Most people don’t dream of starting an ecommerce business because they love picking and packing. They do it for the product or the company’s mission. However, no matter what industry your direct-to-consumer business falls under, logistics management and all that goes with it is a big piece of creating a successful ecommerce business.

When an ecommerce company starts, most people pack boxes from their garage, basement, or living room and drop them at the local post office. However, this method becomes unsustainable as the company grows, and the entrepreneur faces a choice. Does the company build its own logistics infrastructure and Team, or do they Partner with a 3PL provider?

This can be a tough decision, with pros and cons for each choice, and it is essential to take the time to calculate the ROI of your fulfillment operations, whether you are looking at ecommerce fulfillment or warehousing and distribution for a retail facility. No matter which direction you choose, warehousing requires time, effort, money, and management. However, by working with a third-party logistics provider, or 3PL, you defer much of the heavy lifting to the experts, who do exist because they love picking and packing.

However, like with any Partner, it is vital to calculate a warehousing Partner’s ROI to ensure the benefit is worth the cost. Many KPIs can determine the ROI, the most common of which is cost savings or calculating what you would spend running operations yourself versus what you pay a 3PL. However, in the case of a logistics Partner, the savings run past what shows up on a balance sheet. Here are five things you save when you work with a 3PL provider for warehousing and logistics solutions.

1. Working with a 3PL saves Money

Okay, this type of savings can be seen on a balance sheet. However, don’t forget all the different line items that need to go into calculating those savings. To manage your own logistics, you would need to calculate the warehousing space cost, the warehouse’s operational costs, technology, freight management, inventory control, equipment, and more. If you need temperature-controlled warehousing, don’t forget all the systems required to control and maintain temperature and the specialized equipment because it takes more than just an air conditioner! You also can’t forget about repair costs, upkeep, and upgrades. Another cost to consider is labor and all that goes with it, including training, recruiting, benefits, and more. Keep in mind there are a lot of positions you will need to fill that many people outside of the logistics industry don’t think of, like plant engineers, safety managers, inventory control, and many others. You also have to make sure you keep up with safety regulations and are prepared to coordinate inbound and outbound freight. A lot goes into maintaining a storage building with cold air and making it run efficiently. Running your own warehousing operations, all falls on your shoulders, including the unexpected costs and challenges. When you work with a third-party logistics provider, you pay a set fee that you can depend on and plan for, and when unexpected issues arise, like needing new equipment or more Team Members, you won’t have to pay for it.

2. Working with a 3PL Saves Time

Think about how most start-up ecommerce companies manage their inventory. It usually involves an Excel file and a lot of emails. When you are just starting, this is accessible and manageable.  As the company grows, though, it’s a full-time job and not always the most accurate.  Calculations are done manually for every skew, numbers must be entered for each supplier, and order data has to be entered piece by piece.  It takes time, patience, and extreme attention to detail, and even then, numbers aren’t in real-time, and not everyone is operating off the same information, increasing the likelihood of items going out of stock or being sent inaccurately. As a company grows, the technology and picking and packing process must grow too. Most 3PLS have technology that integrates with software like Shopify, ShipStation, or propriety software to help automate the process. Many also have technology to help with inventory management, like our Burris Supply Chain Portal.

This saves a ton of time and increases accuracy. Using a 3PL also saves time because it takes logistics out of the equation of day-to-day management, allowing you to focus on large business items like product development, marketing, and sales.

3. Working with a 3PL Saves Space

As strange as it sounds, space can be hard to come by right now, especially regarding warehouses. With a growing demand for ecommerce and the need for facilities to be large and in an area with the infrastructure to support a heavy volume of truck traffic, it’s not always easy to buy a space for a warehouse. Plus, in today’s society, two-day delivery is paramount, meaning so is the need for warehousing facilities across the country, positioning you in various shipping zones. Limited space can also hinder product development, forcing tough choices regarding what products go to market and how many skews you can offer. Having a 3PL removes the need for space to store boxes upon boxes of products.  It also allows space to grow as you do, not forcing you to stay in the confines of your warehouse. Most 3PLS have multiple locations (at Burris, we have 8, click to see our locations), offering plenty of room to expand as you add new products or reach new customers. When considering the space you save using a 3PL, consider equipment space. Forklifts, docks, pallet jacks, and charging rooms are all extra spaces your 3PL provider already has accounted for, so you don’t have to.

4. Working with a 3PL Saves Customers

Order fulfillment accuracy. It is a huge factor in customer satisfaction. Working with a 3PL improves order accuracy from their industry technology to the checks and balances they already have. Duplicating that in your warehouse would require additional space, equipment, training, technology, and money. Using the technology and tools a 3PL provider offers, you can quickly and accurately complete orders with more order visibility. This increases customer satisfaction and ultimately saves customers.

5. Working with a 3PL Saves Headaches

Ecommerce Logistics and warehousing is all about adaptability. There are many moving parts to coordinate and adjust for, and only sometimes does everything go according to plan. The best 3PLs are the ones that know how to adjust. They have an IT team ready to tackle any technology hiccups or updates. Engineers are nearby if the equipment isn’t working at total capacity. They have connections with a freight brokerage company, like our sister company Trinity Logistics, they can call when they need help moving products quickly. When you run your ecommerce fulfillment and a truck can’t make the delivery time, or too many orders jam the system, or something spills, you get the call in the middle of the night. Using a 3PL with systems and protocols in place and a Team ready for whatever might happen saves you and your company headaches.

Conclusion

Warehousing is a massive part of any ecommerce fulfillment or distribution business.  It requires planning, coordination, and a lot of cash. Many KPIs exist to measure when deciding whether to invest in your warehousing or use a 3PL. From order accuracy to order fulfillment, inventory management, inventory accuracy, to picking and packing, a lot goes into the logistics management side of ecommerce and DTC businesses. Those pieces have measurables, statistics, and numbers to look at on the balance sheet, which are important. Yet don’t forget to add everything you save by working with a 3PL, too, like money, time, space, customers, and lots and lots of headaches.

 About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for Ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the Pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.

If you’re in the ecommerce industry, you likely have the news open to the looming UPS strike. Headlines are filled with the heavy impact a strike could have on the ecommerce industry and the US economy. However, what’s missing from these speculations are solutions to continue operations without the consumer noticing. 

If your business is at risk of UPS strike shipping delays, it may be time to look into a third-party logistics provider. One of the benefits of partnering with a 3PL for your ecommerce delivery needs is their diverse carrier mix. The right direct-to-consumer service provider will have relationships and rates brokered with multiple parcel providers, allowing continuity of service in the wake of a disruption like the impending UPS strike- which, in this case, could last for weeks. 

The question remains, is UPS going to strike? With a market share of 24% and over 300,000 Team Members potentially sitting on the sidelines, who is going to deliver your packages? Ecommerce companies are already making arrangements to shift to Fed-Ex, USPS, and LaserShip, parcel providers Burris Logistics works with. 

