A fulfillment centre is a warehouse that offers much more than storage. It handles all aspects of e-commerce order fulfillment and shipping. These are the types of buildings that you see behind the brand names like Amazon’s FC (Fulfillment Center) and FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon).
Fulfillment centers allow small ecommerce businesses to outsource the heavy lifting of shipping goods to customers. This means they don’t have to invest in a large warehouse or shipping space themselves, letting them scale their business without adding overhead. In addition, fulfillment partners can often negotiate discounts on shipping rates that are lower than the ecommerce business would be able to get on its own.
“From Order to Delivery: The Journey Inside a Fulfillment Center
Once a third-party logistics (3PL) company’s fulfillment center receives your inventory, they’ll log every single item into their system and get them ready for shipment. This includes putting them in boxes and printing labels to send to your customers. They may also handle return shipping and even operate a call center service on your behalf to help with any customer queries.
Because fulfillment centres handle so many orders, they generate a lot of data on things like the level of customer satisfaction for different products or delivery options and which items are returned most frequently. This information is crucial for any ecommerce business and must be fed back to the 3PL partner so they can use it to improve their operations. Consistent communication between your business and the fulfillment center is key to this. The best companies will keep you updated in real-time on your orders and inventory levels.