What Should You Look for When Trying to Find the Right Warehouse Partner?


If you need to store goods and have them distributed to your customers, choosing the right warehouse partner is vital to the success of your business. There are many options available, so how do you narrow down  your choices? What are some key factors you need to consider when trying to find the right warehouse partner?

Do You Only Need a Storage Provider or Something More?

Do you need to just store product? Will you be bringing in the product yourself and bringing it out when you need it? If that's the case, you can choose one of many public warehouse providers. They provide the space and usually—but not always—some level of security (lighting, a lock, perhaps camera surveillance). That's generally the extent of their services.

If, however, you need someone to coordinate the delivery of your goods to the warehouse, check it in, store it, manage your inventory, and handle delivery to your customer, you need a 3PL (third-party logistics) partner with their own warehouse facilities.

Experience in Their and Your Industry

It sounds simple, but you really do want a provider that is experienced providing the types of services you need. An experienced warehouse provider will understand the ins and outs of bringing in your inventory, managing it, storing it, fulfilling orders (if applicable), and getting it ready for distribution. The provider will have established networks within the logistics industry and a proven track record of getting product to the right destination effectively and efficiently. 3PL's that are shared warehouse providers usually have experience working across a variety of industries. Make sure you find a partner with expertise working in your industry and handling products similar to yours. They will be well-versed in how to comply with any regulations specific to handling and shipping your product.

Customer Service and Reputation

You'll want to find a provider with a good reputation, as that means they have a proven record of providing excellent customer service. Most providers aren't jumping up and down telling you how great they are, so you'll need to do some work to find out about them. Meet with any potential provider and learn about who they are. Ask to take a tour of their facility. You will get a feel for their operations, their people, and their customer service. Ask if they mind sharing who some of their key clients are. Do some research to find out about the provider’s reputation in the industry. Look at the associations to which they belong and their certifications.


Finding a warehouse that is close to your customers or that can reach them quickly is very important. Do you serve a particular region? Are your customers throughout the USA? North America? Do you serve global customers? Look for a provider with facilities located near major highways, ports, or airports. Does the provider have access to rail? A warehouse strategically located close to your customers or in a region that can quickly access them by truck, plane, ship, or rail will cut down on your lead times and shipping costs.


Your warehouse partner should have the capacity to accommodate your current and anticipated future needs. Can it store your current inventory levels? Can it scale with you as you grow your operations?

Capabilities and Value Added Services

The ideal partner can offer you a variety of services that meet the needs of your business. Do you need order fulfillment services? Will you need some orders shipped by the piece, some by case, and some by pallet? Do you need special packaging? Will items need to be kitted? These are some things you will need to consider before choosing your partner.

Contract Flexibility

If you need a long-term warehousing solution, it makes sense to engage in longer contract terms. However if you have shorter-term needs, you’ll need a partner that can work with you to offer flexible solutions. Perhaps your product is seasonal or sales are subject to seasonal fluctuations. Perhaps you only need to store product for a few months. Whatever your special needs are, the right partner can offer you the solution that makes most sense for your business purposes.


What kind of technology do you need your warehouse provider to have? A solid partner will have an effective warehouse management system (WMS) that manages inventory and processes orders efficiently. Looking for real-time visibility and enhanced reporting? You'll need a partner that can provides a seamless integration with your ERP.

Foreign Trade Zone

If you import or export raw materials or finished goods, working with a partner that operates in a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) can provide you with a competitive advantage. FTZ's were created by Congress to help US businesses compete with foreign competitors. Talk with an expert to learn about the benefits an FTZ can provide for your business.

Look No Further

ASW Global is a 3PL with over 40 years experience in warehousing, distribution, and supply chain management. We operate 500,000 sq ft. facility strategically located in Foreign Trade Zone #181. Talk to our experts to learn more about how we can be the warehousing partner that helps your business thrive.