Working with a service provider like Burris Logistics can help to ensure that you keep up with your customers’ demands. Ecommerce shipments are up, and with fewer final mile delivery trucks on the road, you need to have options. We have rates negotiated with the major carriers and can integrate our technology to help with shipping changes. In addition, all major final mile carriers pick up from our facility on a daily basis, making it easy to shift operations as necessary with no delay in service. 

Burris Logistics is also a reputable cold storage provider. If there are delays caused by other transportation and logistics industry unrest, we can safely store your product before it leaves our warehouses for its waiting consumers. We also offer dry ice options to better protect your items en route. Finding temperature-controlled warehousing can be difficult on short notice. You can rest at ease with us. 

When economic forecasters are calling for a massive stoppage of shipping logistics, it’s vital that leaders of ecommerce businesses don’t wait until it’s here. Keeping your supply chain operations running smoothly during a strike means being proactive and finding alternative solutions to get your goods to consumers. With options for temperature-controlled, dry, or ambient storage, Burris Logistics can solve most fulfillment requests. Our ability to scale with any size company is a quality we’ve worked hard to implement. This is just one of the many benefits of a partnership with an almost 100-year-old supply chain and direct-to-consumer service provider.

Keep your supply chain moving during the upcoming UPS strike. Finding a new D2C provider is as easy as requesting a quote. 

 About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for Ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.

All products require a supply chain, and one link is a warehouse.

When people think of warehouses, they often think of vast rectangular buildings that house nothing but open, empty space. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Warehouses, whether for ecommerce fulfillment or distribution, don’t operate like farm sheds, pole barns, or storage units. You can’t just open the door and toss the product in.  

Warehousing, when successful, is complex. If the planning process for building a house and all that goes into it is complicated, you should see the planning of a warehouse, not to mention its daily operation. It is more than a cold box or that vast white building you pass when driving down I95. It is a building comprised of large amounts of technology, teams of people, potentially dangerous machinery, products with very specific requirements, and a large amount of truck traffic coming in and out. All of that must coincide like a perfectly choreographed ballet. 

The complexity of this ballet doubles, if not triples or quadruples, if you are involved in the warehousing of any food product, and even more if it is in the perishable or frozen food sector.  Why? Simply the perishable and safety element. You need to ensure the item is stored and shipped in a way that won’t hurt the consumer or your business’s reputation.  

If you embark on a warehouse storage and fulfillment journey, here are seven challenges you will likely encounter and how to solve them.

1. Maintaining the Temperature in Temperature-Controlled Warehousing

One of the biggest challenges is maintaining a constant temperature in the temperature-controlled warehouse. You can’t rely on an air conditioner and heater if you are dealing with frozen fulfillment or perishable fulfillment. Even the refrigeration system is much more complex than the refrigerator you have at your house. Therefore, when considering how you will handle cold storage, you need to know what the product is and what temperature it requires.  

Most products have an ideal temperature and need to stay within a few degrees of that to preserve quality. First, know what that temperature is and what the system you are using requires to maintain that. Then, set up system checks to ensure the temperature stays consistent. Even in frozen fulfillment, there are degrees of variation, literally. For example, ice cream needs to stay at -20 degrees. Therefore, if you walk into one of our storage facilities that specialize in ice cream, like our McDonough location, it will feel significantly cooler than some of our other locations that specialize in products that need 0 degrees, even though they are both frozen fulfillment centers.
Installing a cooling system is a significant expense, not only to install but also to maintain. It requires an engineer with unique experience on-site to ensure everything runs smoothly and an IT Team to keep the technology up to par. It is imperative that the system does not fail, and you need to have a plan in place for when something goes wrong. A failed system means spoiled food and a lot of money, literally in the trash. Because of the specialty niche in equipment and expertise, the simplest solution is often to use a 3PL specializing in temperature-controlled warehousing, like Burris Logistics. At Burris, we have 98 years of experience honing our skills in cold storage warehousing, and we know how to get it right. We have the technology, the system and process, and the Team to handle frozen and perishable food storage, fulfillment, and distribution.

2. Food Safety in Warehouse Storage and Fulfillment

While maintaining temperature is a huge part of food safety, there is a lot more to it than just that. Positioning products in relationship to others is also a substantial piece of the puzzle. For example, particular protein and dairy products can’t be racked with other products or can only be positioned above certain products but not below. Therefore, when storing multiple products, it is vital to be aware of these regulations to prevent the spread of bacteria and reduce the risk of disease.

There are copious amounts of food safety regulations, especially pertaining to perishable and frozen food fulfillment. Therefore, being familiar with these regulations and executing them properly is essential. 

This is another reason many companies Partner with a 3PL like Burris Logistics. At Burris Logistics, we have an entire safety Team whose job is to stay up-to-date with the latest safety standards and regulations and ensure we adhere to them at all times.

3. Determining the Locations of Warehouse and Distribution Centers

Whether you are looking for a warehouse for ecommerce or storage and fulfillment, location matters.  A warehouse for ecommerce needs to be within a two-day reach of your customers, which also requires multiple warehouse and fulfillment locations throughout the country. 

If you are more on the fulfillment and distribution side, you need locations that can service your storefront effectively and are accessible and straightforward regarding trucking routes. This will also likely result in the need for multiple warehouses, storage, and fulfillment centers nationwide. 
Working with a 3PL like Burris Logistics allows you to have more locations spread out strategically without having the operational costs of running them. At Burris Logistics, we have eight warehouses conveniently located across the US that are strategically located in different parts of the US near major roads and hubs, making us a convenient choice for your warehouse storage and fulfillment needs.

4. Freight Management for Warehouse Storage and Fulfillment

In addition to getting your ecommerce product shipped and into the hands of consumers or from the distribution center to your location, you also need to get the product to the warehouse.  That’s where our sister company, Trinity Logistics, can help. Trinity Logistics is a 3PL specializing in freight brokerage. They can coordinate easily with our warehouses to ensure freight deliveries are the correct quantity at the right time.

5. The technology behind warehouse storage and fulfillment

Warehousing runs off of technology. The warehouse technology must integrate with the ordering system to ensure orders are picked and packed. Technology helps ensure ecommerce orders are filled correctly and offers checks and balances. Technology is used to ensure warehouse temperature is maintained. Technology is used to place orders and coordinate routes. Everything in a warehouse for ecommerce happens because technology directs it. The challenge in that is that technology can be unreliable. Therefore you need an experienced IT Team that maintains the day-to-day operations and is on hand to fix any issues. 

The other side of this is cyber security. The system relies on access to orders and customer information to make the ecommerce fulfillment process happen. However, data must be secured. Therefore, you need a robust IT infrastructure to ward off cyber attacks and ensure secure operations.

At Burris Logistics, we have an IT Team of over 60 members and technology Team Members at each location to ensure everything functions properly. They have created countless measures to ensure that all information in our warehouse management system and customer portal is safe and secure.

