Top 10 Best 3PL for Shopify (third-party logistics)

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There’s an unmistakable thrill that comes with running a Shopify store. You’ve created an appealing storefront, sourced original products, and customers are placing orders. With each notification, your entrepreneurial dream strengthens. But as your customer base expands, your fulfillment complexities multiply. The logistics of packing and shipping orders or managing returns may begin to feel overwhelming. This is where third-party logistics (3PL) companies can step in, providing vital support to Shopify store owners. 

In this article, we will explore the top 10 3PL companies perfect for Shopify stores, equipping you with the insights to make informed decisions and manage your store’s growth more effectively.

What is a Third-Party Logistics Provider (3PL)?

A Third-Party Logistics Provider, commonly referred to as a 3PL, is a company that offers logistics and supply chain management services to businesses. These services typically include order fulfillment, warehousing, inventory management, and shipping. 

Why do Shopify stores need 3PL?

As an eCommerce platform, Shopify enables businesses to sell products online, but it doesn’t handle the physical aspects of storage, packaging, and shipping. This is where a 3PL comes in. By outsourcing these tasks to a specialized logistics provider, Shopify stores can focus on core business activities while ensuring efficient and timely order delivery to their customers.

How Does a 3PL Work?

A 3PL works by integrating with a Shopify store’s operations to manage key logistics functions. When a customer places an order on the Shopify store, the order details are automatically forwarded to the 3PL. The 3PL receives the order, picks the products from the inventory, packs them, and ships them to the customer’s location. 

How Do 3PLs Connect With Shopify?

To connect with Shopify, 3PLs utilize various integration methods. Many 3PL companies offer native integrations with the Shopify platform, allowing seamless synchronization of order and inventory data. This integration ensures that whenever an order is placed on the Shopify store, the 3PL receives the information automatically. 

Benefits of Partnering with 3PL Companies

Saving Time and Money

By outsourcing logistics operations to a 3PL, Shopify stores can save valuable time and money. 3PL companies have expertise in efficient warehousing, order fulfillment, and shipping processes. They leverage economies of scale to negotiate favorable shipping rates with carriers such as FedEx or UPS, helping Shopify stores reduce their shipping costs. 

Venturing Into New Markets with Ease

Expanding into new markets can be challenging for Shopify stores, especially when it comes to managing shipping logistics. 3PLs have a network of warehouses in different locations, enabling Shopify stores to reach customers in new regions quickly.

Shielding Your Business Against Global Supply Chain Disruptions

Natural disasters, political instability, or unforeseen events can disrupt the flow of goods, causing delays and customer dissatisfaction. Partnering with a 3PL can help Shopify stores mitigate these risks. 3PLs have multiple warehouses spread across different countries, allowing them to reroute shipments and fulfill orders from alternative locations in case of disruptions, ensuring continuity in the supply chain.

The Scalability and Flexibility of 3PLs

As businesses grow, their logistics requirements change. 3PLs can easily accommodate fluctuations in order volume, seasonal peaks, or sudden spikes in demand. With access to additional resources and storage space, Shopify stores can scale their operations without worrying about investing in additional infrastructure or hiring more staff.

Key Benefits of Using a 3PL Company for Dropshipping

For Shopify stores that engage in dropshipping, partnering with a 3PL company becomes even more beneficial. 3PLs streamline the entire dropshipping process by handling inventory management, order fulfillment, and shipping on behalf of the store. This allows Shopify stores to focus on marketing, customer acquisition, and building relationships with suppliers. 

Criteria for Choosing a Good 3PL for Your Shopify Store

What Makes a Good 3PL for Shopify Sellers?

