Whether you are launching a Shopify store or transitioning from dropshipping into a private label brand, order fulfillment is one of THE most critical parts of your ecommerce business.
With reliable fulfillment service to your customers, you will build credibility, gather positive reviews, get repeat business and amplify your growth potential.
At Sourcingbro, we manage the entire supply chain for ecommerce businesses of all sizes. So we know the pitfalls of other 3PL fulfillment services.
That’s why we decided to create a list of the 9 best order fulfillment services to help you with your ecommerce 3PLs needs based on our first hand experience in the industry and our collaborations with other 3PL fulfillment providers.
Without further ado, let’s hop in.
What are the Best Fulfillment Services?
Here are what we believe are the top fulfillment companies for eCommerce in the world currently.
- ShipBob – Best Overall
- Deliverr – Best Fulfillment Service for 2-Day Shipping
- ShipHero – Best 3PL Fulfillment for DTC Brands
- ShipMonk – Best for Subscription Products
- eFulfillment Service – Best Fulfillment Provider for Startups
- eShipper – Best Order Fulfillment Service in Canada
- Huboo – Best Ecommerce Fulfillment in UK
- Omnipack – Best Order Fulfillment Company In Europe
- eStore Logistics – Best 3PL Fulfillment in Australia
Best Ecommerce Fulfillment Service Overall
ShipBob is hands down, the most popular of them all. Founded in 2014, this 3PL logistics company has quickly grown into one of the largest ecommerce fulfillment services in the world. They cater to merchants big and small, and offer an array of best in-class features, some of which are exclusives.
For instance, they ‘own’ a network of 13 warehouses in the United States, which translates into 2-day deliveries for most parts of the country. They can even deliver within a day in many parts.
Secondly, they have one of the best dashboards, multiple 1-click integrations, returns management and international shipping to boot. Makes for a very appealing package, doesn’t it?
But not everything about ShipBob may be suited for your business. Let’s take a look at some of their services and their pricing pattern.
Fulfillment Services & Fees
ShipBob’s pricing pattern is reasonably easy to understand. Whether or not you find it cost effective, depends on the sales volume and the consistency. Here’s a brief overview of the services and their charges.
- Setup – ShipBob charges a one-time setup fee. This is business size specific. But on an average its $975.
- Receiving – ShipBob charges $25 for two hours of unloading. Every additional hour is charged at $35 per man hour.
- Storage – A monthly price of $40 per pallet, $10 per shelf or $5 per bin
- Returns – ShipBob makes returns management really easy. Returns are processed free.
- Pick & Pack – The first five picks in an order are free. It’s $0.20 for the sixth pick and beyond.
ShipBob is a 3PL and a software platform clubbed into one. In simple terms, this 3PL company covers most parts of the supply chain and makes it effortless to manage everything at your fingertips.
ShipBob offers multiple one-click integrations which makes it easy to connect your online stores or marketplace stores as well as manage the entire operation.
Their integrations are vast, but include Ecommerce platforms & Marketplaces, Inventory & Order Management tools, Marketing & CRM platforms & Accounting & financing platforms to name a few.
2. Inventory Management
ShipBob allows you to use existing data from your store to strategically distribute your inventory to warehouse locations that offer reduced shipping costs and time. For startups with no data to rely on, it offers a Zone Map Analysis tool.
3. Order Management
Right from importing SKUS to customizing them, assigning barcodes, choosing packaging and mapping shipping options, ShipBob has a very user-friendly order management system.
Each order is automatically assigned a tracking code which is updated to the customer, allowing both, the customer and the business to track it effortlessly.
One of the biggest draws of ShipBob is its ever-expanding warehouse network which currently boasts of 13 warehouses in the USA, one Warehouse in Ottawa, Canada and two in UK.
These are located at Feltham near London & in Ireland. The warehouses are strategically located to allow you to expedite deliveries to all key ecommerce markets.
