3PL: Third-party logistics. A 3PL provider (such as FulfillMe) allows companies to outsource logistics processes, including the warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping of orders.

Air cargo: Freight that is moved by air transportation.

B2B: Business-to-business transactions, in which one business buys products or services from another business.

B2C: Business-to-consumer transactions, in which a final customer buys products or services from a business.

Backorder: A product that is out of stock at the time an order is placed, but promised to ship once available.

Barcoding: Encoding information so that it can be read easily and accurately by an electronic barcode scanner.

Batch fulfillment: Fulfilling a large number of orders all at once. For example, crowdfunding campaign rewards are often shipped through batch fulfillment at the end of the campaign.

Carrier: The business used for delivery, such as USPS, UPS, and DHL.

Dimensional weight: An estimated weight calculated from the length, width, and height of a package, using the longest point on each side. This weight can be used to calculate shipping costs for a package.

Distributed inventory: The splitting of a merchant’s inventory across different fulfillment centers throughout the US (and potentially beyond) to achieve a lower transit time and cheaper shipping costs.

Dropshipping: An ecommerce order fulfillment model in which inventory is produced and stored by the manufacturer. When a customer places an order, the product is shipping directly from the manufacturer to the end consumer.

DTC: Direct-to-consumer, or the type of order that is sent directly to the end consumer. See B2C above.

Ecommerce platform: Software through which online businesses can manage their ecommerce website, sales, operations, and more. FulfillMe can integrate with several major ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and more.

EDI: Electronic Data Interchange. The way in which multiple systems communicate with each other to transfer information. Common EDI documents include purchase orders, invoices, and advance ship notices.

FBA: Fulfillment by Amazon. Items are offered by a third-party seller, but purchased from Amazon and stored in and shipped from an Amazon fulfillment center to the end customer.

FBM: Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM) is when the seller is in control of his entire handling and shipping process. Instead of paying a service fee and shipping inventory to Amazon to handle, the seller uses his or her own resources and sends the items directly to the buyer. By choosing FBM, a seller takes complete control of the entire process, from purchasing, to shipping and receiving.

Freight forwarder: A person or company who arranges the transportation of products on behalf of either a seller or buyer. Freight forwarders often consolidate smaller shipments in a larger one in order to receive less expensive shipping rates.

Freight shipment: Any shipment over 150 pounds and/or with dimensions larger than 30” L X 30” W X 30” H. There are three types of freight shipments:

Less than Truckload (LTL) = 1 to 6 pallets
Partial Truckload (PTL) = 6 to 12 pallets
Full Truckload (FTL) = 12 to 24 pallets

Fulfillment center: An outsourcing solution for inventory management and order fulfillment. This is where inventory is stored, managed, picked, packed, and shipped to their customers.

Fulfillment services provider: A third-party company that provides some or all of the following order fulfillment steps on behalf of an ecommerce merchant: order processing, packing, picking, shipping, and/or returns management.

Hazardous materials: Also called “hazmat.” A material that could pose a danger to people, property, or the environment if improperly shipped, stored, or handled.

Inventory: The products on hand for any merchant at any given time.

Inventory management: The tracking of inventory levels, orders, sales, and deliveries.

Kitting and assembly: A grouping of several different items listed, purchased, and shipped under one SKU. For example, a variety pack consisting of three different items that are otherwise sold separately. FulfillMe offers kitting services, in which our fulfillment center team “kits” together with the items into a single shipment when an order for a bundle or variety pack is placed.

Last-mile delivery: The transportation of a package from a hub to the package’s final destination with the goal of delivering the item as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Net weight: The actual or estimated weight of a good without its packaging.

On-demand warehousing: A platform that connects businesses that need to store inventory and fulfill orders on a temporary basis with warehouses that have excess space.

Order fulfillment: The complete process of receiving, processing, packing, picking, and shipping an order.

Packing: After picking, the action of preparing the picked products for shipment. This can include using custom packaging, inserts, air pillows, and other packing materials.

Packing slip: Also called a packing list. A list that accompanies delivery packages of the products included in the shipment.

Pallet: A flat transport structure used to ship and store goods in large quantities. Pallets stably support goods while being lifted by a forklift. Typical pallet dimensions (height varies):

48” L X 40” W X #” H
48” L X 48” W X #” H
48” L X 96” W X #” H

Picking: Within the fulfillment center, the action of collecting a specified number of certain products from their respective locations to fulfill a customer order.

Picking list: A document for warehouse pickers containing the ordered items to retrieve from storage including inventory quantities and locations.

Receiving: Within the fulfillment center, the acceptance of incoming inventory followed by its storage.

Reorder point: The stock level for a certain product at which inventory must be reordered to keep enough inventory in stock for orders placed in the near future. .

Returns handling: The receiving, processing, and potentially restocking of orders/products returned by the end customer.

Self-fulfillment: Also called in-house fulfillment. A model in which the merchant picks, packs, labels, and ships orders by themselves, without the help of a dropshipper or outsourced fulfillment solution.

Shipping zones: The geographical areas that carriers ship to, spanning from Zone 1 to Zone 8. Zone 1 is the closest area to the fulfillment center from which the order is shipped, while Zone 8 is the furthest. Transit times and prices may increase as the zone number increases.

SKU: Stock-keeping unit. A unique code that identifies a product based on its characteristics, such as brand, style, color, and size. For example, a small red shirt would have a different SKU from a medium red shirt.

Split shipment: When a single order containing multiple products is sent in separate shipments. This means the customer receives more than one package even though they ordered everything together.

Storage fees: Also called warehousing fees. The cost to store inventory in a 3PL’s warehouse or fulfillment center.

Warehousing: The practice or process storing of products in a warehouse. A 3PL can be a cost-effective alternative to a traditional warehousing model by allowing merchants to pay only for the space they use.

WRO: Warehouse Receiving Order. A form completed ahead of time provided for each shipment from the client to the 3PL to let the 3PL’s receiving department know what exactly is being sent to the warehouse(s).