Product Fulfillment for Packaged Goods

If you want to better fulfill packaged products either for retail shelves or online sales, consider a 3PL. At Warehouse Specialists, we have over 55 years of experience in warehousing, supply chain logistics and transportation. During this time, we’ve built an expansive nationwide warehouse network that serves all types of business models – Direct 2 Consumer (D2C), B2C, dropshipping, B2B, etc.

But, we don’t stop at warehousing. WSI additionally offers eCommerce and retail fulfillment services to accelerate the delivery of products to your customers. With some order history and inventory data, we can identify the best order fulfillment locations to optimize your operational spending.

WSI maintains great relationships with customers thanks to our commitment to reliable storage, handling and transportation. We are the type of company that sets standards for other 3PL logistics providers.

What Is 3PL Order Fulfillment?

In online commerce to retail, order fulfillment refers to the outsourcing of product handling operations such as inventory management, receiving orders, custom packaging, kitting and product assembly. When you partner with a product fulfillment service, they proceed to manage the following on your behalf: storage, orders, inventory, pick, pack and shipping.

Such partners come in different forms. Some specialize in product fulfillment services, others operate warehousing companies and distribution centers, while industry leaders like WSI provide everything under one roof. Through our specialized 3PL logistics, businesses get to reduce shipping costs, improve delivery logistics, lower shipping times, manage returns, and provide better customer service.

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How 3PL Product Fulfillment Solutions Work

Warehousing and Storage

  1. Send your inventory to the 3PL provider: To get started with 3PL fulfillment, you need to coordinate the shipment of your inventory to your selected logistics company.
  2. Fill out a Warehouse Receiving Order (WRO): You may be requested to document the product names and quantities. This is done by filling out a Warehouse Receiving Order (WRO).
  3. Inventory storage: Once the inventory has been received, your product fulfillment company will place them on racks, shelves, pallets, or bins at their warehouses.
  4. Categorization and labeling: 3PL providers will also categorize and label the inventory accordingly. This makes it easy to identify products when customers’ orders start coming in.

Online Order Handling

  1. Integration of the ecommerce warehouse management system: For efficient 3PL ordering processes, the online store is integrated with the fulfillment center warehouse management system (WMS).
  2. Order alerts: When a customer places their order on your ecommerce website, the 3PL provider is immediately notified.  This kickstarts the product fulfillment process, within which the 3PL solution follows the information relayed from your store.
  3. Product retrieval: The warehouse team retrieves the order from its location, often in batches to increase efficiency, and then proceeds to packing.

Pick, Packing and Shipping

  1. Collection from storage: After the order is collected from its storage location, the warehouse team will begin packaging the item according to your preferences.
  2. Custom packaging: You can customize the packaging material to highlight your brand. What’s more, you can specify the packing formula based on weight and cost.
  3. Carrier pickup: Once packaged, the 3PL provider will place a shipping label on the product, and stage it for shipping carrier pick up.
  4. Order tracking: The 3PL’s order management system (OMS) will keep you updated on the status and progress of the shipment.
  5. Returns management: In the event a customer requests a return, the 3PL logistics company can handle the entire returns process.


End-to-end Product Fulfillment Solutions

  • UCC-128 Labeling
  • Retailer Invoicing
  • EDI Direct to Retailer
  • Must Arrive By Date (MABD) Compliance
  • Kitting and Assembly
  • POP Display Design / Construction
  • Shelve Ready Packaging and Retail Ready Packaging

Types of Product Fulfillment Services

Dropshipping Order Fulfillment

Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model where you don’t keep any inventory on hand. Instead, the manufacturer is the one that dispatches items after your customer has made an order. Everything is then sent directly to your 3PL logistics service, which picks it up from there and coordinates the customer fulfillment process.

You get to focus on marketing, design, and other aspects of your business while the 3PL logistics company takes care of the entire product fulfillment cycle.

B2C vs. B2B Fulfillment

Business to Consumer (B2C) fulfillment is the process of fulfilling orders that are directly shipped to an end consumer rather than a business or any other party.

B2B fulfillment refers to the process of fulfilling orders that are shipped to another business (like a big box retailer) or organization instead of an end consumer. It typically involves larger order quantities and more complex supply chain processes compared to B2C fulfillment. Retail fulfillment also usually requires greater regulatory compliance.

