The Three Phases of Engaging With a 3PL

It was hard to ignore the dominance of eCommerce this holiday season, and with returns just beginning to trickle in, it’s clear that the party isn’t over for eCommerce companies and their third-party logistics providers (3PLs).

the three phases of engaging with a 3pl

In fact, thanks to the eCommerce boom, 3PLs have been pushed into the spotlight in recent years, and for good reason. Professional 3PL fulfillment companies can generally provide fulfillment services with faster and cheaper startups, that result in better overall results than companies who choose to do it on their own for the first time and/or are just learning their way around the intricacies of handling ecommerce orders and returns.

As a business considers outsourcing operations for the first time, evaluates its current 3PL’s performance, or considers severing an existing outsourcing agreement, the company faces several challenging decisions – decisions that can have a dramatic effect on its success. Therefore, my advice to clients is to review the three phases of engaging with a 3PL before making a big decision.

I recently authored an article for CIOReview about these three phases.

In summary, it’s important that, regardless of where a company stands in the process of engaging with a 3PL, executives take the time to fully assess the business’ individual circumstances and use outside professional resources – where necessary – for objective, comparative insights. By doing so, they will arrive at a conclusion that is both profitable and tailored to meet their company’s specific needs.

Read the full contribution to CIOReview HERE.


Rich Hamilton serves as Managing Director and Lead for Cushman & Wakefield’s 3PL Specialty Advisory Group. He brings a diverse professional background including experience in Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Third Party Logistics and Industrial Real Estate.

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