Main Differences Between Fulfillment Centers And Warehouses

A fulfillment center is a place in which the seller, or a company that the seller employs to outsource their fulfillment a Third-party Logistics (3PL) provider, fulfills orders of customers placed through an online store or business-to retail fulfillment in which the seller delivers wholesale orders for big-box retailers.

The main role of a warehouse is simply to store inventory, while a fulfillment center is designed to enhance the customer experience around the process of ordering and having products delivered on time. You can browse to know more about fulfillment center in Canada.

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This is possible because sellers store their inventory in a 3PL fulfillment center located near their customers, helping to reduce shipping time and provide cost savings.

1. Long-term vs. Short-term Storage

A warehouse is a part of a 3PL’s fulfillment center, where it stores a seller’s inventory, however, the main goal of a fulfillment center is to easily manage the processes that happen between the time a customer places an order and the order is delivered to their home or business.

In the best case, inventory will not be in a fulfillment center for longer than 30 days. If inventory needs to be in a fulfillment center longer, this might be considered long-term storage, and most 3PLs will charge a higher warehousing fee. 

2. Facility Operations

A warehouse tends to be inactive because it’s used purely for storing inventory. An order fulfillment center is quite the opposite, bustling with activity constantly. 

A 3PL provides end-to-end order fulfillment solutions and at its fulfillment center including Receiving inventory, Picking, Kitting items if necessary, Packing boxes, and Operationally in a warehouse, the activity occurs only when inventory is added or sent out. There are rarely any additional services offered.