6. A Dedicated Team at a Warehouse for Ecommerce that is not Your Own

One concern with any business is the reliance on Team Members and the need to hold them accountable. This can be especially tricky when the Team handling your product is not your own. This is often a concern with using a 3PL provider. How do you trust those packing your product understand your business and specifications and are dedicated to a company that doesn’t employ them?

At Burris Logistics, we have a unique setup. Team Members often work on one or two accounts specifically. They also get to know the brand and the specifications to pack the ecommerce box.  They understand the product and have more of an attachment to the brand.

7. Inventory Management for Ecommerce Fulfillment

The final challenge we will discuss is inventory management for ecommerce fulfillment.  Inventory management has a considerable impact on the profitability of an ecommerce company. If the inventory is insufficient, customers will become frustrated, and sales will be missed. On the other hand, if you overstock, that is money sitting on a shelf.  It is a delicate balance that takes practice.

One way Burris Logistics can help is that we have proprietary technology that monitors the inventory in our warehouse and alerts our Partner when it is time to replenish. Our supply chain portal also offers inventory foreshadowing and planning capability and allows our customers to see orders and inventory live in the portal at any time. This makes it easy to predict how much inventory you need and ensure it arrives on time.

Conclusion

Warehousing can be complex. There is so much that happens inside the walls of a warehouse that can’t be seen from the highway. It requires knowledge, technology, equipment, planning, and training. If the complexity of warehousing is not your area of expertise, that’s okay. It’s ours. Working with a 3PL provider like Burris Logistics is a Life Hack for solving the challenges of warehousing for ecommerce or distribution.

 About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for Ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.

Everything You Need to Know About Shipping and Delivery for Ecommerce Fulfillment

Ready, set, ship! 

When starting a new ecommerce company, shipping costs can be one of the most significant barriers to entry. There are many elements to consider, and shipping costs can often price small businesses out of the market. No one wants to pay $100 in shipping for a $30 pack of ice cream.

It’s no secret that larger companies have more bargaining power with shipping superstars. However, there are several steps even startup ecommerce companies can take to make shipping more manageable and cost-effective. However, if this is your first swim in the shipping ocean, it can feel like there are many sharks out there and no rescue boats in sight. 

Now, we are letting the shipping secrets out of the box regarding ecommerce fulfillment. From packaging to planning, here are ten things to consider when establishing a shipping plan for your direct-to-consumer business.

1. It’s time to use all of those negotiating skills you picked up from Suits and Legally Blonde and negotiate with carriers

It’s a common misconception that unless you are Amazon, it is what it is when it comes to shipping rates, but that isn’t the case. Of course, the more you ship, the more bargaining chips you have, but you can start having some negotiating power even by shipping 100 boxes a month. It may be small, but even a dollar package adds up quickly, especially as you begin to scale. Now is a good time to heed the old lesson from your grandparents, “It never hurts to ask.”

2. Be like a Sporting Scout and know the players

Anyone who follows sports know most college and professional teams, and often even high school teams, have scouts, which are simply people who watch their competition play and give a report. This report lets the coach know the strength of the opposing players, who to guard, and how to defend them before you ever step onto the court or field. The same concept should be known and considered for shipping in ecommerce fulfillment. Major shipping companies like USPS, FedEx, and UPS are the players you need to scout. Know their strengths and how you can use them to the advantage of your ecommerce company.  Here is a quick overview of the major three.

UPS:

Strengths:

-reliable and consistent delivery times

-a wide range of shipping options, including air, ground, and freight

-extensive tracking and visibility tools

– strong customer service

Challenges:

-can be more expensive, especially for small businesses and individuals

-may have additional fees for services such as insurance and residential delivery

-may require a minimum volume of shipments to negotiate better rates

FEDEX:

Strengths:

fast and reliable delivery options, including same-day delivery

– extensive tracking and visibility tools

-offers a variety of services, including air, ground, and freight

– Strong customer service

Challenges:

-Can be more expensive than other carriers, especially for small businesses and individuals

-May have additional fees for services such as insurance and residential delivery

-May require a minimum volume of shipments to negotiate better rates

USPS:

Strengths:

-Offers affordable shipping options, especially for small businesses and individuals

-Wide range of services, including standard mail, priority mail, and flat rate boxes

-Extensive coverage and access to remote and rural areas

-No additional fees for services such as insurance or residential delivery

Weaknesses:

-Delivery times can be less predictable and reliable than other carriers

-Tracking and visibility tools may not be as extensive as other carriers

-Limited customer service options outside of the Post Office

3. There’s a (shipping) software for that!

Using shipping software, such as ShipStation, can take some of the work and research out of the process. For example, shipping software will help calculate which shipping carrier will deliver the best price for a specific package. Some software can also provide feedback on minor adjustments to a package that can dramatically impact the cost.  Examples of these changes can include changing the box size or box dimensions. One great thing about working with a 3PL like Burris Logistics is that we have the technology to integrate directly into software such as ShipStation or Shopify. Integrating technology creates a seamless process where when an order comes in, we can fulfill the order and ship the box according to the exact specs with the best carrier without you ever having to do anything to the order manually.

4. Hold on. Let’s calculate.

If you are not using shipping software, knowing how to calculate your shipping costs is essential. There are two methods that most major shipping companies use. One is simply the weight of the package, which can be measured using a simple scale. The second is called the dimensional, or DIM, weight. DIM takes into account the size of the package. Typically, the carrier will charge based on whichever is greater. Another way to ship is to use flat-rate shipping. Flat-rate shipping takes out the variables of weight and distance.

5. Know where you’re going (and how long it will take to get there.)

Another factor in determining shipping cost is where the package’s final destination is relative to where it started. Most likely, as an ecommerce business, you have packages going all over the country or at least all over a specific region. This is where there is a strategic advantage to shipping from multiple locations around the country using an ecommerce fulfillment Partner. For example, it is much closer to shipping to Kansas City from Oklahoma City than from Jacksonville. Likewise, it is much closer to ship to St. Petersburg from Jacksonville than from Oklahoma. By Partnering with a 3PL with locations throughout the country, you can cut shipping costs just by being in closer proximity to customers, no matter where in the continental US they are located.  Most major carriers use shipping zones to determine the price based on the destination, which is why two different points of origin with the same destination can be in a completely different zone. There are eight shipping zones total, so when calculating cost, it is important to know what shipping zone your package originates from and your customer’s shipping zone.

