Tendering for a 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) fulfilment warehouse to act as your Distribution Centre can be a complex process, but it's crucial for the success of your business, especially in the field of e-commerce, event, and wholesale order processing outsourcing. 80% of our clients are based offshore from the UK and they look to us to look after their assets and process their orders like they would if they were handling the processes themselves. So how do you go about looking for the right fulfilment partner to make the right choice for your business?
Your business has a storage, picking, packing and distribution requirement. What does that entail? A short-term project or a long-term relationship. Clearly outline your business needs and objectives. Identify the specific services you require, such as order processing, inventory management, pick and pack, shipping, and returns management. Ensure you have a good understanding of your storage volume and item movement, seasonality and if you have any specific storage requirements like double height pallets, two many lift items and SKU counts.
Do your products have specific packing requirements? Quality controls, box opening presentation, environmental considerations and dispatch timings. Maybe you need to log serial numbers, batch codes or best-before dates. Can your chosen target supplier list manage these requirements?
Are you supplying your own packaging? We work with clients that will simply require plain polybags, padded envelopes or shipping boxes/cartons. But you may have branded packaging pieces that need building in sequence to secure your products. Make sure you document the requirement with photos and guides where required.
How do your orders intend on getting to your chosen 3PL partner? API integrations are common in today’s market but make sure your sales channels can be integrated into and polled for orders regularly throughout the working day to ensure consistency in order processing. You may utilise a central tool like Linnworks, Zoho, Oracle, SAP or your accountancy package as well as your sales channels (Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, Woocommerce, Not on the High Street) they all need integrating into to ensure workflow is managed correctly. Ensure this is documented for your tender process.
Dispatching your goods from a UK provider is simple. Our clients from the US and Australia always laugh when they realise that a courier will take a parcel from us one evening and deliver it virtually anywhere in the UK the next day. As with all buying, there are cheaper headline services here but be careful about the delivery failure rates and the damages that can be increased with some of the lesser providers. The national postal service, the Royal Mail offer a reliable, robust service that will carry most small and light products at some of the best rates available. Ensure you document your average parcel weight and dimensions to steer your partner to use the right carrier for you and your profitability.
We see three scenarios generally, a new to the UK or start up business, a business that utilises a 3PL firm already but is looking to move or a company that is processing their own orders internally and is looking to outsource for the first time. Each project needs to be treated differently and the mentality of clients is unique depending on scale, timelines and sector.
Consider the scalability of the 3PL provider to accommodate your business growth. You may have some seasonality to your products. Your tender should highlight this as it may have an impact on labour to process your goods when the volume is turned up.
Can your chosen distribution centre handle all sizes of Goods in shipments? Boxes, pallets or containers are the norm here but some smaller warehousing providers will struggle to house huge stock inputs. Are their processes of documenting quality control, damage and inventory all logged in a way you require for your business?
Online Retailers, Wholesalers, Importers and Manufacturers we work with them all.
- No setup fees
- Secure Storage
- Free API Integrations
- Same day dispatch guarantee *Some seasonal T&Cs may apply
- Royal Mail & all major courier networks managed
- Over 30 years storage and distribution experience
- Organically Certified Warehouse and processes
- Free Online Stock Control Software
- Dedicated Support Team Management
Testimonial: alya skin. - Cosmetics & Beauty
"We assigned CBF Fulfilment as our third party logistics company for UK orders 2 years ago.
They have been nothing short of amazing to work with, they are extremely quick to despatch orders and have a team that are always so willing to help when needed.
As an ecommerce business owner that has worked with multiple 3PL companies and can safely say that CBF Fulfilment has been the best we have ever worked with in all the years."
Testimonial: Climbingvan - Books and Publication
"We run Climbingvan, a resource for helping people with self-build van conversions. Last year we wrote our book, The Van Conversion Bible, which explains exactly how to convert a campervan.
As we live full-time in our own van and work remotely from the road, it's not possible for us to manage our own fulfilment. CBF help us to get our book into the hands of our customers all across the country, as well as fulfilling our wholesale orders to larger suppliers. We appreciate their flexibility and the bespoke service they are able to offer us. The world of ecommerce was new to us, and the team at CBF have been really helpful in making everything possible for us, and are always friendly and quick to respond."
Charlie & Dale
Testimonial: Lola + Blake - Clothing & Accessories
"I’ve been really pleased with the service I have received from CBF. Each business is unique, and mine certainly has a lot of personalisation options and additions that customers request. CBF worked to implement these and find solutions to ensure that my brand remained as personal as when I individually wrapped and sent each order myself from my dining room table! Recent reviews from customers have remained positive with special mentions to the quality of the luxury gift wrap and the nice touch of personal notes."
Lola + Blake
Testimonial: Bodyhero - Health and Fitness
"CBF have been great in facilitating all aspects of our direct to consumer and business to business order fulfilment as our chosen 3PL company.
The team are always really helpful and resolve any questions or issues in a timely fashion."
Testimonial: Hyde & Hare - Luxury Cowhide Accessories
"CBF has been brilliant from start to finish in managing our fulfilment and distribution. What stands out is their ability to take initiative when processing orders and their support has been fundamental to our growth."
Hyde & Hare
Testimonial: Dodo Pad - Books & Publication
"Moving to CBF has enabled us to improve our service to our own eCommerce customers – next day delivery and orders always despatched on time with full tracking – as well as navigate increasingly complex international shipping.
We are a small business with a peak at Christmas. CBF has given us the flexibility we needed, which was not possible when we were managing fulfilment in house."
Testimonial: Lateral Line / Artemi Rum - Spirits Alcohol
"CBF has enabled us to establish our E-commerce platform initially through sales through Amazon. The service was very easy to set up, streamlined and efficient. Whenever any queries arise, they are very quickly dealt with by the CBF staff. We are very pleased to be working with CBF."
Testimonial: iNKSHIP. - Posters & Prints
"CBF have handled my orders for almost five years now, which single-handedly allowed me to grow from a bedroom business to a scale I could never have handled myself. I’m really grateful to the hard-working warehouse team who always fulfil my orders to a very high standard, and never seem to miss a beat."
Keeping it simple and efficient.
We guarantee a same day dispatch of your orders!
Securely and efficiently in our heated warehouse
Our warehouse is our own, We have a large space able to securely store pallets, boxes and goods on pick pack bays ready for your customers to order. With live inventory figures communicated to your marketplaces, sales channels and websites. You are never overselling. Why not come and see us.
Contract Packing or Order Fulfilment. We're ready!
For daily order processing or contract packing projects, we work with them all. Receiving orders from all your sales channels, we can pick/pack and dispatch the same day of order regardless of volumes. We automatically update your Shopify order status so your customers are kept informed of where their order is at all times.
Any size of consignment, anywhere in the world.
Our teams work with all packing suppliers as well as the National Couriers, Royal Mail and Pallet Networks all day every day. Talk to them about how to ship your orders securely and efficiently. Your sales channels will be sent the tracking information for each shipment automatically helping you get those five-star reviews.
Your 3PL Ecommerce Fulfilment, Distribution Centre and Contract Packing partner. Planned, Integrated, Packed and Delivered.
T: 01242 802140
1-11 Alvin Street