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Where Should your E-Commerce Fulfillment Warehouse be Based? Choosing a 3PL Based on Location

Map of the United States

You know what they say in real estate: location, location, location. Well, the same principle applies to the real estate of your fulfillment warehouse. Picking the right spot can have a huge impact on everything from import costs to your ability to offer competitive shipping rates to your customers. Let’s take a look at the factors that will influence your decision.

CUSTOMER BASE

Is your business regional? Or national? Do you get a significant portion of your orders from a specific section of the US or do orders come in from all over the country? For e-tailers who have a strong regional customer base, choosing a warehouse in that part of the country can help you save money on shipping (because your packages won’t have to travel across many shipping zones) while getting you closer to that holy grail of e-commerce: offering free two-day shipping.

SUPPLIER LOCATION

While supplier location shouldn’t be the primary factor in choosing a warehouse location, it can be an important secondary consideration. Let’s say for example that your primary customer base is in Boston and New York, and your goods are manufactured in Florida. A warehouse in Pennsylvania keeps your goods close to your customers so you can offer great shipping rates to them. But a warehouse in South Carolina helps you save money in reviewing your goods, while still allowing you to offer the same shipping rates to most of your customers.

For e-tailers who have foods manufactured in Asia, having a West Coast warehouse may or may not be helpful. While you need someone you can trust to claim your goods at the port and handle delivery to your 3PL, you’ll need to perform a cost benefit analysis to determine if the money you save on drayage is worth any sacrifices you might make on ship times to customers.

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

Once an e-commerce company reaches a certain size, distributing product over multiple warehouses is a game-changer. Good 3PLs use inventory management software that can analyze your customer patterns and optimize the storage of your goods based on those demographics. Even if you aren’t big enough to use multiple warehouses today, choosing a fulfillment partner that has them means you’ll be able to transition seamlessly when that time arrives.

If you still have questions on how to choose a 3PL partner based on their fulfillment warehouse locations, we’re happy to help. You can call us at 1-866-289-9010 or email us at sales (at) owd (dot) com.

Fulfillment Costs

Fulfillment costs are based on three criteria: size, weight and delivery time.

OWD offers five service levels: economy (7-10 days); Standard (5-7 days), 2-Day, Overnight and International.

Starting At

$3.99

Per Unit

FAQs

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International Shipping

The old way to ship internationally

DDU means Delivery Duty Unpaid – where the buyer pays for all of the import fees at delivery.

Unexpected import fees give buyers sticker shock – not good. When they refuse to pay, you’ve lost a sale and must pay to return your product, or abandon it.

DDU is an old idea whose time has passed. For these reasons and more, OWD doesn’t recommend DDU for e-com sellers.

The best way to ship internationally

DDP is an acronym for Delivery Duty Paid. DDP means that the seller pays for all the duties and import fees.

With DDP, your customers won’t be surprised with unexpected customs charges – good!

With OWD’s landed cost calculator, your foreign customers will know exactly what their various VAT, customers and duties will cost. No unhappy surprises.

Ship flat-rate anywhere in the world starting at:

$16.39

One World Direct, B.V.

For large-scale operations needing a full solution in Europe, there’s OWD Europe, based in Amsterdam.

We Make Contact Center EASY

Sell More with Live Agents

The Services

OWD handles phone calls, e-mails and web chat eighteen hours a day from our own state-of-the-art facility.

We’ll handle your inbound sales and customer service contacts.

You get career agents who speak American English and know how to sell.

The Costs

$99 gets you 200 calls, e-mails or chats handled every week.

You get your own phone number and custom e-mail.

We do a lot more. Call for details.

More than a Call Center

Get Virtual Assistants as needed

  • Credit Card declines
  • USPS and FedEx claims
  • Shipper Call Tags
  • Charge Backs & Credits
One World’s contact center in Mobridge, South Dakota.

The Voice of Your Brand

We Make Returns EASY

Returns? Yuck.
One World has a simple solution.

All-Inclusive Returns

OWD’s all-inclusive Returns service provides simplicity and high-end customer service. OWD includes a pre-printed return label as part of your packing slip. Your customer need only drop it in the mail.

What’s included: packaging slip with return label, QC inspection, re-bag, re-tag and return to stock. What’s excluded: postage cost, poly bags and any special packaging.

Base Price

$4.95

Add-On Services

  • Cleaning: (basic wipe down) $0.66
  • Apparel Steaming: $6.55
  • $0.50 for additional units

Call For Quotes

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  • Re-Kitting
  • Refurbish
  • Destruction Certificates
  • Lint Rolling