Blog

Picking Between 3PL vs. Own Warehouse: A Simple Guide

review the pros and cons of using a 3PL

  • Written by Alex Dolce
  • Published on December 31, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Introduction

In the vast e-commerce world of managing products, like moving and storing them, there’s an extensive choice: Should you get help from a company that handles these services (3PL), or should you do it yourself and manage your own space? Both options have good and not-so-good parts, and the best one for you depends on what kind of business you have, how big you want it to be, and what you want to do with it. So today, we review the pros and cons of using a 3PL vs own warehouse to see which suits your business best. 

Let’s jump in!

The 3PL Advantage:

So, what are the benefits of using a 3PL to do the fulfilling for you? 

Saves Money

To start, if you let another company deal with moving and storing your stuff (3PL), it can save you money. You only pay for the services you use and don’t need to spend much money upfront. Some of the standout services 3PL partners can offer include storing, picking, packing, and shipping.

Focus on What You Do Best

When you team up with a company that knows about moving and storing (3PL), you can spend more time on what you’re good at, like creating and selling your product. Thus, this can help your business grow faster. Ths is one of the primary advantages when it comes down to deciding between a 3pl vs own warehouse,

Easy to Change

If your business goes up and down, working with a 3PL company makes it easy to change and adapt based on your needs. In other words, they can be customized and flexible to your needs. 

Reach Customers Everywhere

Some companies that help with moving and storing things (3PL) can do it worldwide or internationally. So, this is useful if you have customers all over the place.

Use the Latest Technology

When working with a 3PL provider, you use the newest tools and tricks. These can include things like robots and other warehouse tech. So, this can make your business work better, faster, and smoother.

Downsides of 3PL:

Less Control

However, if you let another company handle your products, you don’t have as much say in how things are done. This might make it hard to do things exactly how you want them.

Talking Can Be Tricky

Even if the company is good at moving and storing things (3PL), sometimes talking to them about what you need can be challenging. You need to make sure you can talk to them quickly.

Depending on Others

Relying on another company for essential things like moving and storing (3PL) can be risky. So, you need to be sure they’re good at their work. Luckily, there are tools to search for legitimate 3PL providers and ones that will suit your business. 

Now that we’ve gone over 3PL let’s see the ups and downs of having your own warehouse for your products.

Doing It Yourself (Own Warehouse):

Some of the best parts of having a warehouse to yourself and your own business include:

Full Control

On the other hand, if you do everything yourself, you have complete control over moving and storing your stuff. You can change things quickly to match what you want to do.

Make It Your Own

Doing things yourself lets you do them in a way that suits your business. This can make your business unique and keep customers happy.

Build Your Brand

Talking directly to customers is a big plus. It helps you build a good reputation for your business by giving excellent service.

Saves Money if You’re Big

If you have a lot of stuff to move and store, doing it yourself might be cheaper in the long run. But starting can cost a lot.

Downsides of Doing It Yourself:

Costs a Lot to Start

Setting up everything to move and store stuff yourself can be expensive. Not every business can afford it at the beginning.

Need to Learn a Lot

You must know much about moving and storing things if you do it yourself. This might be hard if you’re not used to it.

Hard to Grow Fast

While doing things yourself lets you make them suitable for your needs, growing fast can be tricky. You need to plan a lot.

Sometimes Costs More

Having control over everything might mean you spend more money, especially if your business goes up and down a lot.

To Wrap It Up: 3PL vs Own Warehouse

Deciding between 3PL or doing it all yourself isn’t the same for every business. So, you must consider what you want to do, how big your business is, and what you can afford. Some businesses might find a mix of both ways works best, combining the good parts of each. The main thing is finding what’s right for your business so it can work well and grow.

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