Shipbob is a popular 3PL provider. In this review, we're going to take a look at this service and detail our experience with them. As an agency, we've worked alongside several major ecommerce brands that use ShipBob for their fulfillment needs, and have first-hand experience with this company.
Shipbob is a 3PL, or third-party logistics provider. They offer a multitude of services that gets a company's physical product from warehouse to delivery.
This is their core service, and they have a 99.95% accuracy rating for filling orders, over 7000 businesses partner with a company, 99.96% of orders ship on time, and they have multiple best in class awards.
However, recently they've introduced several add-on services. In this review, we're going to take a look at all of their offerings, our personal experience with the service, platform and ease-of-use, and more to help you understand this company, and if there a good option for your business.
I'm also going to discuss pricing, and while this varies widely depending on the company, product, shipping areas, and more, it may give you a good understanding of how much this might cost to your own company.
Shipbob takes care of all of the shipping and fulfillment needs for your e-commerce business.
First, you send your physical inventory to a ShipBob warehouse, where they store it in one or multiple fulfillment centers. Then, you connect your store, import products into their system, and ensure that the connection between your shop and the 3PL is working. Finally, when a customer places an order, this company ships it from the nearest location that it has inventory in, and delivers it to the end-user (this done through partners like USPS and FedEx).
The coolest thing about this company is that they have a lot of funding, and the benefit of economies of scale. What that means is shipping times can be as low as 1 to 2 days in all of the United States. This type of service rivals Walmart and Amazon!
There are several features and services that come with ShipBob, first, let's take a look at the core offering of third-party logistics.
They have a digital platform which allows you to easily manage your inventory, understand your companies position at any time, and review shipments. Of course, all of this is automated, and this platform connects directly to your e-commerce store.
This platform works in tandem with their support staff, engineers, and account managers. They work with you to make sure that your inventory can be shipped to the geographies that you sell to, and that the shipping time meets the durations.
Here are some screenshots of the ShipBob Platform:
As you can see, this platform is well designed, easy to use, and give you all of the information you need to get an accurate handle on your third-party logistics service.
If you sell on multiple platforms, you can use this to as a single fulfillment partner, which sells across your Omnichannel assets. As an example, say that you sell the majority of your product on your e-commerce website, but want to expand to selling on Etsy, Walmart, and Amazon. You can easily connect all three of these new channels to ShipBob's fulfillment platform, and it will route and ship inventory accordingly.
That's the digital half of it, now let's take a look at the physical half of it.
Shipbob stores product in and ships product from their warehouses. They have dozens of warehouses for across the United States, Europe and Canada, and depending on your needs and customer locations, you can ship from one or multiple of these locations.
They're also continually adding new locations.
All of this means that you can offer customers two day shipping across the continental US.
They're also a truly international shipping partner. Several of our WooCommerce clients use this company to fulfill their orders globally. ShipBob themself handles all of the fulfillment (making use of those global warehouses), and third party global trade compliance and customs clearance services ensure that everything gets across borders and into customers hands.
ShipBob worked with our agency and a third party global customs service, helping to build and integrate an automatic tax and DDU/DDP service into their platform.
This is one of the only major third-party logistics company that also allows for major customization of the shipping packaging, and contents within.
You can use custom mailers and boxes, which basically serve as advertisements themselves. You can also add custom print slips, messages, and more within the packaging.
ShipBob integrates with a ton of ecommerce platforms and marketplaces without a lot of effort.
Our agency is focused on WooCommerce, and the integration is incredibly simple and universal. In fact, it's a one-way integration without the need to use any API, plugin, or service. That makes it really robust and universally compatible with any theme, shipping method, or other option in WooCommerce's checkout.
For 2-day shipping, they do you have a plugin which allows you to display real time shipping estimates and rates.
They also support the WooCommerce Shipping Tracking plugin, meaning we can send back tracking information to customers.
