Micro Fulfilment: 3PL’s answer to modern life
Dale Sharpe
June 14, 2024

Micro fulfilment is becoming increasingly popular in 3PL. As well as providing faster delivery times and better connections to cities, there is a huge environmental benefit.

Today, we’re looking at some of the benefits of micro fulfilment centres and how they pose a way to reduce carbon footprints and provide faster services to customers.


Micro fulfilment centres or sites are smaller warehouses situated no more than 40-50 miles out of urban areas.

Thanks to their smaller nature, they can reduce overheads, get essential goods to customers faster and provide a cheaper shipping method.

In industries where they replace or add to brick and mortar stores, they are known as ‘dark stores.’ In America, where apps like Instacart are popular, you can sometimes find more third party vendors in stores than actual shoppers. This is where the staff-only dark stores are popular, with the same layout and style of a supermarket, but purely for fulfilling delivery or click and collect orders.


Electric vehicles, especially those powered through sustainable measures such as renewable energy, will be a considerable part of micro-fulfilment centres. Smaller centres mean more targeted deliveries, and having electric vehicles is more economical here. Thanks to tariff reliefs, cheaper parking and no combustion charge in major cities, electric vehicles save money over time.

Rather than needing to pay for a company fuel card and find an accepting petrol station, you can charge on-site and reduce the overall cost to the company. The last mile conundrum is one of the most expensive and carbon-heavy parts of fulfilment, so electric vehicles could be an answer.

Having a warehouse site with parking outside a city centre is cheaper on a smaller scale than needing a large distribution centre where more space is needed due to the volume on-site.


Having a chain of fulfilment centres across the country means that products that are in high demand can be shipped out with quick turnaround times. The last-mile delivery is made quicker and easier to manage from groceries to everyday household items by a series of hyper-local warehouses.

Customer satisfaction increases with the speed of delivery, so same-day delivery or next day delivery is a huge bonus that micro fulfilment centres can offer.


From major supermarkets having dark stores or using storage space to provide a pick and pack space that mirrors the store itself, micro fulfilment centres are becoming part and parcel of everyday life.

Thanks to a change in UK law on brownfield sites and warehouse classifications, it is now easier to repurpose out of town sites as micro-fulfilment centres.

Using a 3PL company such as Bray is a great halfway house. We have a small network of sites across the Midlands, and we can help you to get your products to customers thanks to our relationships with courier companies.

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