6. Let the secret out of the box: Choosing liners and playing Tetris matters.

It’s not enough to just take your ecommerce product, toss it in a box and call it a day.  The order in which the product is packed matters. For one, it creates a better presentation for the customer, and for two, it helps with weight distribution. Also, if you are using dry ice or another coolant, you must be aware of packing safety measures.  (Not sure if dry ice is right for you? Learn everything you know about dry ice.) One way to help with ensuring food safety with cold chain direct-to-consumer products is by your choice of liners. The liner can also impact how long a coolant lasts for cold chain direct-to-consumer packages. It also matters that you select a liner that protects your protect not just from tumbling boxes but also from melting coolant. No one wants that effect of a disintegrating paper straw when they pull out their fresh, ready-to-cook meal. You also need to consider if different parts of your package need to be kept at different temperatures based on different ingredients. If so, what kind of liner will best facilitate that?

7. When it comes to shipping, it’s not just what’s on the inside of the box that matters.

That’s right. The box itself matters too. A new ecommerce company should spend some quality time sourcing the right box before shipping. It matters more than you think. Here are a few things to think about when sourcing a box.

  1. Box Thickness: If you plan to use a coolant such as dry ice or gel packs, the thickness of the box will help determine how fast that coolant melts or sublimates. What that means for a new direct-to-consumer businesses is that while you save a few cents on a cheaper box up front, it could cost you more later because every box will have to have more coolant in it.
  2. Box Size: Most people think that the smaller the box, the cheaper that is to ship. Have you ever received a larger Amazon box only to open it and find one tiny object inside? I’m sure there have been countless jokes about why that is really necessary. The truth is, it was probably cheaper to ship. Many factors determine the cost, and using shipping software can help point that out.
  3. Dimensions: Sometimes, it is not just the box size that counts, but also the dimensions. Sometimes using a rectangular box instead of a square one saves tremendously on shipping.
  4. Personalization: Do you want your logo on the box? If so, you want to look at the cost of branding your package and select a box that will hold the print of the logo well and look good.

8. Let’s wrap this up (with tape.)

One essential piece of packing material that is often overlooked is tape. You want to ensure you select an aesthetically pleasing tape, whether transparent, brown, or a proprietary design. Presentation is everything, and your brand is on display from the website to the delivery of the box to a customer’s doorstep. In addition, you want to ensure it is strong enough to hold the box closed for the duration of the journey.

9. How to set yourself apart, logistically speaking

In today’s world of Amazon, most direct-to-consumer customers are looking for delivery in two days or less. If you are an ecommerce company trying to set yourself apart from a logistics standpoint, this can be a great place to start. Same-day or one-day delivery are great options to exceed your customer’s expectations. If you Partner with Burris Logistics, we can offer 2-day delivery in all 50 states to 215 million households or one day to 85 million homes.

10.  Let’s be friends! Partner with an ecommerce fulfillment provider.

If the thought of boxes and liners and coolants (oh my!) has your head spinning, don’t worry. There is help to be had. Partnering with an ecommerce fulfillment provider can offer you much-needed expertise in all areas of shipping and offer you discounted parcel rates. When you Partner with Burris Logistics, we have discounted parcel rates passed down to our ecommerce Partners. We also have great relationships with experts in boxing, liners, tape, branding, etc., that can guide you through the entire process, saving you time, money, and frustration. In addition, we specialize in perishable food fulfillment, a type of shipping that requires specific equipment and a knowledge base. Therefore, we understand how to maintain product quality in a temperature-controlled environment, including inside of a box during transit.

Conclusion

No one starts an ecommerce business because they just love shipping things.  Understanding the shipping and fulfillment process comes with getting an ecommerce product you create, love, or source to the customer. Either way, it is a huge and necessary part of the process that is also a significant factor in the success of your ecommerce business. From understanding the fulfillment process to ensuring accuracy to making sure shipping costs aren’t eating into your profit margins, there is a lot to think about when shipping, delivery, and fulfillment aren’t your areas of expertise.  Fortunately, though, we’ve got that part covered. We work with shipping companies every day. We speak the language and have the relations. We also have the technology and experience to establish an ecommerce fulfillment process for your brand that ships efficiently and creates a positive experience for your customer. Whether you are just starting and need to establish a fulfillment and shipping process, or if you have been doing this a while but are ready to grow and want to get costs down, Partner with us today and let us share our shipping knowledge, expertise, and parcel rates with you.

 About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for Ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.

A 10-Step Process to Choosing the Right 3PL for Your Ecommerce Business

Trust. It’s hard to gain and easy to lose. Yet, it is essential for any ecommerce business looking to Partner with a third-party logistics provider. 

When a customer orders an item from the business’s website, it is ultimately the 3pl provider responsible for ensuring the package is delivered on time, accurately, safely, intact, and presentable. That is a lot of responsibility to put in the hands of a company that is not yours. Therefore, whoever you decide to Partner with, you need to trust that they will always represent your ecommerce company with the same level of excellence and care you would.  

Whether your company has scaled to the point that handling logistics in-house has become a point of contention, or if you currently work with a 3pl that just isn’t adhering to the level of excellence you are looking for, here is a 10-step process to selecting an ecommerce supply chain operations Partner.

Step One: Know Your Ecommerce Product and How it Likes to Live

We don’t just mean identifying that it is a surfboard, a cupcake, or a meal kit. We mean how much space will your product take to store. What is the exact temperature required for your product to live its best life? Sometimes a few degrees matter a lot! Does the product need to be stored alone? Maybe it can only be positioned above certain other types of products. When you determine your product’s ideal lifestyle, you can rule potential 3PL Partners in or out. For example, if your product likes temperatures that resemble Boston in the Winter, you shouldn’t consider a 3PL that stays at 70 degrees. Your product will not survive in that environment. Another consideration is, do different items packaged together require different temperatures, and can your logistics Partner accommodate that properly? At Burris Logistics, we are committed to temperature-controlled warehousing. In fact, cold chain storage is our specialty. If you have a product like ice cream that wants to live in an environment that feels like Alaska in the Winter, we’ve got you covered. Likewise, if your product thrives in 60 degrees Spring day environment, we have that too! No matter where your ecommerce product falls on the temperature preference spectrum, we can ensure your product exists in that precise environment, maintaining food safety and maximum quality.

Step Two: Think Inside the Ecommerce Box

It’s not enough to keep your product stored at the ideal temperature. Your product needs to be shipped at the perfect temperature too. When looking at ecommerce distribution solutions, it is essential to know their packing capabilities. Maybe it is enough to just grab a box and toss the product in, but most likely, it’s not. If your product is partial to the cold, your ecommerce supply chain operations plan needs to include a coolant, likely gel packs or dry ice. Can your logistics Partner provide these options, and do they have experience working with them? It isn’t as simple as tossing a gel pack in and calling it a day. You must know how many gel packs to use and in what order to pack the box. Too many gel packs and your product might freeze. Not enough gel packs, and your milk will go sour. If your product is more of a dry ice fan, that brings additional requirements.  You should ask your 3pl if they produce dry ice on-site like our Waukesha location. Making dry ice in-house helps to reduce outside supply chain risks and costs. (Learn seven reasons to ship with dry ice here.) In addition, when it’s time for shipping, certain products must be packed in certain areas of the truck to transport properly and maintain temperature. Does your 3PL have this knowledge and capability? Do they work with a carrier that has this capability? Knowing your 3pl can box and ship your product properly is a massive piece of choosing a Partner. 

