Best 3PL Companies in the UK

warehouse worker holds a package against a backdrop of parcels

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The best UK 3PL logistics companies are Bezos, Fulfillable and Fulfilment by Amazon. But we're also excited about the up-and-coming Huboo, which is opening another fulfilment centre in Germany and expanding into the rest of Europe.

What are the best third party logistics suppliers?

These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Use our comparison tool to find the best service for your business.

  1. Bezos – Best for bulky goods
  2. Fulfillable – Best for order accuracy
  3. Fulfilment by Amazon – Best for multichannel fulfilment
  4. Huboo – Best for smaller packages

If you're looking to compare bespoke quotes from a range of 3PL suppliers, fill out our quick questionnaire and we'll match you with trusted suppliers. Once we've assessed your needs, we'll ask a select few to give you a call to discuss the details of your fulfilment preferences.

Or read on. In this quick guide, we'll take you through the best third-party logistics (3PL) companies that UK businesses should get on board with for supply chain management. We'll go over the definition of 3PL firms, outline how we chose these suppliers as the best in the business, and tell you how you can get started with them.

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What are 3PL companies?

You may be secretly wondering, “What are 3PL companies?” Don't worry, we'll go over the definition quickly now. 3PL stands for “third-party logistics” and refers to outsourcing inventory management. That means you hire a company to store, pack, and send your products for delivery as soon as orders are placed.

Most 3PL companies own and operate warehouses, managing teams of operatives that use forklifts and RFID scanners. Depending on the size of their facilities, the 3PL handles larger goods on pallets (like Fulfilment By Amazon) or only on shelves (like Huboo). 3PL companies will usually process returns (known as reverse logistics), and dispose of unwanted stock as well.

Entrepreneurs hire 3PL companies to handle their stock. Small business fulfilment frees up time for business development, and creates space where inventory used to be stored. (Usually that means you get your living room back).

Best 3PL companies for UK businesses

Here are our top recommendations for fulfilment companies, side by side for comparison:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0
Rating
Average customer score across three trusted platforms
4.9
Rating
Average customer score across three trusted platforms
4.8
Rating
Average customer score across three trusted platforms
4.5
Rating
Average customer score across three trusted platforms
4.4
Best for

Eco friendly delivery

Best for

Order accuracy

Best for

Multichannel fulfilment

Best for

Low volumes

Did you know?

The 3PL companies listed here are best suited to businesses shipping 300+ orders per month. If your throughput is less than that, you're best bet is to keep fulfilling orders yourself until you're ready to scale. Alternatively, you can look into dropshipping with Shopify as another way to build up your business.

1. Bezos: Best 3PL company for bulky goods

bezos logo 3PL companies UK
Bezos
4.9 Average review rating across three trusted platforms
Quick overview

Bezos is a lesser known but highly capable order fulfilment firm. A well funded startup with under 50 employees, Bezos takes care of warehousing and shipping for small and medium-sized ecommerce businesses – including large and heavy items. They'll also do pallet deliveries, which is super convenient for traders in bulky goods.

We can't find much negative press about them online. Customers say they've been quick and easy to onboard with, staff have been helpful and fulfilment is accurate. We've also heard they're pretty good value for money, too.

Bezos was also recognised by PwC in their top-20 ecommerce startups in 2021, and they've grown from strength to strength since then. Their services should fit right in with your existing fulfilment logistics, given their platform has 57 sales channel integrations. This also presents a good opportunity to expand your sales reach too. They have fulfilment centres in the UK, Germany and France.

Strengths

Next day delivery cut-off: 9pm

Handles large/heavy parcels

No integration or set-up fees

Weaknesses

Not as established in Europe as some competitors

No pricing info available online

2. Fulfillable: Best 3PL company for order accuracy

fulfillable logo best 3PL companies
Fulfillable
4.8 Average review rating across three trusted platforms
Quick overview

Fulfillable's USP is speed of service plus 99.99% order accuracy. In such a competitive market as ecommerce fulfilment, this is a gem to find.  Clients have said orders are sometimes shipped out within an hour of being placed – that's sure to give you a boost in customer satisfaction scores.

