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Starting a T-Shirt Business

May 23, 2023

Starting a t-shirt business can be an exciting and rewarding venture. With the increasing demand for custom and personalized clothing, starting a t-shirt business can be a great way to tap into a lucrative market. However, starting this type of business can also be challenging, especially when it comes to the logistics of manufacturing, storing, and shipping products. That’s where a third-party logistics provider (3PL) comes in. In this white paper, we will discuss how to start a t-shirt business using a 3PL.

What is a 3PL?

A 3PL, or third-party logistics provider, is a company that specializes in logistics and supply chain management. 3PLs offer a range of services, including transportation, warehousing, and distribution. By outsourcing logistics to a 3PL, businesses can focus on their core competencies while leaving the logistics to experts.

Starting a T-Shirt Business with a 3PL

Step 1: Design and Manufacturing

The first step in starting a t-shirt business is designing and manufacturing the t-shirts. This can be done in-house or outsourced to a manufacturing partner like Brand Makers who will purchase, print, fold, bag, and ship your product to a warehouse. If you choose to outsource, make sure to find a reliable partner that can produce high-quality products at a reasonable cost.

Step 2: Storing Inventory

Once you have your t-shirts manufactured and decorated, you will need to store them somewhere. Storing inventory can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the space or resources to do it yourself. Storing apparel is one thing, managing accurate inventory levels is another, and it can be time consuming and tedious work. That’s where a 3PL like LastMile comes in. A 3PL can store your inventory in a secure warehouse and manage the inventory for you.

Step 3: Order Fulfillment

When a customer places an order, you will need to fulfill that order by picking, packing, and shipping the product. With low volume this can easily be done in-house but as volume increases this can become a time-consuming and complex process. A 3PL can handle order fulfillment for you, including picking, packing, and shipping products directly to your customers.

Step 4: Shipping and Delivery

Shipping and delivery are crucial aspects of any e-commerce business. You want to make sure that your products are delivered on time and in good condition. We live in an Amazon world so expectations are high and customer service and fast delivery is key to success. A 3PL like LastMile can handle shipping and delivery for you, including coordinating with carriers and ensuring that products are delivered on time and in good condition. Yes there is a cost, but factoring in the expenses of racks, hiring employees, warehouse rent, and time, a 3PL makes sense in most cases.

Benefits of Using a 3PL

Using a 3PL offers several benefits for t-shirt businesses, including:

  1. Cost savings: By outsourcing logistics to a 3PL, businesses can save money on storage, transportation, and labor costs.
  2. Scalability: A 3PL can handle the logistics of a growing business, allowing businesses to scale without worrying about logistics.
  3. Expertise: 3PLs are experts in logistics and supply chain management, which can help businesses improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  4. Focus on Core Competencies: By outsourcing logistics to a 3PL, businesses can focus on their core competencies, such as designing and marketing t-shirts.


Starting a t-shirt business can be a great way to tap into a growing market. However, managing the logistics of manufacturing, storing, and shipping products can be challenging. By using a 3PL, t-shirt businesses can outsource logistics to experts, saving time and money while improving efficiency and scalability. If you are thinking about starting a t-shirt business, consider using a 3PL to handle the logistics for you.

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