A good 3PL for Shopify sellers possesses the following qualities:

  • Reliable and efficient order fulfillment
  • Seamless integration
  • Wide network of warehouses
  • Technology and automation 
  • Scalability
  • Transparent pricing and flexibility
  • High-value customer service 

Factors Influencing Your 3PL Services Bill

When partnering with a 3PL, several factors can influence your services bill:

  • Order Volume: The number of orders you process affects the cost, as higher order volumes require more labor and resources for picking, packing, and shipping.
  • Storage Space: The amount of inventory you need to store in the 3PL’s warehouse impacts the cost. Larger storage requirements will incur higher warehousing fees.
  • Value-Added Services: If you require additional services such as kitting, customized packaging, or returns processing, these value-added services may incur extra charges.
  • Shipping Distance and Weight: Shipping costs are influenced by the distance between the 3PL’s warehouse and the end destination, as well as the weight and dimensions of the packages. Longer distances and heavier packages may result in higher shipping rates.
  • Shipping Speed and Service Level: Expedited shipping options or premium service levels offered by the 3PL will come at an additional cost compared to standard shipping methods.
  • Special Requirements: If your products require specific handling, such as temperature-controlled storage or hazardous materials handling, additional fees may apply.

Recognizing the Right Time to Hire a 3PL Company

A significant increase in order volume that overwhelms your existing resources can be a clear indication that it’s time to consider a 3PL. When your in-house capabilities struggle to handle the growing number of orders efficiently, outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL allows you to scale your operations and meet the rising demands of your customers.

Limited warehousing space is another factor to consider. If your inventory surpasses the capacity of your current storage facilities, a 3PL can provide the necessary warehousing space and expertise to effectively manage your expanding inventory.

Top 10 Options for Shopify Order Fulfillment


With ShipHero’s advanced order processing capabilities, Shopify store owners can streamline their fulfillment operations. ShipHero offers automated order routing, picking, and packing, reducing errors and increasing efficiency. Their intuitive interface and barcode scanning technology enable seamless and accurate order fulfillment. ShipHero is a certified Shopify+ partner.

Check ShipHero out here

Red Stag Fulfillment

This 3PL focuses on providing high-quality, reliable fulfillment services. They specialize in handling large, heavy, or complex products and offer value-added services like kitting, assembly, and custom packaging.


If your Shopify store specializes in print-on-demand products, Printful is an ideal choice. They handle printing, packaging, and shipping of custom-designed products, allowing you to focus on your creative side.


Easyship is a shipping platform that connects Shopify stores with multiple couriers worldwide. They offer discounted shipping rates, real-time tracking, and automated tax and customs documentation for international shipments.


This 3PL offers affordable and reliable fulfillment services for Shopify stores. They handle warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping, ensuring accurate and timely order fulfillment.


Shipwire provides global fulfillment services for Shopify stores. With a vast network of fulfillment centers worldwide, they offer fast shipping to customers in different regions, helping Shopify stores expand their reach.


ShipHawk specializes in handling oversized and bulky products. They optimize shipping and fulfillment for large items, ensuring cost-effective and efficient delivery.

This service offers global fulfillment for Shopify stores, helping them reach customers worldwide. With their network of warehouses, they provide fast shipping and customs clearance for international orders.


Ship7 focuses on international fulfillment and shipping. They provide warehousing, order processing, and international shipping solutions, making it easier for Shopify stores to serve customers around the world.


ShipRocket is a shipping and fulfillment platform that simplifies order fulfillment for Shopify stores. They offer features like courier aggregation, automated order processing, and real-time tracking, ensuring smooth and efficient fulfillment.

Other Fulfillment Options for Shopify Orders

In-House Fulfillment for Shopify Orders

In-house fulfillment involves handling all order fulfillment processes within your own facilities. This option gives you complete control over your fulfillment operations, allowing for customization and flexibility. However, it’s important to consider the costs and resources required for managing your own fulfillment network, including warehousing space, labor, and shipping logistics.

Outsourced Fulfillment for Shopify Orders

Outsourced fulfillment involves partnering with a specialized fulfillment company to handle the logistics of order fulfillment on your behalf. These fulfillment companies have established networks, infrastructure, and expertise in managing fulfillment operations efficiently. They can store your inventory, pick and pack orders, and manage shipping logistics. 