With Fulfillable's dashboard you can see stock levels updated in real time – an impressive feature we've not seen in competitors like Huboo and others. Inventory levels are synced across sales channels, so you'll remain in full control of your sales capability.

Their pricing options are competitive too, with free storage for clients shipping more than 500 orders per month. Ecommerce merchants can plan budgets better with Fulfillable's online cost calculator, so there's no guessing what your costs will be.

Strengths

99.99% order accuracy

Stock levels updated in real time

Cost calculator for pricing transparency

Weaknesses

Fees for some integrations

Tiny company, not suitable for huge operations

No European fulfilment centres

Pricing
3 day tracked shipping2 day tracked shippingNext day trackedPicking and packing
Letters (up to 100g) From £1.18 Parcels (up to 2kg) From £2.72 Parcels up to 30kg From £3.31 Per product, per order £1.05 or less
Additional pick 40p or less
screenshot of dashboard showing two products with SKU, name, image, carton size, weight, and inventory code
The Fulfillable dashboard gives a handy overview of each of your products in detail.

3. Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA): Best for multichannel fulfilment

FBA logo best 3PL companies
Fulfilment by Amazon
4.5 Based on customer reviews from G2
Quick overview

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a huge name in the ecommerce business, and it's a double-edged sword of benefits versus drawbacks. The reason we've ranked FBA near the top of this list is their second-to-none sales channel: Amazon.com had 2.4bn visitors in May 2022, according to Statista. There's simply no other marketplace that's as popular as Amazon.

A notable 68% of Amazon merchants relied on FBA for fulfilment between 2020 and 2022, giving you an idea of just how mega-sized this operation is. That said, it's curiously difficult to find reviews of FBA online anywhere. The closest we could come was G2 plus the Amazon.co.uk Trustpilot page, which was shut down in 2019 amid appalling reviews.

Honestly, it can be hard to boost revenue money owing to the steep FBA fees, as well as the cut of sales the company takes.

However, if you're willing to sacrifice profit margins, you'll likely reach a much broader market with Amazon's enormous marketing powers. Of course, their well-developed network of European fulfilment centres and international export capabilities give merchants scope to sell all over the world.

Strengths

Ship order across Europe and the world

Wide range of integrations and ecommerce apps

Live chat customer service

Weaknesses

Steep fees and sales cuts

Can be tricky to calculate merchant costs

Pricing
Selling plansAdditional costs per item sold You'll pay a percentage of the total item price plus shipping and gift wrap, or the 25p minimum amount (whichever is greater).Other fees Removal order refers to items withdrawn from your inventory and sent back to you
Individual (per item sold) 75p (excl VAT) Beauty 8% or 15% Monthly storage per cubic foot (Jan-Sep) 43p or 71p
Professional (per month) £25 (excl VAT) per month Clothing, shoes and handbags 15.3% Monthly storage per cubic foot (Oct-Dec) 60p or £1
Consumer electronics 7.14% Returns processing 50% of fulfilment fees per unit
Grocery and gourmet 8.16% or 15.3% Local removal order (up to 200g) 29p
Health and personal care 8.16% or 15.3% Local removal order (201-500g)) 39p
Jewellery 5.1% or 20.4% Local removal order (501g-1kg) 78p
Software 15.3%

4. Huboo: Best 3PL company for smaller packages

Huboo logo 3PL companies UK
Huboo
4.5 Average review rating across three trusted platforms
Pricing £50-£450 monthly
Quick overview

Specialising in smaller parcels, Huboo have five fulfilment centres in the UK, one in the Netherlands, one in Germany, and one in Spain. Their USP is the direct line of contact you'll have with the 'hub manager' of your inventory. With a quick email, you'll be able to discuss your fulfilment queries with the person in the warehouse itself. You won't have to wait days for support response - as the customers of some competitors have to.

Cut-off times are 2.30pm for standard orders and 4.30pm for prime orders. UK, EU and worldwide delivery is available.

They'll also provide billing transparency with a live-updated dashboard displaying your spend. Most customer reviews are highly positive. However, some users have faced issues with missing or delayed stock. One or two customers had incorrect invoices, so be sure to check you're paying the correct amount each month.

