing carefully

If you find the perfect match in a 3PL partner, it can be a game changer. You’ll be able to capitalize on growth opportunities, reduce overhead costs and improve customer service. 

However, if you get your selection of 3PL partners wrong it can cause operation chaos that can make or break your reputation. Using a 3PL means trusting someone else with a major element of your buying journey, so it’s vital you put in the time to choose a provider you can trust to maintain your brand’s high standards. 

How to find the perfect 3PL for a fast-growing business

Here are six key things to consider… 

1. Locations 

Working with a provider that has locations close to your target market will not only reduce your shipping costs but will also minimize the time it takes your products to get into the hands of your customers, helping you keep up with consumers’ ever-growing expectations. 

If you sell products internationally, you should also consider a 3PL that has locations in both the European Union and the United Kingdom as that will help reduce cross-border shipping and tax complexities. 

2. Integrations & partners 

Considering the different systems/apps you use and how they’re going to integrate with your fulfillment partner is another important factor. 

We recommend making sure the provider is or can be integrated into your e-commerce platform, retail operating system, or ERP at the outset. If they aren’t, you might fail to achieve streamlined operations and have to rely on manual processes (which we all know can result in time-consuming errors and a poor customer experience). 

Using a tool like Inventory Planner by Sage will also allow you to utilize advance shipping notices (ASN). This is like a lightweight integration that allows you to easily notify your 3PL when the supplier confirms details around shipping so that they can be prepared to accept and process the delivery.

You should also check out your potential 3PLs partnership network. They often include marketing agencies, tax services, MarTech, and payment/BNPL solutions that could prove to be very useful now and in the future. 

3. Current customers 

A great way to understand whether a provider can support your wants and needs is by seeing if they work with brands that are similar to yours. You could also check whether they support the brands you look up to, because if the provider has helped them hit the next milestone, then there’s a chance they can help you achieve success too. That being said, no two brands are the same and no 3PLs are either – what works for one might not necessarily work for the other!

4. Services

Different providers offer different services, so you should make sure to find one that suits the specific needs of your business. While some offer more basic fulfillment options, others offer additional services such as container destuffing, inventory management, returns processing, and customer service. 

When it comes to pick and pack, you should also make sure you find out what custom packaging options are available and if they can include inserts with your orders. Finding out if they offer kitting or bundling of orders could also help determine if they are right for you long-term. 

If you’re selling temp-controlled, perishable and/or bulky goods then you might find it harder to find a provider that can support all your needs but they are out there! 

5. Future needs 

In addition to making sure a provider can support your current products and operations, you should also share your plans for the years ahead. While some merchants are happy relying on multiple 3PL providers, ensuring that your prospect provider will have enough warehouse space for your growing product lines and the ability to help you expand to new markets could solve major headaches later on. 

6. Pricing 

Price transparency is important when you’re looking for any product or service. You need to make sure you’re not going to be hit with a tonne of hidden fees down the road. However, you shouldn’t be put off if providers do not give their pricing on their website. Often this is a sign that more discovery is needed to be able to give you accurate pricing and a service that is tailored to your specific needs. In fact, communication, planning, and expectation setting are crucial for a successful 3PL relationship!

Our top pick providers 

To help you get you started in your search for the perfect 3PL partner, we’ve put together a rundown of 3PL providers that have proven track records of powering fast-growing, successful global brands. 

Note: We aren’t affiliated with any of the providers listed below and we’re including them here as suggestions only. We recommend also doing your own research.



Bleckmann is a market leader in Supply Chain Management (SCM) services for the fashion, lifestyle, and consumer electronics sectors. With a strong presence internationally, vast experience in IT solutions, and a globally unified platform for its clients, it’s no wonder Bleckmann supports such an impressive portfolio of high-profile brands. 