ShipBob with its fast shipping and easy software makes for an excellent 3PL for ecommerce fulfillment. Their reach spans most key markets and they tick almost all the boxes that merchants generally look for.
That said, they lack one-on-one personal support, which can be a deal breaker for a lot of businesses. Besides, they can be expensive if you are a startup with limited financial capital.
Check out our detailed ShipBob Review.
Best Fulfillment Service for 2-Day Shipping
Deliverr is a 4PL, which means that it can manage the entire ecommerce logistics for you. If you consider ecommerce as a large umbrella with various components under it, such as the supplier, shipping companies, customs, clearing agents, last leg delivery services, inventory management and so on, Deliverr is the person that holds the umbrella.
They co-ordinate between all these components and offer customers an easy, single dashboard where they can manage their entire ecommerce operation.
Deliverr’s biggest USP is that it is designed like Amazon FWB. Right from two-day deliveries to 95% of America, to a simple pricing pattern that has just two charges, Deliverr is one of the easiest fulfillment services to work with.
Fulfillment Services & Fees
Deliverr’s fulfillment services include the complete dropshipping/ecommerce supply chain. But their pricing is broken down into just two charges. That’s the fulfillment fee and the Storage fee.
- Setup – Deliverr offers free integration and set up. What’s amazing is that it has the most marketplace integrations amongst fulfillment services.
- Fulfillment – Deliverr charges a fulfillment fee per unit that depends on the package weight, dimensions and service level that you choose. The fulfillment cost includes the cost of the pick, pack, box and shipping it. There are two options. Fast Tag & Non Fast Tag.
- Storage – Just like fulfillment, Deliverr’s storage fees also vary depending on the unit size, the amount of space (cubic feet) the unit occupies in the warehouse, and the time duration that you are storing it for. If you are looking to store long term, you get better quotes.
Deliverr has a variety of features that are in tune with their ‘Amazon FWB’ styled fulfillment service. Let’s take a look at their key offerings.
1. Marketplace Integrations
Deliverr has one of the best interfaces for ecommerce merchants selling on channels such as Wish, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Walmart & Google shopping. The integrations are one-click and there are a plethora of tools to further simplify order management.
2. Fast Tag
One of the biggest USPs that Deliverr offers is Fast Tag Badges. These Amazon-inspired badges will display on your product listings across a wide range of platforms.
For example, if it qualifies, your product will automatically display a ‘Free 2-Day Delivery’ or ‘Next Day Delivery’ badge on Facebook Ads, Walmart & eBay. Fast Tag increases click through rates by showing customers the exact delivery time on the listing.
3. Inventory Distribution
Deliverr’s warehouse network covers most parts of the USA. It offers an easy inventory distribution system, where you can choose the inventory shipping method depending on the estimated transit time.
This can be invaluable during peak business season. Also, your inventory will automatically be distributed to a warehouse close to your target market.
4. Same Day Shipping
Deliverr offers fast shipping at some of the cheapest prices in the industry. The shipping options are 1-day, 2-day, 3-days and Standard (5-7 days). But its warehouse network and efficient logistics network ensures that 95% of customers in USA will receive the shipment within 2-days.
A large part of the country qualifies for overnight deliveries too.
If you are looking at a hands-off order fulfillment, then you’ll love Deliverr’s easy integrations and sales-enhancement tools. Please be aware that Deliverr does not ship internationally. Also, it does not handle returns. So, if you experience a large volume of return orders, it may not be the right service for you.
Check out our detailed Deliverr Review.
Best 3PL Fulfillment for DTC Brands
ShipHero gained credence as a cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) that’s designed for large merchants moving large volume of inventory. But this 3PL company also offer a terrific fulfillment platform for ecommerce merchants looking to ship their orders.
Their pricing is one of the best we’ve seen and they offer an impressive bunch of sales channel integrations. To top it off, they have one of the most efficient barcode management systems in the business.