As an agency, we've never used any of the other integrations, but they seem to be as easy or easier than the WooCommerce one.
The REST API for custom integrations is relatively simple as well. Here's a model of what it does and how it works:
It's completely built out, and has all the features that you need such as shipping is standard product, shipping of bundled products, returning labels and tracking information, alongside a robust collection of webhooks secure auth.
If you're not a dev, the TLDR is that you'll easily be able to integrate this third-party logistics solution into your website, regardless of your stock.
Something else that I'd like to note here is that the onboarding team was incredibly helpful for the several clients that we worked with. There was constant email communication, and our questions were answered very promptly. For example, we had several issues as we had migrated a major website from Shopify to WooCommerce, and the ShipBob support team was able to fix these problems immediately.
This is a relatively new feature that growing merchants will make increasing use of. Be to be fulfillment means that you can ship wholesale and retail workflows in an automated fashion, complete with retailer compliant packing slips.
For example, if you need to ship 100 units of your product to Costco so it can be present in the brick and mortar locations, that's what you would use this service for.
Additionally, you can dropship from retailer websites. For example, if you have a product listed on Walmart, but you don't want Walmart to hold your inventory, with each order from that website, you could simply route it to your existing inventory held in Shipbob warehouses, and fulfill it that way.
There's an ever-growing list retail partners such as Walmart, Costco, Nordstrom, Office Depot, and more.
There are also trial programs in the works for larger merchants who need solutions for bulk shipping like this.
They also have a lot of cash. Read: ShipBob nabs $200M at a $1B+ valuation to help e-commerce companies run logistics like Amazon’s
They are a venture backed company with a lot of money to invest in their software, physical infrastructure, and human capital.
Because of this cash, this them them in an incredibly good position to scale to meet new customer needs.
Furthermore, this is a company trusted by some of the worlds largest retailers. For example, they have an official partnership with Walmart, and sellers who use the service can unlock a two day shipping badge on the Walmart website for their product listings.
Needless to say, this company is one of the top in the industry, and it will be around for a very long time. The scalability is there is they are continuously opening a new fulfillment centers and increasing efficiency with technology
Pricing for ShipBob varies depending on your needs. So you only ship 1000 orders a month and need very limited warehouse space in a single location. Your per unit pricing will be higher than somebody shipping 1 million orders a month, but the overall cost will be a lot lower, and vice versa.
With this company comes scale. And with scale comes lower unit cost and higher overall costs.
Here's a real world example for ShipBob's per-unit fulfillment pricing for one of our clients:
For reference, this is an individual product that can be shipped in a bubble wrap mailer. Fulfillment costs include:
For a more accurate understanding of the costs, ShipBob offers a calculator that is pretty accurate based on the numbers that we're seeing with our own clients. However, requesting a quote is the only way to totally understand costs and all other aspects for your unique situation.
When does it become worth it?
Sme of our clients are to new to be using the service, but when they hit an inflection point, we strongly recommend that they looking to ShipBob or another third-party logistics offering.
That's because at a low cost of around five dollars per fulfillment, you can save hundreds to thousands of hours per week. Instead of manually picking, packaging, going to a shipment partner, creating an order, getting tracking numbers, uploading it into your platform, and manually clicking through the digital order process of processing to shipping to complete, it's all automated.
You can use that free time to focus on your operations, business, and marketing, growing and scaling your company rapidly. A third-party logistics company like ShipBob will also allow you to scale rapidly. For example, if you have a viral post on TikTok, manually attempting to fulfill hundreds or thousands of orders in one day would be impossible without a service like this.
We've used many 3PLs in the past. ShipBob is simply the best. One of our clients is almost a nine figure business, using ShipBob as their fulfillment partner. The others have a wide range of goods and services, and consistently throughout our experience with this company, there's only been good things to report.
If you were looking for a third-party logistics service that easily integrates with a Shopify website, WooCommerce store, and several other popular platforms, ShipBob is your best option