This is a tough one, I am a long term user and fan of 3PLs. Gives me more control and flexibility but does add a level of cost (although saves a fortune versus being caught out by long term storage fees at Amazon!). So for me its option 2 all the way, get it all over to the State into a 3PL…especially in context of Covid where delays could happen at any point in the supply chain due to a spike in cases!
I don’t have a San Fran contact but I am looking to move my 3PL (currently Texas) and have been actively exploring options over the last few weeks. I am keen to avoid LA (don’t want to follow the herd lol and it just seems like they get very backlogged at key seasons), looking at other options in Texas but also Chicago (longer shipping time but closer to Canada for me to get inventory across the border LCL). Having done a deep dive on those locations plus Utah its all as long as its short!
LA is cheaper and quicker to ship to but more expensive to store.
Chicago is longer to ship to and on a par cost wise with current facility but could save me money into Canada.
Texas is the sweet spot for me but I can no longer tolerate the inefficiencies of my 3PL and need a fresh start, preferably with a 3PL used to dealing with Amazon (which my current one are not).
My point is you are doing the right things weighing up all the costs along the line to make a decision. My feeling is as a seller becomes established a 3PL is becoming a must with the way Amazon are approaching storage limits. If you find a great 3PL in San Fran or anywhere do share with the group 🙂