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Top 3PL companies

A third-party logistics (3PL) company can help your business optimize inventory management, eliminate friction from the buyer journey and decrease shipping times. It’s important to identify which provider offers the right combination of services and support for your business. FreightWaves Ratings has compiled a list of the top 3PL companies so you can identify the ideal provider for your organization. 

Quicklook: Top 3PL companies

  • Best for end-to-end support: ShipBob
  • Best for free trials: Red Stag Fulfillment
  • Best for international support: XPO
  • Best for customer service: FreightPros
  • Best for North American logistics: Redhawk Logistics 
  • Best for order accuracy: ShipNetwork 
  • Best for integrated tech: Omni Logistics

Top third-party logistics providers

Our list of 3PL providers includes industry leaders such as:

ShipBob

ShipBob is known for providing true end-to-end logistics support. It offers powerful integration tools, reliable fulfillment services and much more. The company’s user-friendly cloud-based platform provides a seamless onboarding process.

Best for: End-to-end support

Number of warehouses: 40+

Shipping discounts: Yes

Customer service: Phone, email, web chat

Special features: 

  • Integrations
  • Robust reporting tools

Benefits: 

  • Two-day shipping
  • Fulfillment  
  • Return management
  • International operations (Australia, Canada, Europe and Mexico)

Disadvantages: 

  • International shipping costs can be a bit high

Pricing: Varies based on the type of services provided

Red Stag Fulfillment

Red Stag Fulfillment specializes in domestic logistics management. It can also assist with other facets of supply chain management, including distribution. Additionally, it provides a 30-day free trial for its fulfillment services.

Best for: Free trials

Number of warehouses: 2

Shipping discounts: No

Customer service: Phone and email

Special features: 

  • Free trial
  • Pays you $50 if they make certain fulfillment errors 

Benefits: 

  • Free trial
  • Offers odd-object shipping 
  • Provides kitting and assembly services 

Disadvantages:   

  • Rates for standard parcels are somewhat higher 
  • Only two warehouses

Pricing: Contact for quote

XPO

XPO is a carrier that specializes in less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping. However, the company also provides 3PL support. The company has more than 1,400 global locations spread across 33 countries. 

Best for: International support

Number of warehouses: 1,440

Shipping discounts: Yes

Customer service: Phone, email, web chat

Special features: 

  •  National coverage
  •  International support

Benefits:  

  • Fast domestic shipping  
  • Cost-effective international shipping 

Disadvantages: 

  • Online tools require some getting used to 

Pricing: Contact for quote

FreightPros

FreightPros has a reputation for providing exceptional customer service. This 3PL partner offers everything from distribution support to returns handling. It also works with carriers throughout the nation to ensure customer satisfaction. 

Best for: Customer service 

Number of warehouses: Unknown

Shipping discounts: Yes

Customer service: Phone and email 

Special features: 

  • Shipping discounts
  • Return management services  
  • User-friendly platform 

Benefits: 

  • Great customer service
  • Affordable prices 
  • Services tailored for small businesses 

Disadvantages: 

  • No international locations 
  • Less robust software than other providers 

Pricing: Contact for a quote 

Redhawk Logistics

Redhawk Logistics

Redhawk Logistics has locations in the U.S. and Canada. It can provide supply chain management support and fast shipping nationwide. It also offers distribution, warehousing and freight services. 

Best for: North American logistics 

Number of warehouses: 4

Shipping discounts: Yes

Customer service: Phone, email, web chat

Special features: 

  • Proprietary TMS solution
  • Route optimization tools
  • APIs to integrate with your software 

Benefits: 

  • Integrates with popular e-commerce solutions 
  • Easy-to-use shipment tracking tools 

Disadvantages: 

  • Fluctuating costs based on current rates
  • All warehouses located in Ohio 

Pricing: Contact for quote 

ShipNetwork

ShipNetwork offers order fulfillment, cost-effective shipping, inventory management and much more. The platform can integrate with many popular solutions such as Shopify. ShipNetwork offers a 100% order accuracy guarantee and one- to two-day ground delivery to most of the U.S.

Best for: Order accuracy

Number of warehouses: 12

Shipping discounts: Yes

Customer service: Phone, web chat, email

Special features: 

  • Integrations
  • Can create custom APIs to integrate with your unique software 

Benefits: 

  • 100% order accuracy guarantee 
  • One-day fulfillment  
  • One- to two-day day ground delivery
  • U.S.-based support

Disadvantages: 

  • High minimum pick-and-pack fee ($250 per month)
  • Unclear pricing

Pricing: Contact for a quote 

Omni Logistics

Omni Logistics

Omni Logistics offers scalable 3PL services to fit any organization. This provider has plenty of locations, domestically and abroad. It can connect you with logistics partners the world over. 

Best for: Integrated tech

Number of warehouses: 100+

Shipping discounts: Yes

Customer service: Web chat, phone, email

Special features: 

  • Locations on four continents
  • Software integrations  
  • Kitting services 

Benefits: 

  • Locations in 21 countries 
  • Provides freight forwarding  
  • Handles returns

Disadvantages: 

  • Varied pricing 
  • High international rates  

Pricing: Contact for a quote

What is a 3PL company?

A 3PL company oversees product warehousing, picking, packing, shipping and returns. It might also provide powerful software integrations like inventory management technology and order tracking solutions.  

How do 3PL companies work? 

3PL providers are similar to fulfillment companies, but also assist with distribution and other facets of supply chain management. Your partner can also help improve your logistics, resulting in better customer experiences.

What to consider with 3PL companies 

When choosing a partner from this list of top 3PL companies, you should consider how the following factors:

Global network

Even if you only serve U.S. customers, finding a partner with a global network is a good idea. They’ll be able to leverage their connections to streamline your supply chain and help your business withstand shifting market conditions.

Software integration

Leading 3PL providers offer software solutions and APIs that integrate with your existing technology suite. This way, you can gain real-time insights into the state of your business.

Returns

A provider that manages returns and exchanges can reduce the burden on your in-house team. Ideally, you want a provider that automates these processes, saving you time.

Shipping discounts

3PLs ship far more products than just yours, so they often have access to volume-based shipping discounts. They can often pass some of these savings onto you, especially if your order volume surpasses certain thresholds. 

Customer service

The top 3PL companies have high-quality customer service. Make sure you choose a partner with a reputation for providing prompt, timely support. Doing so allows you to quickly resolve issues with your own customers and maintain a positive reputation.

Shipping speeds

Today’s consumers expect to receive their goods quickly. To accommodate them, you should look for a partner that offers one-day, two-day or expedited shipping.

Does my business need a 3PL partner?

Nearly any company can improve its logistics management by partnering with a 3PL. However, not every 3PL will be a good fit for your business. 

When choosing a provider, consider its cost and scope, and whether it can solve your most pressing supply chain challenges. Doing this research will enable you to make the wisest decision for your business and pave the way for continued growth.

FAQ 

What is the main purpose of third-party logistics?

A 3PL provides logistics management so that you can focus on core business operations. 

Is 3PL the same as outsourcing?

3PL is a form of outsourcing, but it is not your only outsourcing option. Instead, you could work with a provider specializing in fulfillment but offering no back-end logistics support. 

What are the advantages of third-party logistics?

3PL companies assess how distribution and fulfillment impact your supply chain and influence the customer experience. They can promote business efficiency and increased productivity.

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