Fulfillment Services & Fees
ShipHero has a very streamlined pricing plan that’s very easy to get a hold of. We generally aren’t very comfortable recommending fulfillment services that bombard you with a whole bunch of numbers. That’s why we like ShipHero. Their pricing is pretty much like Deliverr.
- Setup – Setup is completely free.
- Receiving – Receiving is free as well.
- Fulfillment cost – A single price that includes the cost for Pick, pack, box & postage. This depends on the dimensional weight, package size, number of picks, and package weight, which is rounded off. CBD products and hazardous goods have separate pricing.
- Returns – ShipHero handles returns and has a pay-as-you-go model for returns management.
- Pick & Pack – The first three picks in an order are free. It’s $0.25 for the fourth pick and beyond.
- Storage – Storage is charged every day at the average cost of $0.65 per cubic foot in the warehouse. The total cost you incur will depend on the package size and the number of days that you store it for.
1. No Minimum or Contracts
The ‘No Minimums, No Contracts’ clause makes ShipHero a terrific fulfillment service for small businesses, such as startups looking to test the waters. You will be billed per package and you can pay as you go along.
2. Easy Pricing
You have just two charges to deal with. The first is a single fulfillment price that includes picking, packing, packaging and postage for 48 states in USA. The second is a storage fee as mentioned above.
3. Automated Inventory Distribution
ShipHero uses proprietary algorithms that tap into your sales data and uses forecasting to predict an optimum distribution plan for your inventory. This takes guesswork out of inventory distribution.
4. Fast Delivery Times
This 3PL company has tie-ups with national, regional and local carriers and use their own fleet of delivery vehicles for last leg delivery. This reduces transit times and improves customer experience.
5. Efficient Order Management
ShipHero allows you to prioritize orders depending on their importance. For instance, if you have a preferred customer list, those orders can automatically be placed on the top of the queue.
6. Returns Management
ShipHero’s returns module makes it easy to mark packages for returns and exchanges. You can also mark premium items that are ineligible. They also offer a returns widget that you can add to your storefront, allowing customers to do bulk of the work and taking the load off your customer support team.
ShipHero offers the best-in-class order fulfillment services and backs it up with a transparent pricing models. They have no minimums and contracts, clubbed with free onboarding and setup. Makes it a great choice for startups.
Best Fulfillment Company for Subscription Products
ShipMonk is one of the fastest growing 3PL fulfillment services in the industry currently. In just 7-years, this cloud-based inventory management solution has presented startups and ecommerce merchants with a slew of business-centric features. At the forefront is their cloud-based software that makes it a cakewalk to manage the entire ecommerce logistics.
The software brings 100 one-click integrations to the table, including marketplaces like Etsy, Jet, Sears, Walmart, Target & Wish. Their network of warehouses is not as extensive as the competition.
They have just 3 warehouses in the United States. But, their services are all-inclusive. Some of the services they offer are LTL shipments, inventory management, kitting, warehouse management, forecasting, packaging support, and Seller fulfilled prime and deliver duty paid.
Fulfillment Services & Fees
ShipMonk’s ecommerce fulfillment service has a volume-based pricing model. The more orders you are generating, better the prices. Any merchant with more than 10000 sales a month gets a custom quote. To make things simpler, we will only consider the pricing for small businesses generating less than 500 sales a month.
- First time order pick fee – $2.50/order
- Additional Items for orders with two or more items – $0.50 per item/order
- Promotional Inserts – $0.20
- Packaging Material – $0.15 – $2.00
- Returns Processing – $2.50 + .50/additional item
- Storage charges – $1 – $20 depending on the storage
- Special Projects – $45/man-hour
- Container Unloading – $300 per 20’ container, $500 per 40’ container
- Minimum Pick & Pack Fee – $250/month
The key takeaway is that there are no setup fees and receiving is completely free. Also, there’s no minimum orders. Even if you are generating just 1 sale a month, you can sign up with them. This makes it a reasonably good option for startups, providing that they don’t raise eyebrows about the minimum pick and pack fee.
