Today ShipStation announced the release of ShipStation 3PL, our first-ever tool designed with third-party logistics providers (3PLs) in mind. Before we get into the benefits and how easy it is to get set up, let's talk about the specific needs of a 3PL.
What is a 3PL and what challenges do they face?
Third-party logistics is a business model some sellers use to outsource some or all of their inventory to a third-party company to house, fulfill, and ship orders to their customers. These third-party logistics providers are also referred to as fulfillment warehouses, fulfillment centers, or fulfillment providers.
3PLs currently face a few different challenges, seeing as they are handling fulfillment for multiple clients at the same time – out of the same warehouse. Often a lot of the communication between clients and 3PLs is done via manual entry and through multiple client platforms. Also it’s tough for 3PLs to provide their clients with real-time updates.
Introducing ShipStation 3PL
ShipStation 3PL is an add-on for your shipstation account that allows you to invite existing clients to send orders directly from their personal ShipStation accounts. This allows you to meet clients where they currently are, instead of trying to onboard clients to additional softwares with additional costs or passwords to navigate. No more endless spreadsheets — all you’ll need is your ShipStation account.
Using ShipStation 3PL also allows your clients to get near real-time status updates, inventory management capabilities, and offer additional fulfillment reports within their own accounts. Everyone gets to utilize the platforms they are currently using and will make communication between both parties seamless.
Three Steps to Set Up
In ShipStation, navigate to Settings > Payment & Subscription.
In the Subscription plan tile, click the "Add-ons" link (note: this link is hidden from users still on a trial plan).
Click the "Enable" button under ShipStation 3PL.
Send invites to your client accounts.
Once accepted you are ready to start shipping orders.
If you are a 3PL and would be interested in learning more about ShipStation 3PL, you can review the resources we have linked below.