Here is a short list of third-party suppliers (3PLs) who specialize in helping businesses ship internationally and deal with the customs, tariffs, and currency conversions worldwide.
The whole point of using 3PLs is to enable you to reach customers globally and take on new customers by using existing technology systems—all without hiring extra employees.
Pitney Bowes helps you extend your e-commerce all over the world by providing a seamless international checkout process (including the benefit of a landed price calculation on international shipments)—the last step in completing an online transaction and making a sale for your online retail environment.
With the help of UPS, you can select from a list of approved service providers who integrate UPS technology into their business applications and software solutions. Note: Using these companies might require the assistance of a technology program developer to get the application installed and up and running.
With FBA, you can store your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers and have they picked up, packed, shipped by the company. The company also provides customer service for your products.
With warehouses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong, Shipwire will work with your existing order-capture systems, including automating order submission, real-time shipping rates, and inventory status. Shipwire’s warehouses process and ship orders typically the same day and are strategically located to reach customers worldwide within a few days. When the company contacts a customer, it determines the best carrier, service, and packaging to get your product to its destination efficiently, while allowing you to control your order, inventory, and supply chain operations across its warehouses.
Bongo was established to enable consumers worldwide to purchase and receive goods irrespective of their physical location or payment method. So if customers want to buy something online and the store doesn’t accept their preferred international payment method, Bongo will. Membership is free. It focuses on enhancing your cross-border shopping experience and reducing the cost of international transportation. Not quite the supersize of UPS or Amazon but growing, Bongo International services around ninety-five thousand international consumers and more than three thousand businesses globally.
Fulfillrite’s order fulfillment software directly integrates with all major e-commerce shopping carts, including but limited to: Shopify, BigCommerce, Google Checkout, Magento, 3DCart, Netsuite, eBay, Amazon, Paypal, Yahoo Shopping, and others. Similar to the other companies listed, upon receipt of your merchandise, Fulfillrite inspects and sorts it. It then enters your merchandise into its system, which you have access to via the web portal. It does the order picking and packing and ships to any international destination via a carrier of your choice: USPS, UPS, FedEx, or DHL Global (Fulfillrite’s software is compatible with each of theirs).
Ingram Micro is a large wholesale distributor that primarily handles technology and a global leader in IT supply chain, mobile device services, and logistics solutions. I am including it in the list just so you can get a glimpse of who the giants—Apple, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Wal-Mart, Amazon, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung, among others—use to distribute and market their technology and mobile products. IM also claims to work with companies of all sizes that can’t afford to manage procurement and distribution.
A recent partnership between Speed FC and Navarre, Speed Commerce, provides distribution, third-party logistics, supply chain management, and other related services for North American retailers and their suppliers. It does everything from distribution and sales, to supply chain management, to packaging services.
The company designs e-commerce marketing software for retailers. It does this by providing compelling online e-commerce innovations and technology leadership. Limoges Jewelry, for example, increased its online revenues by 84 percent and reduced its acquisition costs by 10 percent by using Mercent’s services
Tip: Some people shy away from putting all their eggs in one basket. In the case of selling, distributing, and marketing your products worldwide, you might want to consider a master logistics provider that does it all. That way, you develop a strong relationship and achieve efficient distribution with fewer touch points (meaning less people handling your product), letting you focus on perfecting your sales and marketing methods.
Sources cited: “Case Studies,” Mercent, accessed October 28, 2013.
*Ingram acquired Shipwire in December 2013 12/2013.*