Embrace 2021 Trends as Warehouse and Distribution Centers Prepare for the Future

As the year comes to a close, it has undoubtedly been a time of significant change and upheaval within the warehousing industry. Embrace the 2021 trends as warehouse and distribution centers better prepare for what the new year has in store.

The role of third-party logistics companies has shifted in the past 20 years, but even more dramatically in 2020—the year of COVID-19. Against that backdrop of consistent disruption and game-changing technology, what can we expect to see as we move into 2021?

Times have changed. Leading warehouse and distribution centers like Fulco Fulfillment Inc (FFI) have seen trends developing in 5 district areas over the next year and beyond:

  1. Supply Chain Integration
  2. Outsourced Delivery Services
  3. Warehouse and Distribution Services Will Go Green
  4. The Amazon Effect
  5. E-commerce Will Accelerate

1) Supply Chain Integration

Improved Communication

Technology helps to improve many tasks throughout logistics. One of the growing challenges, however, is how to best utilize technological advancements to simplify and streamline the communication process. There are several Warehouse Management Solutions that utilize API electronic data exchanges that not only improve communication, but increase transparency.

Proactive fulfillment centers and 3PLs understand the importance of having the best communication platforms available. They can support customers, provide real-time updates on order fulfillment, package tracking, inventory levels, historical data, and more.

Warehouse and distribution centers will look to leverage integration to build the value-added services within their fundamental workflows and software. Consider this: integrated picking, packing, using barcode scanning technology communicating directly to shipping software. This reduces the costs and eliminates the lost time and inevitable errors. API integrations automate order fulfillment workflows leading to improved communication. Supply chain integration through data sharing encourage visibility, transparency, and accountability by all parties involved.

2) Outsourced Delivery Services

Focusing on Core Competencies

The power of third-party delivery services is basically an opportunity for warehousing and distribution centers to quickly deliver products to customers using independent contractors. This outsourcing eliminates the responsibility of maintenance of a fleet of trucks with potential of breaking down, insurance costs, and all around increased capital. While several 3PLs and fulfillment centers are expanding their fulfillment and distribution platforms to smaller, regionally focused networks, hiring and building their in-house delivery network takes time and money. To ensure they can deliver to customers quicker, many warehouse and distribution centers are contracting delivery services.

3) Packaging Supplies Will Go Green

Customers Reduce their Impact on the Environment

Many businesses are reviewing every aspect of their supply chain to reduce its environmental impact. To be eco-friendly, 3PLs have been integrating environmentally-conscious practices into their operations. Optimization of packaging supplies has become an imperative eco-conscious strategy for shippers.

They are now improvising with new ways of designing and producing their products, attempting to lessen their carbon and environmental footprint, while simultaneously saving on costs. Consumers rate sustainability important when making a purchase and millennials find it trendier to continue choosing companies supporting green initiatives. Trends have shown an overall shift among the broad customer base today towards a more eco-aware business model.

Green packaging has led to a wave of new eco-friendly alternatives to traditional packaging materials. Here at FFI, we see a rise in biodegradable packing peanuts, corrugated bubble wrap, and air pillows made of recycled materials.

Sustainability is essential for success moving into 2021, from recyclable plastics to cornstarch and even seaweed packaging. There is seemingly no end to the options available to the environmentally conscious business.

4) The Amazon Effect

Warehouse and Distribution Centers to the Rescue

“The Amazon Effect,” which has ushered in the expectation of rapid delivery with minimum effort and the desire for a seamless order experience, is one that every customer has the right to expect. The stranglehold that Amazon has on the US e-commerce space isn’t without its pitfalls. Shortly after the pandemic started, Amazon temporarily prioritized inbound shipments of household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products for both Amazon Seller and Vendor Central. As a result, Amazon sellers experienced major delays of their shipments and often experienced out of stock items in their Amazon store leading to loss of sales or a poor customer experience.

Amazon sellers scrambled and found alternative options like relying on warehouse and distribution services like FFI to prepare their goods for Fulfillment by Amazon and allowing them to live up to their brand promise. This meant developing closer relationships with their outside fulfillment team; warehouse and distribution centers rescued them. We can expect to see more brands turning from basic service providers to more comprehensive fulfillment partners. The latter will offer a wider range of services and take the time to understand individual businesses, which puts them in a better position to bend to the needs of that brand and help it to scale more effectively.

