August 2, 2022

6 Signs It’s Time to Switch to a New 3PL Partner

6 Signs It’s Time to Switch to a New 3PL Partner

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


Whether you run your own ecommerce company, or are part of the management team for an ecommerce business, you’ll undoubtedly understand the importance of customer satisfaction and brand reputation. 

With customers’ increasingly higher demands and expectations when it comes to delivery, you’ll want to make sure that you can accommodate their needs and position your business as a reputable brand in the market.

One of the best ways to guarantee high levels of efficient delivery is to work with an experienced 3PL partner such as Warehow, who are experts in handling your ecommerce logistical needs. 

But although a good 3PL provider can significantly enhance your customer experience and with it your brand’s reputation, equally selecting the wrong partner can hold your business back and risk damage to the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build!

So, how can you tell if it is time for you to switch to a new 3PL partner? Sometimes it’s obvious: if they’re constantly missing dispatch deadlines, making too many mistakes and charging you too much for the privilege, you might want to rethink the relationship.

But sometimes there are other indicators that can be slightly more subtle, such as their technology not integrating as well as it could, or their inability to keep up with the rapid growth of your business. This article will take you through 6 signs that it’s time to switch to a new 3PL partner. 



1. Orders keep going wrong


Let’s start off with an easy one. When you outsource your logistics to a third-party provider, their main purpose is to make sure that they efficiently and accurately deliver your products to your customers. 

Whether it’s shipping late, losing products, shipping items to the wrong addresses or even shipping damaged items, if these mistakes are happening too often, it might be time to consider a new 3PL partner.

Remember, it’s your brand’s reputation that’s on the line. Your dissatisfied customers will hold your company responsible when their order goes wrong, not your logistics provider.


2. They can’t keep up with your growth


Another indicator that it might be time to find a new 3PL partner is when you’ve outgrown them. For a small business in the beginning, a smaller, or very local third-party logistics provider may be sufficient for your needs.

However, as your business starts to grow, your 3PL partner needs to be able to scale with you and accommodate your increasing volumes. If you find they’re having trouble handling the number of orders, the volume of inventory or struggling during peak periods, it may be time to switch to a larger provider.  


It is useful to work with a scalable 3PL partner like Warehow that has the resources to ship whatever you need, whether that’s 50 orders per week or over 1,000 orders per day. If your logistics provider can scale with you, you decrease the risk of needing to find a new 3PL partner as your business grows.


3. Your costs are continuously increasing


Aside from getting the basics wrong too often, or not being able to keep up with the growing needs of your business, there is also the more subtle risk of logistics operations not evolving with the changing demands of the customer. Although your 3PL might be doing the basics right, storing your inventory and getting products out to customers on time, this may not be enough. Are they able to use your own packaging, relabel products, bundle promotion items and add promotional leaflets? 

Nowadays, customer expectations are constantly evolving – particularly in an industry that shifts as fast as ecommerce. It is best not to get complacent: a good 3PL partner will find ways to make improvements to processes, facilities and technology in order to be prepared for the future. 


4. Their technology is outdated


Another sign to look out for is if your 3PL partner’s technology is becoming outdated, good technology is a huge part of providing an outstanding logistics service.

Their technology should seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platform so that your customers can accurately track their order status, and you should have easy access to inventory levels and sales data. This saves you and your team time, which allows you to focus on your other core business priorities – and time is money!


5. You need better support


If you feel as though your 3PL partner isn’t providing you with enough support, there’s a good chance that they aren’t. Is your account manager responsive and easy to reach? Are you informed when something goes wrong or a mistake is made?

As the name suggests, the provider you are with is supposed to be a partner. If they’re not helping you reach your goals, providing you with a transparent overview of your fulfilment operations or giving you the answers you need in good time, it may be time to consider looking elsewhere.


6. You don’t have clarity on your fees or you’re being overcharged


In addition to all of the potential issues we’ve already listed, you also really don’t want to be overpaying your 3PL. And if you are experiencing less than perfect service levels, being overcharged just makes things worse.

It’s good practice to also watch out for hidden costs – a good third-party logistics provider like Warehow will be transparent about what they charge, but some providers can surprise you with charges you’re not expecting. This doesn’t mean that you should always look for the cheapest 3PL, but instead look for the value that a 3PL can bring to your business once you’ve fully understood all of their charges. If a 3PL provider doesn’t show all of their fees on their website, then make sure you get full visibility of all costs before committing.


Partner with Warehow

Overall, this article should help give you some signs to look out for that it could be time to switch to a new 3PL partner. Too many repeat mistakes being made, you aren’t being given adequate support, or simply you’re overpaying. These are all strong indicators.

Additionally, due to the fast-moving nature of the ecommerce industry, partners that are not scalable with your growth, aren’t evolving or have outdated technology also pose a risk. Even if daily operations seem to be working today, in a years’ time they may not be if your 3PL partner doesn’t evolve.

So, what are you waiting for? Why not facilitate the growth of your business by partnering with Warehow? 


At Warehow we can:

  • Integrate directly with 80+ marketplace channels and retailers
  • Help expand the scale of your business with low complexity
  • Provide an all-inclusive package based on your requirements, whether you need to ship 50 orders a week or 1000+ orders per day
  • Use our digital expertise to provide seamless store integration
  • Take care of the heavy lifting so that you can focus on what really matters – driving sales and growth!

If you’d like to find out more about how we can support the expansion of your business, get in touch with us at to book a free consultation.