ShipMonk’s complete feature list is exhaustive and covers the entire ecommerce logistics. But we are going to focus on the key ones.
1.1 Order Processing
ShipMonk offers an array of services that eases order processing. The software automatically checks whether the packages added to the cart are in stock. This enhances the shopping experience for the customer. Addresses are automatically verified too to ensure that that there are no lapses in delivery.
2. Returns Management
ShipMonk makes it easy to manage returns from your dashboard. The service is chargeable. But if your business deals with a large volume of returns, that’s one less hassle to deal with, at a nominal price.
3.Automatic Inventory Tracking
ShipMonk’s dashboard keeps you informed and updated about the latest inventory levels. You don’t have to dig deep to know the current inventory levels. Everything is automatically updated in real time.
4. Easy Reporting
You can generate reports with ease. Just a few clicks is all it takes to generate detailed reports about your revenue, current inventory levels, orders, items shipped and fulfillment statuses.
ShipMonk comes across as a great ecommerce fulfillment provider for startups and small brands. They have Live Chat Support option, in addition to email support. The minimum pick and pack fee, as well as the different charges can be a quibble for new brands. But considering the automation, the easy integrations and the customer support, that cannot be a deal breaker.
5. eFulfillment Service
Best Fulfillment Provider for Startups
A lot of new businesses are unaware of the fact that eFulfillment Service (EFS) is an established, award-winning fulfillment service that has been in business since 2001. It was set up by John Lindberg, a former publisher from his single warehouse in Michigan.
Today, it is a large operation that handles ecommerce fulfillment for more than 700 e-tailers. Almost 40% of this clientele is based internationally, which means out of the United States.
EFS primarily handles fulfillment for small to midsize e-commerce merchants. A lot of those are startups, because there is no minimum order requirement or hidden charges. Most of their services are handled in-house, which allows them to maintain consistent quality.
Fulfillment Services & Fees
EFS has a customized pricing pattern for their fulfillment services with individual charges for most of the services. They divide their pricing into the three phases of fulfillment.
- Setup – EFS has an initial weekly fee of $23.50 that includes the cost for the initial onboarding process, which is inventory import and integration with one shopping cart.
- Receiving – EFS charges receiving fees for counting and storing inventory. This is charged for every half hour of processing.
- Order Processing – This includes the charges for pick and pack, which is based on per unit, for packaging (large boxes only) and for using their proprietary software platform with customer service.
- Delivery Charges – EFS has a proprietary Smart Rate Selector that automatically shows you the best shipping prices from a dozen carrier services.
EFS offers a proprietary software platform with one of the best online user interfaces (UI) that we’ve seen. The dashboard is extremely easy to navigate through. Here are some of the key features.
1. Multiple Integrations
This 3PL company offers easy integrations for most shopping carts, including 3dcart, Amazon, BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento & 3DCart. You can also connect directly to marketplaces such as Costco or Amazon.
2. Cost Effective Shipping Options
EFS shows you the shipping rates from almost a dozen carriers. But if you want to pick the least expensive option, just select the “Best Rate”. The software automatically calculates the most economical option depending on a package’s weight, dimensions, and destination.
3. Easy Reports
You can generate detailed reports for inventory status, current transactions and forecasts. You can also set alerts for low inventory.
4. Responsive customer support
Every merchant is assigned a client care team that will assist with the initial onboarding. After this, you have two support options. There’s telephone support and a helpdesk trouble-ticket system.
5. 30-Day Trial
This 3PL company offers skeptics a way to test the waters before signing up with them. It’s called the Test Drive Program, where you can send them some of your inventory to get hands on experience about the fulfillment service.
If you aren’t satisfied after 30-days, EFS offers a refund of up to $250 on the costs you incurred during the trial run. So, it’s not exactly a free trial. But it certainly is a great way to try out a service before you send a large volume of inventory.
EFS matches some of the biggest Ecommerce fulfillment services in terms of quality, and backs it up with better pricing, particularly for small parcel shipments. But with just two warehouses, they may not be a great fit for large brands looking to expand their reach into new markets and scale their operation.