5) E-commerce Will Accelerate

The global pandemic caused extended lockdowns and accelerated the trend of moving from brick and mortar stores to online. Major brick and mortar retailers are declaring bankruptcy and some may not survive. Smaller stores may have even less resilience.

COVID-19 has caused an accelerated evolution of e-commerce to such a degree that consumers can shop almost anywhere, anytime. The pandemic has turbocharged a shift to e-commerce for many Americans. Once again, supply chain trends intersect with the wider need to respond more quickly to consumer requests without disrupting the flow of products or services.

The increase in demand will continue to put pressure on warehouse technology. We’ve already seen shipping times grow at major e-commerce retailers, and the postal service burdened as smaller retailers try to pivot to online. Additionally, this will result in an increased demand for warehouse space that will likely result in more refurbishment of older buildings. Being able to build and flex warehouse capacity to support customer demand is a strength FFI offers our customers.

Prepare for 2021 with Fulco Fulfillment Inc.

Make 2021 the year you get ahead of the warehouse and distribution trends, before they get ahead of you! Call 973.361.1700 or email us to get started.

Warehousing and Distribution for the Holiday Season

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, but with all those holly jolly times, make sure your 3PL service can handle increased capacity. Holiday fulfillment can make or break your e-commerce business. Great holiday fulfillment is the key to great holiday sales. Already high customer expectations are rightfully higher around the holidays since everyone wants their gift to arrive on time. Standards for expedited turnaround are higher than ever; customers just do not tolerate a backordered inventory. This year especially, we are faced with even more challenges and lots of unknowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has reshaped the way consumers shop, increasing online and e-commerce sales. Retailers and e-commerce companies solve this bottleneck by working with a third party logistics company to help them take a load off their busy holiday season. Your holiday fulfillment operations are the key to success during this busy time, and a good partner can make your holiday fulfillment operations run smoothly.

Fulco Fulfillment Inc. is the 3PL service to provide the extra value you need all season long.

Your space may slowly be getting filled with stacked boxes reaching the ceiling in places like your office, hallways, and dare I say it, even your bathroom. When you choose to outsource your holiday warehousing and distribution to give you a safer workspace, that is not at risk of boxes collapsing on top of you and becoming an episode of Hoarders along with the extra staff that is needed so you don’t have to do any heavy lifting yourself. Once partnered with a 3PL service like Fulco Fulfillment Inc. for the big holiday rush that is ahead, then you will be free to order exactly what you are looking for right when you need it without any fear of where you will have to fit it in your cramped space. Maintaining accurate and up-to-date inventory only works when customers are notified of low inventory levels in a timely manner. You need to provide e-commerce customers information quickly to protect them from getting frustrated during a joyful time, so customer service response time is paramount.

On Demand Storage Space

Juggling storage space at this time of year is the worst, but after you have teamed up with a 3PL like Fulco Fulfillment Inc., you are quite literally renting out the space you need only when you need it.

Seasonal Demand

The hiring period during the holidays can be frustrating and highly competitive, but with a 3PL service like FFI by your side, you don’t have to worry about seasonal help. Rather than hiring your own people, you can rely on your 3PL service for some assistance for however long you need it and only when you need it. This ability can save your business a ton of both time and money since the warehouse staff is already trained and experienced at fulfillment, distributions, and pick & pack demands. When it comes to warehousing, e-commerce is continuously the driving force of growth. Planning for surge events like the holidays ensures there is space available. Utilizing past data and analyzing sales history provides insights that will help things run more smoothly. The historical data allows your fulfillment center to plan ahead to have enough staff on hand to anticipate the peaks and troughs of seasonal demand.

Accurate and Up-to-date Inventory

3PL’s like Fulco Fulfillment Inc. use a computerized system that is able to check products in and out of the inventory which provides you with a real-time inventory tracking system to make sure none of the products in the warehouse are out of place. You will not have to struggle with backordering when your company knows the precise moment to restock product.

Customer Service Response Time

During the holiday rush there will always be a few issues in order fulfillment. What is important is how customer service resolves the issues and how quickly. Fulco Fulfillment’s client service managers are extremely reliable and responsive when our customers contact us with questions, requests for assistance, or problems. Every one of our clients has their own dedicated client service support person to pick up the phone and call because customer experience needs to sit at the forefront. Our online order management systems (OMS) provide updates via email throughout the lifecycle of the order so that the customer is kept up to date with the progress of their order. This increases the confidence the customer has with their fulfillment company.

