You’ve found a great supplier, imported your products, and cleared them through Customs. Where will you store the goods though? And how will you ship them out when you get an order? If you’re just starting out, and for a considerable time thereafter, you’ll be much better off working with a third party logistics provider to provide these functions. Until you have considerable scale, the overhead of renting your own storage space and shipping out each order as its received is just too high. Thankfully there are affordable warehouses all over the country that provide this service, charging you a flat storage fee per item per month, along with in-out charges for any items coming and going. These services are crucial to helping you run the low cost experiments required to launch a new importing venture.
You can find third party warehouses on Google Maps but keep in mind that you don’t need this warehouse to be anywhere near your operations. In fact, you may be best off finding a warehouse near the port where you import, even if that’s far from where you live.
Nevada and Arizona, with their low land and labor costs are increasingly attractive locations for fulfillment centers.
Many warehouses offer web-based inventory management and fulfillment solutions that can save you time when you need to fulfill an order. Though quite expensive relative to its competitors, Fulfillrite and Shipwire in particular have really set themselves apart from others through their innovative use of the web. The extra price may be justified from the time savings from directly integrating with your e-commerce store, so orders get shipped out from the warehouse automatically.
Tip: Flexport can work with any warehouse you want, managing the entire process to ensure your goods arrive at the facility without delay. You’ll never lift a finger.