Finding the Best Fulfillment Company for Your Shopify Store

Exploring Approved Shopify Apps, Community Forums, and Search Engines

Shopify has an extensive ecosystem of approved apps and integrations. Explore the Shopify App Store to discover fulfillment apps that integrate seamlessly with your Shopify store. Additionally, community forums and online discussions dedicated to Shopify provide valuable insights and recommendations from other sellers who have experience with different fulfillment companies.

What to Look For When Choosing a Shopify Fulfillment Company

  1. Experience and expertise
  2. Integration with Shopify
  3. Customer service capabilities
  4. Shipping options and rates 
  5. Geographic locations near customers
  6. Expertise in fulfilling your product 

Fulfillment Process for Shopify Orders

The Complete Documentation for Fulfillment

The fulfillment process begins with comprehensive documentation. This includes gathering all necessary order details, such as customer information, shipping address, and specific product requirements. This documentation ensures accuracy and provides a clear understanding of each order’s unique specifications.

Choosing a Fulfillment Method

Once the documentation is complete, the next step is to choose a fulfillment method. This decision depends on factors such as the type of products, order volume, shipping destination, and desired delivery speed. Whether you opt for in-house fulfillment or partner with a fulfillment service provider like a 3PL, selecting the appropriate method is crucial for efficient order processing and customer satisfaction.

Effective Inventory Management, Order Processing, Shipping, Refunds, and Returns

When an order is received, it goes through the order processing stage, where items are picked from the inventory, packed securely, and prepared for shipping. After shipping, the process extends to managing refunds and returns, addressing any issues that may arise and ensuring a positive customer experience throughout the fulfillment journey.

How 3PLs Help Fulfill Shopify Orders?

3PLs play a crucial role in fulfilling Shopify orders efficiently. They handle various aspects of the fulfillment process, including inventory management, order processing, shipping, and returns management.

Comprehensive e-Commerce Fulfillment Services

Fulfillment service providers, including 3PLs, offer comprehensive e-commerce fulfillment services. These services cover every aspect of order fulfillment, from receiving inventory to shipping products to customers. With specialized fulfillment software and systems, these providers manage receiving, storage, shipping, labeling, packing, and quality control. By outsourcing these tasks to a fulfillment service, Shopify stores can focus on other core aspects of their business while ensuring efficient and reliable fulfillment.

Features like Receiving, Storage, Shipping, Labeling, Packing, and Quality Control

Fulfillment service providers offer a range of features to support Shopify store owners. These features include receiving incoming inventory, storing products in secure warehouses, managing and optimizing shipping options, labeling packages accurately, ensuring proper packing techniques, and implementing quality control measures to maintain product integrity.

Benefits of Product Assembly, Bundling, and Kitting

Fulfillment service providers often offer additional value-added services such as product assembly, bundling, and kitting. These services allow Shopify stores to customize their product offerings, create unique bundles, and streamline the packaging process.

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Key Takeaways

In a nutshell, teaming up with a trustworthy and top-notch 3PL can unlock a treasure trove of benefits for your Shopify store. By entrusting your fulfillment operations to a specialized provider, you get to hit the jackpot of saving time and money while embarking on thrilling adventures into new markets. It’s like having your own superhero sidekick in the logistics world!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use 3PL with Shopify?

Yes, Shopify seamlessly integrates with 3PLs. You can connect your Shopify store to a 3PL through native integrations or APIs.

What is the best shipping service for Shopify?

The best shipping service for Shopify depends on your specific needs, including factors like shipping volume, destination, package dimensions, and desired delivery speed. Popular shipping services for Shopify include carriers like FedEx, UPS, DHL, and USPS. 

Why might a business choose not to use 3PL?

While 3PLs offer numerous benefits, there are a few reasons why a business might choose not to use them. Some businesses prefer to maintain full control over their fulfillment process and customize it to align with their unique requirements. Others feel their store’s lower order volume can be efficiently managed in-house. A 3PL might not be the right choice for everyone which is why you should consider this choice carefully. 

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