distribution center

Use of a 3PL A Small But Growing Option for Merchant Shippers

| Mike O'Brien

While there are many clear advantages to using a third-party fulfillment (3PL) partner for outsourcing some or all of your operations, the majority of merchant companies still opt for keeping these functions in house and firmly within their control. According to respondents to the MCM Outlook Survey, 26.5% of respondents said they use a 3PL in 2016, up from 21.2% in 2015, while the rest said they handle fulfillment internally. Of those who said no, only 2.9% said they are considering use of a 3PL, down from 6.2% in 2015.