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  • UK Fulfilment

The Difference Between Third Party Logistics (3PL) & Full-Service Fulfilment

What is the Difference Between 3PL & Fulfilment?

At a first glance a third-party logistics partner and a fulfilment centre may seem the same thing, but there are a number of differences between a fulfilment centre and a 3PL.

3PL logistics companies can encompass anything from freight forwarders, to importing and courier companies and these can cover a range of services from distribution to storage to picking and packing services. A fulfilment centre is basically a 3 PL company but provides many more additional services than a 3PL would.

What does a 3PL Company Offer?

3PL logistics companies vary in the services they offer from company to company. They can offer any services varying from receiving stock, to providing storage and warehousing and distribution and shipping of orders. While some businesses try to manage their own logistics, many companies explore third-party logistics when their eCommerce outgrows their ability to fulfil their orders in-house. In basic terms a 3PL is the outsourced management of warehousing and transportation.

Services can include:

Warehouse Storage

Inventory Management

Shipping and distribution

What Does a Fulfilment Centre Offer?

While a fulfilment centre is defined as a type 3PL facility, a full fulfilment centre offers a much broader range of services than a normal 3PL. Fully fledged fulfilment centres, such as UK Fulfilment, can offer services to a company to ship both directly to an individual customer, as well as handle wholesale orders to retail outlets. Fulfilment centres offer a number of value-added services that address a broader range of an eCommerce company’s needs, handling the receiving, picking, packaging and dispatching customer’s orders and also managing the reverse supply chain i.e. customer returns. One of the main differences is that a fulfilment centre is a fully integrated operation, and your sales channels will be integrated with their warehouse management and order software to ensure your customers orders are processed and fulfilled seamlessly.

Services can include:

Picking & Packing

Custom Packaging

Reworking & Re-packing of stock

Integration of Sales Channels & fully managed service

Wholesale Orders


The Difference Between 3PL & Fulfilment Is Integration

The main difference between a normal third-party logistics company and a full-service fulfilment company is that a fulfilment centre offers not only a dedicated team to provide ongoing flexible solutions to your business’s operational needs but also provides customer support and state of the art back-end integration of all your sales channels to provide a fully efficient fulfilment service.

UK Fulfilment, offer full-service distribution and fulfilment services, and offer a complete menu of integrated distribution. UK Fulfilment, distinguishes itself as a complete in-house solution, managing companies’ eCommerce and wholesale orders across a wide array of industries both domestically and internationally, whilst offering a personal and flexible service for your company.


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