Looking for a 3PL Provider in NJ?

Do you think you will be stuffed with business this holiday season? It may be time to call a reliable 3PL service today, like Fulco Fulfillment Inc. located in Dover, NJ. With our help, we will guarantee that your holiday season will be headache free. Money will be saved, space will be freed, and you will be left feeling merry and bright! Give us a call at 973.361.1700 to discuss your needs.

An Update From Us on COVID-19

Warehousing and Distribution Services for Emergency Supplies

This page is dedicated to providing timely information and updates on Fulco Fulfillment Inc’s operations.

July 8, 2021

An update from us on COVID-19 in 2021

Since March 2020, COVID-19 has had a large impact on the operations of our customers – and like every business, we have continued to take steps to protect our employees so we can continue to provide our essential warehouse and fulfillment services. Pandemic response planning and implementation have played crucial roles allowing us to continue to meet the needs of our customers throughout this very difficult time.

Following NJ State Department of Health and CDC guidelines, we have been well positioned to expand our operations as needed through the first two waves of COVID-19. A majority of our workers have now been fully-vaccinated as well – allowing us to reduce mask and social distancing requirements in accordance with the latest NJ state guidelines. We also understand the risks are not completely behind us and continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis.

We have noticed the following business trends over the last year:

  1. A greater volume of e-commerce orders as a result of the continued trend to online shopping over traditional retail
  2. Increased attention to effective shipping techniques to reduce freight costs, especially as fuel costs increase, effective shipping across the board becomes crucial.
  3. Warehouse space is at a premium as inventory has swelled in many areas – we have the space needed to handle all of your inventory.

Please let us know if you have any questions we can assist you with!


June 26, 2020

Fulfillment Services Deemed Essential during COVID-19: taking care to match the surge in e-commerce orders

COVID-19 has caused a scenario like no other disaster in modern retail operations. Even the largest natural disasters have specific areas of impact. This coronavirus is proving it has no boundaries.

As the global pandemic has driven consumers into their homes, there has been a dramatic increase in online shopping. At Fulco Fulfillment, we’ve been a part of the shift. Our warehouse, which has been deemed essential, has remained open in order to pick, pack and ship product on behalf of our clients.

Even before the U.S. detected the first known case of COVID-19, e-commerce was an important part of the various fulfillment services offered by Fulco Fulfillment. However, prior to the disease’s arrival, the cost of marketing and maintaining an online sales presence frustrated some retailers who were hesitant to invest. That all changed when stay-at-home orders drove consumers into their homes. Consumer demand for online shopping was able to change the mindsets of even the most timid retailers.

As an example, our warehouse team has seen increased volume, especially when it comes to nutritional products and vitamins. From the very beginning, demand for medical scrubs was high as well. And we have all hands on deck for our customer in the uniform supply business, who is offering pre-packaged protective equipment to its customers. Another customer, who serves the law enforcement community, has also seen a big rise in demand.

Meeting the demands of clients no matter the situation on the ground, or online, takes a lot of planning and partnering with clients to assess their needs. Planning for a second wave of COVID-19 was well underway not long after the first wave hit our shores. At Fulco Fulfillment, we are constantly fine-tuning our services to pick, pack and ship so we can scale as consumer demand increases. Should there be a second wave, we are prepared and well positioned to handle it.

Protecting the health of our Fulfillment Services’ Essential Workers

In New Jersey, warehouse workers have been classified by the state as essential workers. While so many Americans are required to work from home, the Fulco team is continuing to work hard to meet the demands of our customers’ order flows. That’s why we’re taking all the necessary precautions to make sure our employees remain safe in the workplace. We conduct daily temperature checks, supply masks and other personal protective equipment, and we make sure that proper social distancing is maintained throughout our warehouse and offices. All of these measures are important to ensure that our e-commerce clients can meet consumer demand now and in the future.

Flexible and scalable on-demand warehousing

On average, Fulco Fulfillment is able to onboard a new client in under two weeks, resulting in very little downtime in their order flow. For online retailers, scalability and on-demand start up time are critical. But so is flexibility. This is evident in how we are able to invoice by pallet or square footage of pick space. Our clients are billed only for the space they are using. When demand is unpredictable or volume levels volatile, having a scalable storage option ensures optimum flexibility of their storage needs, and cost savings when less space is needed. The desire for on-demand warehousing is a growing interest with many clients. Fulco Fulfillment’s pay as you go fee structures make sense for e-commerce clients whether we are shipping one item or a 25-pallet order.