Best Order Fulfillment Service in Canada
eShipper is a Canadian warehouse management system that also offers ecommerce fulfillment, subscription boxes and crowdfunding amongst others.
Just like some of the other choices that we have listed here, Eshipper has no minimum order quantities. They offer a free sign up, which allows you to try out their dashboard and even enter the inventory details to receive a custom quote.
You will not be billed until you accept the quote. While there are multiple ecommerce fulfillment services that cater to businesses targeting the United States, there are very few that offer cost effective services to Canadian businesses. eShipper is one of them.
Fulfillment Services & Fees
eShipper’s fulfillment service is called EShipper Plus. It is a comprehensive order fulfillment solution for a variety of business models, including retail fulfillment, multichannel ecom, Amazon FBA, Crowdfunding fulfillment and subscription boxes. Their pricing model is a custom one.
eShipper ticks all the boxes that online merchants typically look for, from a fulfillment service. They offer cost effective, zone-free shipping across Canada. But their fulfillment service extends to international locations, including the United States and Europe.
1. Easy Integration
Easy integrations are part of the software program. With up to 40 supported shopping carts and retail platforms, multichannel businesses can integrate all their stores into one dashboard.
2. Order and Inventory Management
eShipper simplifies inventory management by giving you complete visibility and control over the inventory status. Automatic alerts keep you updated about dipping inventory levels. Orders processing is completely automated. Orders are imported and tracking numbers are automatically sent when it is fulfilled.
3. Custom Packaging
eShipper uses a 4D boxing algorithm that auto detects the most economical packing option depending on the package dimension. You also have the option to custom brand the packaging with your logo.
4. Sales Dashboard
The sales dashboard shows you updated sales statistics on the number of orders as well as revenue. You can filter this by region to know how to run targeted ad campaigns.
On the face of it, eShipper looks like any other 3PL fulfillment service. But if your primary market is Canada, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option. They cut across zones and allow you to get the best shipping costs and lowest transit times. They also ship internationally.
7. Huboo Fulfillment
Best Ecommerce Fulfillment Center in UK
Huboo is on a roll. This U.K.-headquartered ecommerce fulfillment service for online retailers has recently raised 14 million pounds in a fresh round of funding. That’s driven by the staggering growth this platform has generated ever since its inception in 2017.
Huboo brings to the UK marketplace, what ShipBob does to the US. It offers small to medium sized merchants with a fully-stacked platform that takes guesswork out of fulfillment.
They integrate with leading sales platforms, offer inventory management, picking, packing and shipping to boot. But it’s not just the common platforms like Amazon & eBay mind you. They also offer some relatively lesser known integrations such as ‘Not on the High Street’.
Fulfillment Services and Pricing
Huboo’s offers an all-inclusive pricing model which includes inbound, receiving, picking 1 unit and postage/courier costs. Additional picks will be charged extra. The pricing depends on the package size and dimensional weight.
- Fulfillment Charges – Huboo’s fulfillment charges start from 95p for a small letter weighing up to 20 grams, to £15.28 for a small to medium sized parcel that weighs up to 2 kilograms. These prices are for standard shipping, which is a partially tracked service. You can avail of fully tracked services, or opt for one of Huboo’s subscription tiers depending on the sales volume.
- Storage – Huboo offers free storage for the first two months, after which storage charges will depend on the package dimensions. Pallet storage is priced at £4.95 per week.
- Packaging – If you are looking for custom packaging, the prices start from £0.30 for letters and extends to £2.95 for extra large parcels.
Huboo is one of the fastest growing ecommerce order fulfillment services in the EU & UK with a warehouse network that covers some of the important markets in EU. Here’s a look at their key features.
1. Instant Setup
Anyone can sign up with Huboo even with the most basic information and start importing products. The onboarding is as simple as it gets. The integrations make it easy to connect your digital stores to key marketplaces and begin selling straight away.