Step Three: Are your ecommerce fulfillment needs always in season?

Is your product seasonal? Will you have a considerable variation in warehousing and fulfillment needs based on the time of year? Is there a drastic difference in the number of orders in November and April? Will you need to stock more of your product in the summer? Is your third-party logistics Partner okay with that, and do they have the space for the more prominent seasons? For example, if your most significant selling months are November and December, October is not the time to find out your logistics Partner doesn’t have the space or capability to handle the influx. 

Step Four: Does your warehouse and fulfillment center offer room to grow?

Every ecommerce business wants to grow. What’s the point otherwise? However, growth can cause logistical challenges if you are unprepared, especially if it happens suddenly.  What if you air on a popular TV show and suddenly your orders double overnight? Will your 3pl be able to handle the influx? That isn’t the time to look for a new Partner. Instead, it’s essential to talk to your third-party logistics company about what process they have in place to support scalability. Hear from our Senior Account Executive, Megan Caruso, on how Burris Logistics works with our Partners to scale.

Step Five: The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra (extra ecommerce distribution solutions, that is!)

Now that you have narrowed your list of potential 3PL Partners down to those you know can store and ship your product correctly, handle the ebb and flow of your specific business, and scale with you, it’s time to look at the extras. It’s about more than just throwing products in boxes and adding some tape. What extra services does your logistics Partner provide that can save you time, effort, and money or improve accuracy? Does your product lend itself to kitting?  Do you use specially branded boxes, and is your logistics Partner okay with that, or is it a one-box-fits-all? What do you know about liners? Can your 3pl help make sure you are using the right one? When a big promotion comes, will they stuff boxes with flyers? How do they feel about dropshipping? What about cross-docking? Sometimes it is the little things that make the most significant difference.

Step Six: Your brand isn’t like any other. Why should your 3PL be?

Does your third-party logistics Partner offer customization? Don’t change how you want your product packaged, presented, and handled. Instead, find a 3PL willing to do it your way, and, even better, help you find the best, most efficient way. Some ways to customize your ecommerce order fulfillment experience include labeling, kitting, packing in a particular order, package design, types of coolants, package sizing, turnaround times, allergy requirements, proprietary technology, etc. At Burris, we thrive at customization because we like solving tough problems and want your business to succeed. We have experience customizing all of these pieces of the chain and more!

Step Seven: Powered by Technology

We have determined your 3pl Partner can store, ship, and box your product as needed, but do they have the ability to integrate with your technology? This is crucial. No one wants to manually enter every order. That is unrealistic and is the opposite of saving time and money. Whether you are using Shopify, Ship Station, or a proprietary tool, you want to ensure the 3PL completing your ecommerce order fulfillment has the IT capability to integrate and act quickly should a problem arise. In addition, it is essential to ask how long the integration process will take. At Burris Logistics, we have over 60 full-time IT members working to ensure our technology integrates seamlessly with all of our Partners, no matter their platform. 

Step Eight: For Ecommerce Order Fulfillment, Location Matters

We live in a world of Buy Now to Hi There Package in two days or less. When you deliver nationwide, two days is not a lot of time. We can do it, though! It is important to know how many households your Third-Party Logistics company can deliver to in two days or less and in how many states. How many warehousing and fulfillment centers do you have? At Burris Logistics, we have eight warehousing and fulfillment centers in Federalsburg, MD; Jacksonville, FL; Lakeland Annex, FL; Lakeland, FL; McDonough, GA; New Castle, DE; Oklahoma City, OK; Waukesha, WI. Because of that, we can deliver in two days or less to 215 million households across all 50 states.

Step Nine: The Last Mile (Service) Wins the Race

A huge part of ecommerce supply chain operations is last-mile service, meaning USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Last Mile Service is part of the supply chain that delivers the package to the customers’ door, and it is crucial to consider this when choosing a 3PL. Does your ecommerce order fulfillment center have Partnerships with USPS, UPS, and FedEx? How often do they pick up? Does your 3pl get discounted shipping rates, and is that passed on to your ecommerce business? At Burris Logistics, all major providers pick up regularly, often multiple times a day, and we offer group parcel rates that our customers are welcome to join.

Step Ten: Customer Service – What makes a 3PL a Partner

At this step, you know any 3PL contenders still on the list have the knowledge, experience, and capability to provide ecommerce distribution solutions to your business. Now it comes down to experience.  A logistics Partner is a crucial part of your business’s growth and success, so you want to make sure whoever you choose is just that, a Partner. You want to ensure you have a dedicated person to call when you have questions. You want to know how often they will contact you and provide updates. You want to know how they handle when something doesn’t go according to plan. It is vital that when you select a third-party logistics company, you are both working toward the common goal of making your ecommerce business successful. Hear from Megan how Burris Logistics strives to be a true Ecommerce Partner.

Conclusion

Choosing a 3PL provider can be a daunting task, but when you select the right Partner, it can be the boost your ecommerce business needs to continue to grow. Following this 10-step process can ensure you find a Partner that is the right fit for you and give you the confidence to know you made the right choice.

 About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.

Are you an ecommerce business in the frozen food fulfillment or perishable food sector? Here are 7 reasons why you should use dry ice for shipping!

If you are an ecommerce business in the frozen food fulfillment or perishable food fulfillment sector, working with a third-party logistics company that has dry ice capability – increases your product’s freshness, quality, and food safety. Shipping with dry ice can increase the distance your frozen food or perishable goods product can travel safely, increasing your customer satisfaction, providing a larger potential market, and ultimately increasing revenue for your ecommerce business.

Shipping with Dry Ice

No one likes the fragrant smell of rotten fish, especially not your customers when they excitedly open a box on their doorstep expecting a fresh catch dinner a few days after ordering delicious frozen tilapia from your ecommerce website. It’s not good for their sense of smell or appetite, and it’s really not good for your growing frozen food or perishable food direct-to-consumer fulfillment business.  

The secret to not making this scenario a reality in your ecommerce business lies in the use of dry ice for frozen food fulfillment, as well as the expertise of working with a third-party logistics company. 
Before we talk about the 7 reasons your ecommerce business should use dry ice for shipping, it is important to first understand what dry ice is and how it works.

What is dry ice?

Dry ice is pure, solid carbon dioxide that exists at a temperature of about -109 degrees F.  For comparison, gel cold packs are typically found to be at about 17 degrees F. This makes dry ice ideal for frozen food fulfillment ecommerce shipping. The extreme cold temperatures allow frozen food items to arrive safely from our direct-to-consumer fulfillment center to your customer’s doorstep at the exact ideal temperature for the peak quality of your particular frozen food product. In addition, dry ice allows for delays. Sometimes things happen in the course of shipping. If that is the case, the extremely cold temperature of dry ice allows your frozen food product to stay cool longer, ensuring quality, food safety, and no rotten fish.