Direct-to-Consumer Fulfillment

D2C fulfillment is the counterpart to D2C selling, where customer orders are shipped directly from the brand rather than a retailer or distributor. This gives brands the privilege of cutting out intermediaries, which should then reduce their overhead costs.


Store Fulfillment

Two-thirds of US shoppers have purchased a product online, and then went on to pick it up in-store. This kind of customer fulfillment, also known as buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), caters to such buyers.

With store fulfillment, customers have the convenience of searching for items on the ecommerce site, confirming their availability, and then making the purchase online. They subsequently save on shipping costs and time by picking up their orders from the nearest brick-and-mortar store.

WSI’s Retailer Partnerships

Types of Consumer Packaged Products We Handle:

  • Apparel
  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Pet Food & Supplies
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Sporting Goods
  • Cosmetics
  • Toys
  • Diapers
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Electronics & Parts

WSI Is Not Your Typical Product Fulfillment Service

Fulfillment Centers in Major Metro Areas

Warehouse Specialists owns and manages several different warehouse types, with unique capabilities by product and building. Many of our warehouse locations are public, ideal for businesses that need to expand quickly or handle seasonal inventory. The corresponding dedicated and private warehouses tend to provide more security and space for enterprise businesses.

So far, we’ve established operations in 25 facilities nationwide – making WSI one of the top 20 largest 3PL logistics companies in the US. They add up to over 14 million square feet of real estate, which is distributed among public, contract, and dedicated fulfillment programs.

Same-Day Product Fulfillment

With delivery time being the most important factor for ecommerce buyers, you need a proactive product fulfillment solution that is efficient enough to maintain same-day delivery. 57% of consumers are, in fact, very keen on getting same-day or next-day delivery from online stores.

It’s because of this that we’ve developed a timely order fulfillment operation that delivers products in one or two days. Once your orders are sent to any of WSI’s fulfillment centers, they are picked, packed, and handed off to the carrier on the same day.

The high level of efficiency is largely due to our strategically distributed warehouses. Our extensive footprint gives us the network to sustain same-day/next-day shipping throughout the continental United States.

Custom Fulfillment Solutions

WSI provides highly specialized storage and distribution services at select locations across the country. This includes secure and compliant storage for products that require special handling. Examples include food-grade items, chemicals, and hazardous materials with Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) certification.

If your company is seeking to expand, WSI can help find the right location according to your needs and budget.

In addition to our existing network, WSI’s logistics, real estate, and engineering specialists have years of experience in securing land and building commercial warehouses. We offer industrial real estate expertise when you need it. WSI helps brands scale and businesses expand into the Midwest region, West Coast and South.

Returns Management

We understand that despite accurate and timely deliveries, there will always be some returns from customers.

Our return management services include restocking returned items to your inventory when appropriate, and handling all the logistics of product returns.

While at it, our team is dedicated to making sure that every step is handled with care and attention to detail.

3PL Product Fulfillment FAQs

What is 3PL fulfillment?

Third-party logistics (3PL) fulfillment means entrusting your entire retail order fulfillment process to an outsourced group of logistics professionals. Their job is to handle the following on your behalf:

  • Managing inventory
  • Receiving orders
  • Picking and packing
  • Warehousing
  • Shipping

What is Direct to Consumer (D2C) fulfillment?

Direct to consumer (D2C) fulfillment refers to the process of fulfilling customer orders placed directly with the brand that produces or sells the product online.

What is ecommerce fulfillment?

E-commerce fulfillment is the process of fulfilling customer orders from an online store or a third-party logistics partner. It includes receiving and storing inventory, processing orders, picking and packing, shipping and delivery,  plus managing returns.

Why outsource fulfillment to a third party logistics company?

3PL companies have the expertise and resources to handle the entire product fulfillment process. This will benefit your business in the following ways:

  • Reduces the cost of order fulfillment.
  • Streamlines customer fulfillment processes.
  • Capitalizes on a network of warehouses and distribution centers.
  • Frees up your time to focus on business administration.
  • Accelerates product delivery and shipping.
  • Facilitates easy scaling of operations.

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