Customers include: Superdry, Gymshark, Patagonia

Locations: NL, BE, UK, US

Learn more

Perishables  ✅ Large/Bulky items ✅ Electronics ✅  Subscription services ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅



Huboo uses great people and smart technology to enable businesses to grow. Their unique hub model creates service-led, micro warehouses, putting people at the heart of an industry not known for it. 

Customers include: Flare Audio, Au Vodka, West Ham United

Locations: UK, EU  

Alcohol ✅  Subscription services  ✅ Electronics ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅

Learn more  


James & James

Helping you reach customers internationally, James & James is a well-known industry-leading 3PL powered by a custom-built, award-winning inventory management platform. 

Customers include: TALA, Cards Against Humanity, Gandys

Locations: UK,US,EU

Alcohol ✅  Perishables ✅  Subscription services  ✅ Electronics ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅

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Omni Channel Fulfilment Ltd

Award-winning fulfillment company with a superb tech stack, facilities, and customer experience team, OCF supports brands looking to develop closer connections with their customers by offering flexible and bespoke services.

Customers include: Ralph Lauren, Bleach London, From You to Me

Locations: UK, US, EU

Large/Bulky items  ✅  Subscription services ✅  Electronics ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅

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Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash

Supported by its namesake e-commerce platform and a suite of advanced technology solutions, Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash operates in 25 distribution centers in the US and brings emerging and established brands the scale and vision they need to grow and succeed.

Customers include: Grayson, APL, Goop 

Location: US

Large/Bulky items  ✅  Subscription services ✅  Electronics ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅

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Since its conception in 1976, SEKO has continued to build a solid reputation around the world as an innovative and flexible provider of first-class logistics. From factory floor to front door, SEKO is a premiere retail and e-commerce logistics provider that specialises in transportation, logistics, forwarding and warehousing.

Customers include: Manscaped, Mous, Castore

Location: EU, US, MENA, AUSTL 

Alcohol ✅ Temp controlled products (in HKG & US) ✅ Subscription services ✅  Electronics ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅

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ShipBob is a global omni-fulfillment platform that supports over 7,000 e-commerce brands across a network of 40+ fulfillment centers. One of the big players in the 3PL world, Shipbob covers everything from analytics and insights to a customized unboxing experience, and even offers 2-day shipping across the continental US!

Customers include: PetLab Co., Hero Cosmetics, The Adventure Challenge

Location: US, CA, UK, EU, AUS 

Subscription services ✅  Electronics ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅

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Award winning, end-to-end supply chain specialists, Torque prides itself on a personal approach to business. They ensure that your business runs like clockwork behind the scenes, so you can focus on the things that matter most to you. An exacting and made-to-measure service with state-of-the-art machinery, dedicated account managers, and in-house IT support are just some ways they deliver a personal service daily. 

Customers include: Arsenal, Sweaty Betty, Crew Clothing

Location: UK 

Alcohol ✅  Perishables ✅ Temp controlled products ✅  Subscription services  ✅ Electronics ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅

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Ware2Go, a UPS company, is designed for businesses that need flexible and efficient fulfillment solutions, particularly for e-commerce operations. This can include small, but established businesses, up to larger enterprises that sell products online and need to manage their orders, inventory, and shipping.

Customers include: LS2 Helmets, O2 Recovery, Palouse Brands

Location: US

Perishables ✅ Temp controlled products ✅  Large/Bulky items ✅ Subscription services ✅  Electronics ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅

Learn more   



Helping retailers and brands with their e-commerce fulfillment, Whistl is the UK’s leading end-to-end logistics company.  Thanks to a 1.5 million sq ft national fulfillment warehouse network, the Whistl Group handles in excess of 100 million e-commerce and trade (B2B) orders annually.

Customers include: Yogamatters, Ethical Superstore, Rarewaves

Location: UK

Alcohol ✅  Subscription services ✅  Electronics ✅  Batch and Serial Tracking ✅

Learn more  


Want some more help? Click here to set up a call with our in-house expert for an impartial 3PL partner recommendation based on your specific needs.