How does dry ice work?

Unlike traditional ice packs, dry ice doesn’t “melt.”  Because dry ice is pure, solid carbon dioxide, as opposed to the traditional water ice that turns to liquid, dry ice sublimates, meaning it goes directly from its solid state to a gas state. This sublimation process is what keeps dry ice colder longer and makes it the ideal coolant for the frozen food fulfillment and shipping process.

How long does dry ice last for shipping?

That depends! There is a very specific scientific process for packing ecommerce shipping products with dry ice. The equation includes knowing what the ideal temperature of your frozen or perishable food product should be for optimal freshness, safety, and quality (not sure? Check out our guide here), knowing the distance the product needs to travel from the Burris Logistics direct-to-consumer fulfillment center to your customer’s doorstep, and knowing how long that journey should take, accounting for any potential delays. From there, it depends on what type of dry ice you use, how much dry ice you use, and how it is packaged. If this all sounds a little complicated, that’s okay. Using a third-party logistics company like Burris Logistics makes your job easy. We have plenty of guides, resources, and experience to make sure your direct-to-consumer fulfillment product is shipped with the exact right amount of dry ice packaged exactly the right way to ensure a safe, fresh, and temperature-controlled delivery anywhere in the country.

What types of dry ice do we use to support our perishable fulfillment programs?

Burris Logistics offers the flexibility of several types of dry ice, adding versatility to your packaging needs. Our capability allows manufacturing of both several sizes of blocks, and pellets. Our blocks range from 2.5 to 10 lbs allowing for a custom package with just the right amount per weight of shipped product. The combination of blocks and pellets is just another value add for your ecommerce fulfillment needs.

What do you need to know before shipping with dry ice?

  1. What temperature your food needs to be maintained at.
  2. The distance your package will be shipped.
  3. Estimated time it will take to ship your ecommerce package.
  4. The size and amount of product in each box. More steak = more pounds of dry ice!

Should you use dry ice or gel cold packs?

Dry ice is often used for frozen food fulfillment or perishable fulfillment that will have an extended time in the shipping process. The biggest question to ask yourself when deciding between using dry ice and using gel cold packs is what temperature does this item need to stay at, how long do I need to preserve that temperature, and will there be harm to the product if the item drops below 32 degrees. If the item has a minimum temperature, gel cold packs may be a better option, such as with fresh flowers. However, if the item needs to stay frozen or needs to stay extremely cold for a long period of time, such as ice cream or meat and seafood, dry ice is likely the way to go. Often, you will find dry ice and cold packs used in conjunction with each other to prolong the sublimation process of the dry ice, allowing for further shipping and longer delivery options. 

Here are 7 reasons to ship your frozen food fulfillment or perishable food fulfillment direct-to-consumer package using dry ice.

  1. Freshness– The freshness of your product upon delivery matters.  No one likes smelly fish. Also, no one likes fish that tastes like it was caught three months ago. Consumers enjoy frozen food products because it keeps a fresher taste while greatly prolonging the shelf life. Allowing that temperature to drop can result in freezer-burned shrimp, ensuring a guaranteed trip to the trash for the shrimp and no return customer for you.  On the other hand, allowing the temperature to get too warm can cause items to melt, and melted ice cream is no fun either. Likewise, depending on the direct-to-consumer items you are shipping, a drastic change in temperature can pose serious food safety concerns.
  1. Food Safety– As a frozen food fulfillment company, food safety is your top priority, and as your third-party logistics company, it’s our top priority too. Sour milk, rotten fish, and warm meat are not only gross but can also pose a serious health risk to your consumer and a considerable risk to your business. Working with a third-party logistics company that specializes in handling dry ice and knowing how to pack it properly to the exact specifications of your particular product greatly reduces the food safety concern of your frozen or perishable food business.
  1. Less product waste– When a product spoils because it is not properly maintained, your business is losing money. Plus, no business wants to contribute to the 100,000 pounds of food waste Forbes cites existing in the US each year. When ecommerce fulfillment packages are delayed in transit, an improperly prepared box can result in food spoilage before it reaches its final destination. The prolonged sublimation process of dry ice gives more of a buffer for any unforeseen circumstances throughout the process.
  1. Save Money- Dry Ice is more affordable than you think, especially if you work with a third-party logistics company that has dry ice-making capability, like our warehouse in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It definitely costs less than a product spoiling from improper packaging does. Want to get a better idea of what using dry ice would cost your business? Learn more.
  1. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. Things happen, especially in the logistics industry. Preparing your packages to stay colder for a little longer than you really think is necessary could be just the thing that prevents the decaying fish.  There is a very fine line between making your ecommerce fulfillment package too cold and not giving yourself a buffer just in case. Dry ice can help.
  1. No mess – In business, presentation does matter. No one wants to open a soggy box dripping with water from melting ice packs. Not to mention, a pool of water on the product just can’t be good for the taste. Because dry ice sublimates instead of melts, there is no puddle of water and leaking packages. When properly packaged, you can and should easily prevent the dry ice from being exposed to the product and changing the taste.
  1. Have dry ice. Will travel. – The use of dry ice allows you to ship your frozen food fulfillment package farther safely by maintaining an optimal cold temperature for a longer period of time. Being able to ship farther gives you a bigger potential customer base, likely resulting in higher revenue. 

If you are still reading and have decided that dry ice is the way to go for your ecommerce fulfillment business, let’s talk about how to accomplish that goal. Actually, it’s pretty easy. Find a third-party logistics company specializing in frozen food fulfillment with on-site dry ice capability. 

What advantage is there to using a third-party logistics company with dry ice capability?

  1. Lower cost. Who doesn’t like to save money?  On-site dry ice-making capability eliminates the cost of outsourcing from another company.  Not to mention, having the dry ice readily available takes away the transportation time from the dry ice facility to the ecommerce fulfillment center, meaning you will need slightly less dry ice to accomplish your goal.
  2. Maintains Product Integrity. Using a third-party logistics company with dry ice-making capability means dry ice is readily available in whatever quantity you need when your frozen food fulfillment order is ready to be processed.  It also means there is less lead time in the dry ice packaging process. The dry ice is ready when the package is and can be packaged as close to the shipment time as possible.
  3. Frozen Fulfillment Experience. When a facility has dry ice capabilities, the Team Members work with dry ice every day. They specialize in frozen food fulfillment and understand the packaging process. They know what the ideal temperature for various products should be and understand the precise way to pack a box to ensure that the temperature is maintained. Working with a third-party logistics company that has dry ice capabilities takes out the guesswork for an ecommerce business and relies on knowledge, experience, and a bit of science to deliver safe and high-quality products in a timely manner.
  4. Reduced Supply Chain Risks from Outside Vendors. By using a third-party logistics company with dry ice capabilities for your frozen food fulfillment needs, you are eliminating a link in the supply chain, meaning you are innately reducing the risk of not being able to get dry ice, not getting it in a timely manner, etc. At our warehouse in Waukesha, Wisconsin, dry ice comes off the condenser, into a large bin, and directly to our ecommerce pick mods, which goes into packages of food destined for home delivery. You can’t get much more direct than that.
  5. Zero Waste By working with a third-party logistics company that has dry ice capabilities, like our warehouse in Waukesha, Wisconsin, we can produce the exact amount of dry ice needed to accommodate our ecommerce partners. Because the dry ice is harvested right before it goes into packages of food destined for home delivery, the dry ice is fresh, cold, and produced in the correct amount.  This is good for the environment and good for your bottom line.