Strengths

Ship as few as 30 items per month

Direct communication with warehouse manager

Billing transparency

Weaknesses

Not suitable for large or bulky items

No cold chain or perishable goods

Some users complain of missing stock

Pricing
Plan Monthly Cost
Silver Up to 300 dispatches per month £50
Gold Up to 1,500 dispatches per month £150
Platinum Up to 5,000 dispatches per month £450

How we chose the best UK 3PL companies

With the explosion of ecommerce during the lockdowns between 2020 and 2021, a yawning gap of fulfilment providers emerged in the UK. Several dozen 3PL companies scaled up, expanded, and gained more customers as online merchants took advantage of the nation's thirst for internet shopping.

So how do we know who's the best of these rapidly multiplying 3PL companies?

We've compared UK 3PL companies on a range of metrics: size of the company, average review score across multiple platforms, range of services and industry specialisms. We're confident in our thorough research, so you can be sure any of these suppliers will manage your order fulfilment with professionalism.

Want bespoke pricing information for free? Get in touch with 3PL suppliers today
Expert Verdict

For entrepreneurs wishing to save valuable time by outsourcing fulfilment, we're confident the best UK 3PL companies are:

  1. Bezos
  2. Fulfillable
  3. Fulfilment by Amazon
  4. Huboo

So, if your ecommerce business is shipping out more than 10 orders a day, use our free quote request tool and we'll match you with trusted suppliers for 3PL quotes.

Until then, we wish you the best of luck with your online selling.

FAQ

What is the best 3PL company?
According to our research, Bezos is the best 3PL company. We rated and ranked the best third-party logistics suppliers in the UK and found this nifty startup to be the most reliable and innovative. Bezos offers a range of competitive benefits such as a late next-day delivery cut-off time of 9pm. There's no integration fees, unlike Fulfillable, the second-best supplier on our list.

While 3PL companies like Huboo won't take on large or bulky parcels, Bezos is capable of handling heavier goods. This is particularly relevant to industries such as sports and fitness, non-perishable food items, pet supplies, supplements and other types of bulky goods. Their European fulfilment network is fairly decent too, with centres in Germany, France, and the UK.

What is the role of 3PL?
3PL, otherwise known as third-party logistics, is a broad term referring to the storage, packaging and dispatch of goods on behalf of ecommerce merchants. A 3PL company typically receives physical items, uploads them into inventory, and stores them safely until an order is placed. Warehouse workers will then pick and pack the items (this may involve kitting) either in standard or luxury packaging. Parcels are then handed to courier services and dispatched to customers.

The role of 3PL also involves receiving returned items, and either returning them to inventory, returning them to the merchant, or disposing of them on site. The idea of 3PL companies is to save time for the merchants by processing the physical goods, and create space by storing goods in dedicated facilities.

How does Huboo work?
Huboo warehouses are divided into ‘hubs' (hence the name) according to item type. A hub manager is in charge of a physical section of the warehouse and is the point of contact for the clients whose products are stored there. Inventory is managed from a central cloud-based dashboard that you can access at your convenience.

After signing up to Huboo, you'll upload a breakdown of information about your products, including how warehouse staff should recognise them (for example, by barcode or item number). Then you'll need to arrange for your items to be sent to Huboo's fulfilment centre. Huboo staff receive your items and you let the company know if you need bespoke packaging or not.

What are the risks involved in using a 3PL?
Physically handing over your goods to a third party means risking damage or loss of the items. This may happen in transit or during an accident on site at the fulfilment centre. The way to mitigate this risk is to do your due diligence on trustworthy 3PL companies and take note of customer reviews which mention such occurrences. Of course, many 3PL suppliers will offer inventory insurance policies, or you can take out one independently.

If you send your goods to the supplier outside of individual packaging, you lose oversight of the final packaging process. Some 3PL companies are better than others at accommodating individual packaging requests, such as tissue paper, bespoke void filling, stickers and so on. You should quiz your sales rep or account manager on the specifics of the packaging policies of their 3PL.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.
Reviewed by:
Robyn Summers-Emler, Grow Online Editor, Profile Picture
Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy - Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.