Online purchases have caused carrier delays. FFI keeps track of shipping delays for you.

The huge, sudden growth in online ordering has created an overflow of packages that carriers are having a hard time keeping up with. For example, FedEx and UPS have both announced a suspension of their service guarantees. In order to keep you fully informed, Fulco Fulfillment is constantly monitoring our carriers and shipping partners so we can make suggestions to customers to ensure timely delivery. By maintaining clear communications during these difficult times we want to be sure we’re doing all we can to keep our clients informed, so they can inform their customers.

Your e-commerce business can thrive with a streamlined fulfillment partner.

Fulco Fulfillment, Inc., works with e-commerce businesses of every size, with a wide variety of product profiles and pick and pack demands. And we’re used to handling difficult circumstances and exceeding expectations, helping our clients to fulfill their client promises and delivery demands. To speak with a FFI representative and to learn more, call 973.361.1700.


April 3, 2020

Thanks again for your continued support of FFI, as we adapt to changes in our industry we want to continue to provide you with key information.

  • We are committed to proactively keep you informed. As an essential service provider to many businesses, Fulco Fulfillment Inc (FFI) will remain open, supporting customers’ supply chains. We are monitoring orders daily to keep up with work flow while working with a limited staff to practice social distancing.
  • Attn: Delivery Drivers. Although we are open, we request that you call our direct line (973) 361-1700 and someone will assist you to arrange your pickup or delivery. You can also contact Warren Hawthorne via email at whawthorne@ffiweb.com. Starting Monday April 6th our doors will be locked to the public, so please call ahead to find out which loading dock you will be directed to. We’ve instituted a no-signature policy as well.
  • Receiving Policy. Overseas receipts will be moved to a designated part of the warehouse and quarantined for 72 hours prior to an employee handling it or receiving the inventory.
  • You can be rest assured. All decisions continue to be made in light of social distancing and public health at the direction of the governor. We are taking precautions to help reduce the virus spread and keep our staff healthy…

Be Well,

Jennifer Marcello and Tony Rossi
Fulco Fulfillment Inc.
Update on FFI’s Coronavirus Preparedness


March 23, 2020

While we monitor the situation closely, we want to inform you of what we are doing to protect the health and well-being of our employees, customers and recipients of the packages we ship. We are committed to being here for you when it matters most and have implemented precautionary actions to ensure we are operating with the highest level of regard for health and safety.

During these difficult times FFI is open for warehousing and providing distribution services for emergency supplies.

Thank you for your continued confidence.

Update on FFI’s Coronavirus Preparedness

As the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) progresses and changes so does our ability to perform services. At Fulco Fulfillment Inc. we are enacting the next phase of our contingency plan to ensure we are taking the appropriate safety precautions with our internal work force. NJ closed non-essential retail businesses, exceptions include logistics and shipping operations. Therefore we remain open. Effective early next week, we will be reducing our in house staff by at least 75% and running our business on staggered shifts with a limited crew. Additionally we will be flexing our labor on a day by day basis. Staff hours will be based on incoming orders and workload. This will allow us to manage the work flow while staying diligent to the developing situation. Our receiving will be completed without signatures and a receiving email will still be sent out making our clients aware of an incoming delivery. Outgoing orders and the emailing of tracking numbers will continue as normal.

As we continuously strive to provide you the best service possible, the above mentioned actions may perhaps result in a slight delay on your outgoing shipments. Policies with our shipping partners (FedEx, UPS and USPS) whom we depend on seem to be changing daily. We will continue to do our best to fulfill your orders at this time. Our Client Service Managers are set up to work from their homes and will manage all incoming/outgoing orders. They will keep you informed with any questions or concerns.

At this time, FedEx, with the support from the World Health Organization (WHO) has shared information regarding the safety of receiving a box/carton into your home, for more information on the topic from WHO (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses). We continue to operate with our shipping partner under standard procedures and do not expect an interruption in service. Fulco Fulfillment Inc. continues to monitor this situation and adjust accordingly. For additional information, the CDC has set up a website (Coronavirus Disease 2019, available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html to provide information as it becomes available.

More updates to follow as things progress. Thank you for your anticipated understanding
and please stay safe and healthy.