Conclusion

Any ecommerce business, especially a perishable or frozen food fulfillment business is centered around trust. Trust is paramount from the customer, relying on the ecommerce business to provide a safe, high-quality product. Trust also comes from the ecommerce business, relying on a knowledgeable logistics partner with experience enough to deliver quality and safety in a timely manner.  As a third-party logistics company that has in-house dry ice capabilities, you can trust that Burris has the knowledge and experience to keep everyone safe from the aforementioned rotten fish scenario.  Trusting a third-party logistics Partner with in-house dry ice capabilities provides you and your customer peace of mind and a delicious, properly maintained frozen or perishable meal.

Check out this video to learn more about our dry ice capabilities in Waukesha, WI.

 About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.

Dry or ambient Storage Capability is not new to Burris Logistics. Even though our warehouses have always had a temperature-controlled focus, we have always maintained Dry Warehouse Storage to support our ecommerce Partners who require boxes, liners, and promotional collateral to run their direct-to-consumer business. 

 

Dry/Ambient Warehouse Storage Solutions in Waukesha, WI.

Our initial operations made do with the layouts that we had for cold storage. However, we quickly evolved, creating dedicated rooms to support the ecommerce partners we were already providing Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) services to. In 2021, we acquired our facility in Waukesha, WI, equipped with up to 70,000sq ft. of dedicated dry and ambient warehouse storage

Our Waukesha, WI, warehouse is in a prime location with direct proximity to Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. In addition, freight and parcel shipping rely on access to I-94, I-43, and I-41. We spoke with Anton Butkovic, who is a Senior Account Executive at our Burris Logistics Waukesha facility, about some of the benefits of this location: 

 

Q: What does Waukesha location offer to our customers when it comes to dry storage capabilities? 

A: (Anton) The Waukesha location is ideal for any Ambient needs. Located with close proximity to Chicago, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee with capabilities of 1 or 2-day transit to our southwest and west regions. Waukesha can provide our customers with D2C, ecommerce, case selection, and warehouse storage space if needed. Ambient capabilities are key in Waukesha for customers that are looking to maintain their products from high temperatures or items that can be ruined from colder temperatures.  Anything to make sure the goods are kept from perishing.

Waukesha Dry & Ambient Warehouse Storage

Dry & Ambient Warehouse Storage in Waukesha, WI

What Can Be Stored in Dry/Ambient Warehouse? 

These attributes, plus the versatility of dry/ambient warehouse storage, make Burris Logistics the perfect partner for storing: 

It’s challenging to include all of the categories of products we can handle since our capabilities are unlimited. 

 

Dry Storage Guidelines.

At Burris Logistics, we take safety very seriously, and product integrity is handled like perishable foods. We maintain optimal temperatures and air exchange. Products are stored away from heat and light and off the floor to allow for proper air circulation. As a result, we can convert a space to your needs and ensure integrity. 

Anton Butkovic ensures that all the products are stored and handled in proper conditions, and our valued Partners are always well-informed. He has shared some of the Burris guidelines for operating a Dry Storage space: 

Our Direct-to-Consumer and Warehousing Capabilities.

In addition to dedicated dry storage programs, we can increase our D2C ability by storing pre-constructed boxes and equipment. We can deviate from our usual perishable fulfillment expertise and partner with ecommerce companies in the dry or ambient consumer product space. With its layout and space, the Waukesha facility has even allowed us to run a box erector machine and in-house dry ice production. 

There is a lot more to warehousing than just storage! Burris – Waukesha is a perfect example of our evolution. We have taken a building and added value for our Partners with dry/ambient storage and dry ice. 

 About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.

At Burris Logistics, each of our facilities is designed, run, and strategically placed to benefit our Partners and accommodate their unique needs. Our Distribution Center in Jacksonville, FL, specializes in direct-to-consumer capabilities, ecommerce order fulfillment, and temperature-controlled warehousing. We spoke with General Manager Maurice Grier and Senior Account Executive Kevin Tackett to find out all of the specific ways in which the Jacksonville Team can support your business.

 

Q: What makes Jacksonville’s geographic location valuable for our Partners?

A: (Kevin) Jacksonville is a very desirable location due to its close proximity to the Port of Jacksonville and the I-95 corridor. This allows our Partners to utilize the port to bring their products into the United States quickly and disperse these products all along the eastern seaboard.

Jacksonville, FL Ecommerce Warehouse & Distribution Center

Ecommerce Warehouse & Distribution Center in Jacksonville, FL.

Q: What makes your Team special?

A: (Kevin) The Jax Team is made up of seasoned ecommerce associates who are the best in class in delivering upon the critical needs of the D2C world. The Jacksonville warehousing Team is also composed of well-trained and dedicated warehouse Team Members who play a critical role in our direct-to-consumer fulfillment operations.

 

Q: How does Jacksonville go above and beyond to support its ecommerce Partners?

A: (Kevin) The Jacksonville Team goes the extra mile to service our ecommerce customers by providing a dedicated supervisor to each of these critical accounts. Our ecommerce supervisor provides critical communication to our D2C partners and keeps the ecommerce Team focused on delivering on our D2C Partners’ needs. Weekly check-in calls with our customers ensure that the Jacksonville Team continues to provide exceptional service.

 

Q: What accomplishment is your facility most proud of?

A: (Maurice) Even given the immense labor challenges that our facility has faced this year, we’ve still been able to successfully build a strong leadership Team that is committed to leading our Team Members in fostering great relationships with our customers while working hard to meet their demanding needs.

Although the hours have been long and the labor challenges persistent, our Team has consistently come together to persevere and have proven that they are truly committed to Making it Happen for our customers, no matter what.

 

Q: What is a major challenge that this Team has faced, and what was done to overcome it?

A: (Maurice) Over the past year, our facility has risen to the challenges facing many warehouses and service providers in the country. With challenges come adaptation in order to keep our customers’ confidence high. We were able to adapt our technology to keep up with complex partners’ needs and consumer demands. Our leadership team is hyper-focused on Team Member happiness and retention, focusing on development and ensuring that Burris Logistics is a premier employer in the logistics industry. Our Team Members help to build partner processes and customize the solutions that they need for success. This collaboration sets us apart from our competition, adding personal service excellence to our daily operations. As a Team, we remain focused on our partners’ needs, coming together to achieve the same goals. 

