When was the last time you had to wait three weeks for your order? The days of month-long deliveries are a thing of the past. With the rise of Amazon and the growth of the ecommerce environment, faster shipping speeds and same-week deliveries are not only expected but also anticipated by most consumers.
To keep up with the developing consumer expectations regarding lightning-quick deliveries, many businesses are expanding into a distributed warehousing model. These smaller-scale warehouses offer locations across the country, guaranteeing ecommerce businesses leveraging these warehouses can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and better service customers’ needs in closer proximity to where they live.
In this blog post, we’ll answer all your questions about distributed warehousing, why it’s benefiting ecommerce businesses, how your developing business can grow through this model, and how Saltbox is using distributed warehousing to bring speedy shipping and optimized logistics to businesses across the nation.
What is Distributed Warehousing?
Distributed warehousing is more than just dropping pins on a map. Distributed warehousing is a new approach to warehousing where a business fulfills, ships, and distributes goods from numerous smaller, strategically located warehouses in metropolitan areas around the country.
The overall goal of distributed warehousing is to access the benefits of stored inventory and order fulfillment from nearby, offering customers short shipping times and cheap delivery costs. This model also offers business owners access to inventory and on-site needs from nearly anywhere. These warehouses perform a number of functions, including: storage, fulfillment, cross-docking, retail distribution, on-site co-working and more.
Distributed warehousing: a new approach to warehousing where a business fulfills, ships, and distributes goods from numerous smaller, strategically located warehouses in metropolitan areas around the country.
Benefits of the Distributed Warehousing Model
The distributed warehousing model is beneficial to small businesses and customers alike, tackling the challenge of ecommerce logistics with ease from a location close by. Here’s why.
Faster Shipping for All
As businesses grow, it is only expected that shipping speeds and product availability should grow with it. When compared to shipping from a single warehouse, distributed warehousing enables faster shipping by storing products in warehouses that are physically closer to popular order locations.
According to Shopify Plus’ annual report on global commerce trends, 67% of shoppers expect a two-day delivery, and 85% of shoppers are more likely to buy products when 2-day delivery is offered. Offering these faster shipping speeds not only brings in new business, but also keeps current customers loyal. With warehousing close by, customers no longer have to spring for expensive expedited shipping to receive their items in time with no extra fee.
Shipping and Fulfillment Costs
Sure, fast shipping speeds are key to business success, but there’s no point in rapid shipping if it’s overpriced. As mentioned above, this localized warehousing offers a cheaper cost of delivery than ever before. According to Shippo’s most recent State of Shipping Report, a colossal 83% of customers opted for free shipping over fast shipping.
Shipping cost and shipping distance are directly correlated in nearly all cases, as the farther an order must travel the more expensive it will be to get to its destination. By opening warehouses close to consumers through distributed warehousing, you cut shipping distances and therefore average shipping cost. Voila!
Your Businesses’ Warehousing Needs for 2022 and Beyond
Third-party logistics (3PL) services offer the perfect blend of streamlined fulfillment logistics to help you run your small business like never before. Working with a 3PL service that offers an extensive network of fulfillment centers guarantees your business is granted access to a broad array of locations without having to invest in renting or buying those warehouses yourself.
In general, springing for a 3PL service is the best way to streamline your fulfillment and develop your business logistics with very few of the ecommerce drawbacks business owners face as they grow and scale their operations. 3PLs even offer valuable add-ons, including but not limited to: digital warehousing technologies that automatically distribute and manage your SKUs; streamlined order processing and fulfillment; multi-channel accessibility; and more.
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, many 3PL services rose to the occasion and offered a new level of fulfillment logistics for growing businesses and brands. Enabling businesses to compete against the likes of Amazon in fulfillment and delivery speeds, 3PLs offer small retailers and direct-to-consumer brands cutting edge technologies that optimize their supply chain management and guarantee happy customers all around.
3PL services want to help companies grow and expand, but not ALL services cater to the specific services your small business deserves. Choosing the right 3PL service means considering what needs your business requires currently and where your business is headed in the future. Focus more on growing your business and less on the logistics by finding the 3PL service that works best for you.
Looking for more information when it comes to choosing the right 3PL service for your business? Check out our guide here.
Saltbox Distributed Warehousing
It should come as no surprise that Saltbox offers its all-inclusive warehouse, office, and productivity spaces in major metropolitan areas across the nation. An ever-growing 3PL service, Saltbox has expanded their warehousing and fulfillment to:
- Atlanta, GA
- Dallas, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- Dublin, OH
With the addition of a new location in Ohio, Saltbox fulfillment members are now offering two-day shipping to all customers across the United States. This recent development keeps pace with the developing shipping standards offered by Amazon and other logistics-based ecommerce services.
Traditional 3PL services are not designed for growing ecommerce businesses. Providing simple transparent pricing, personalized service, and dedicated fulfillment experts, Saltbox offers hands-on care for your business, every step of the way. Now offering distributed warehousing across several fulfillment centers across the United States, Saltbox provides fast shipping at a low cost for your customers no matter where they reside.
At Saltbox, we want to grow your small business with you. Offering all the key fulfillment services all businesses require across a wide variety of locations, Saltbox aims to benefit your growing business by focusing on those personal needs that many 3PL services overlook. You don’t have to expand your business alone. Get started with Saltbox Fulfillment and let’s grow your business together.