In addition to the capabilities mentioned, our warehouse in Jacksonville, FL, offers storage in a temperature-controlled environment (-20°F to 58°F), ecommerce frozen fulfillment service, product tempering by the customer or product specification, case selection/order assembly/pallet kitting, cross-docking, and online reporting under our Warehouse Management System. 

 

If you have supply chain needs and desire a true Partnership, please call us at 1-800-805-8135 or contact our ONEBURRIS Sales Team to discuss your unique needs!

 About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.

If you need to get the package right and ensure product integrity during transit to your customers’ doorstep, you need Burris Logistics.

Part of a complete Direct-to-Consumer fulfillment program is offering up expertise to our partners beyond just the warehousing and shipment of products. With proper fulfillment comes ecommerce food packaging that combines safety, design, efficiency, and product integrity. Once a shipment leaves our warehouse, destined for a customer’s doorstep, that product relies on a well-designed box and liner appropriately packed with the proper coolant. 

Why should you choose a third-party logistics provider for your ecommerce fulfillment needs?

Burris Logistics takes pride in over 98 years of experience running highly-controlled multi-temperature warehouses and translates that into Direct-to-Consumer fulfillment programs. If you apply the same logic that a warehouse is a refrigerated box to a well-designed corrugated box, you end up with a shipment that maintains product integrity at the right temperature. Our capabilities apply to any product, and our expertise is best displayed when it comes to food products. We consult with our ecommerce partners to help develop boxes to best fit their product type and number of SKUs. These boxes must be durable and sized correctly to ensure that the coolant inside protects the meat, seafood, or meal kit inside. 

How do you maintain a product’s integrity with package design?

Dry-Ice and Gel Packs are the most common coolants used to transport products via parcel shipping carriers. The coolant inside each box is accurately weighed and placed into each box to minimize temperature increases while also anticipating delays along the way. Corrugated cardboard boxes can be designed to separate products from the coolant to ensure an even temperature exists throughout the entire box. We ensure that our warehouse network is within a two-day transit using regional parcel carriers. 

How does our Team help you get your packaging right?

Sourcing packaging does not end there. Our ONEBURRIS Business Development Team can consult on everything from tape to exterior design and marketing inserts to maximize the impact you have on your customers. It is important to remember that the visual attraction of your parcel shipment makes for a more engaged customer relationship. Packaging is the only physical representation of a company that only exists on a virtual storefront; you have to Get It Right! 

We are proud to use our cold warehouse expertise for consumer products and dry capability to accommodate bulk packaging. Our Team Members know how to handle you with care to ensure that your customers have confidence in the product they are serving at their family table.

 About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.

Burris Logistics is going the extra mile when it comes to safe food shipping and handling.

As you may or may not know, September is National Food Safety Education Month. In our industry, safe food handling processes are critical for ensuring safe and quality products from our direct-to-consumer Partners to our temperature-controlled warehouse to your doorstep.

So, we sat down with Corporate Food Safety Manager Justin Straka and General Manager of the Federalsburg DC, William Paskey, to find out how Burris Logistics keeps your food safe.

Q: What measures does Burris Logistics take to ensure the safety of the shipped perishable orders? (Justin)

A: All team members are trained to handle all products entrusted to us with the highest care across all areas of our company. Products are shipped on temperature-controlled trailers that have been inspected to ensure they are clean, safe, and in good working order. Locks and trailer seals are used and verified to ensure products are not tampered with during transport.

Q: Can you discuss the most recent certification obtained by the Federalsburg DC in regard to food safety? (William)

A: Federalsburg was recently awarded the National Organic Program Certificate of Compliance back in May 26, 2022. This certification was required to gain the Perfect Snack ecommerce account as well as the ability to increase the Perfect Snack PRW program. This is our largest customer here at Federalsburg, and we are proud to say we are now organic compliant to keep our customers satisfied and the business growing.

Q: What are the required temperatures for storing perishable food items, and what are the required temperatures for shipping perishable food items? (Justin)

A: Frozen products should be held at or below 0 to -10 degrees F and ice cream will be stored much colder at around -20 degrees F. Remember, the walls of the trailer can radiate heat into the product, causing temperature abuse if the trailer is not pre-cooled properly.

Keep in mind the “danger zone” for food safety is between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F, so cooler products need to stay in that sweet spot just below 40 degrees F for storage and transport. 

Some ready-to-eat foods, like produce, have different temperature requirements from other cooler products. Most are safe to store between 32 and 40 degrees; however, some products, like bananas for instance, should be stored and shipped around 56 to 58 degrees F to keep from spoiling quickly.

Q: What are some common mistakes made when handling perishable food? (Justin)

A: 

1. Do not assume the temperature reading on the trailer accurately reflects the product temperature when receiving. The temperature reading and set point on the trailer is a good first impression but should not be used as the only reference point for correct product temperature.  Product temperatures should be taken at the tail, middle, and nose of the trailer from the product itself using a certified thermometer as soon as the first pallet comes off the trailer during receiving.

2.  Cross contamination is another big area that people can slip on, especially when it comes to allergen clean-up or handling. When handling an allergen like shrimp during clean-up, for example, all PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that has been directly exposed to an allergen and the cleaning tools used, like the broom and dustpan, must be cleaned thoroughly afterward.  There should also be dedicated cleaning utensils for the purpose of allergen clean-up, like a broom that is marked and used for allergen clean-up only, that would not be used for anything else, to prevent cross-contamination.

Q: How does Burris Logistics go above and beyond in our handling of food? (William)

A: 

1. Storage temperatures are monitored and recorded continuously, using thermometers that are calibrated by a NIST-certified thermometer or ice water.

2. Deviation of a target storage temperature is immediately reported to the General Manager and Plant Engineer. Should the storage temperature rise above +10 F (frozen) or +40 F (cooler), the customer/owner of any affected product will be notified via email for instructions as to how they would like the deviation handled.

3. Racking is pre-inspected to ensure safe storage of products.

4. Products are never stored near/under unprotected overhead pipes to avoid condensation drips.

5. Damaged products are excluded from shippable products using our WMS.

6. Products are never stored on the floor.

7. Chemicals are never stored above food products.

8. Every week, Justin Straka posts a blog for Team Members regarding a different food safety topic. Through these blogs, his goal is “to grow and improve our food safety culture as a company and bring awareness to what is most important: keeping the food we serve our families safe. All of us play an important role in this process from start to finish or farm to table, as those of us in the food business like to say. Sometimes a little reminder is what we need to stay focused and remember what is truly important. Feeding the world isn’t just a job; it’s an honor.”

About Burris Logistics

Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for ecommerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.