2. Custom Integrations
Huboo covers the most important sales channels and marketplaces in the ecommerce industry. But in case, you sell on a marketplace that’s not integrated by default into the dashboard, Huboo will do a custom integration for you at no additional cost. They have an open API and in-house development team.
3. Network of Warehouses
As we mentioned briefly, this 3PL company boasts of a vast network of fulfillment centers across the UK & mainland Europe. Recently, a new one was added in Netherlands. This allows you to reduce transit times across Europe. Huboo also ships internationally mind you.
4. Free Receiving
Huboo does not charge you a dime for receiving and stocking the inventory. In fact, it’s completely free for two months. This is a great way to test your product in the European market without adding to your capital expenses.
5. Micro Warehouse Hub
Huboo offers a unique feature called the micro-warehouse hub. This provides brands with a dedicated warehouse manager, allowing you to stay one step ahead of your inventory management. Huboo also has a 99.9% picking accuracy rate.
6. Comprehensive Dashboard
Huboo’s fulfillment dashboard has an intuitive layout and is easy to navigate. You get a bird’s eye view of the entire operation, including sales, inventory levels, associated costs and billing.
If you sell primarily in UK & Europe, then Huboo is the probably one of the best ecommerce fulfillment services that you can find. They cover most of the important markets, have a sizeable presence across Mainland Europe, and have an easy pricing model. Most importantly, Huboo has consistently managed to retain positive reviews, which is an uphill task in this industry.
Best Order Fulfillment Company In Europe
Omnipack is one of Europe’s premier 3PL services that’s based in Poland. They offer faster reach into the European Marketplace, particularly the DACH region.
Omnipack is a fully-stacked ecommerce fulfillment service. Right from receiving the inventory to delivering it to the customer, Omnipack handles everything and offers brands with a single, user-friendly interface for business management.
Ever since the ecommerce boom in the European sector, Omnipack has been on an expansion spree. They have recently added two warehouses to their fleet in Nadarzyn and Gorzów Wielkopolski, taking your products closer to the German Polish border.
Fulfillment Services & Fees
Omnipack offers an all-in pricing model, which means that you have fewer numbers to deal with. Also, they only bill you for the services you use. In other words, if it’s a low sales season, you only pay for the packages that were packed and shipped.
However, they have a custom pricing model, which means that you will get a custom quote depending on the number of orders each month, volume of storage space, packaging requirements and additional non-standard services. They send out an invoice each month with all details itemized.
Omnipack’s feature list ticks all the important boxes that ecommerce merchants look for in the current, competitive marketplace. They currently have over 100 clients across different business verticals. That list includes some impressive names, such as Motorolia, Wish, Saint and Sofia, Olsen.
1. Integrations galore
Omnipack offers all the standard integrations, which includes ecommerce stores and direct marketplaces. The onboarding process is unbelievably simple and their support team is always around to ensure that you don’t struggle with technical details.
2. Fast Global Deliveries
Omnipack is one of the few ecommerce fulfillment services in Europe that’s located at a stone’s throw from Warsaw airport. This strategic location makes next-day delivery to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the whole of Central and Eastern Europe possible. Also, don’t forget Poland’s proximity to China on the railway route.
Q4 is the busiest season for ecommerce businesses around the world. But it can also be a missed opportunity, rife with orders gone missing, or stuck in transit. Omnipack offers a scalable service that can take on the additional volume without affecting the SLA.
4. Cost Optimization
One of the features of Omnipack that we like the most is the cost optimization that they offer. The Micro-hub model ensures that you have your own dedicated warehouse, within their warehouse of course.
So, you will incur a fixed cost for storing the goods, regardless of the volume. The pricing is variable, which means that during low sales season, you won’t incur a fixed cost. You are only billed for the orders that are fulfilled.
With same-day and next-day delivery in the DACH region, Omnipack has a USP that few other ecommerce fulfillment services can boast of. Their optimized pricing pattern also makes it an economical option with very little upfront costs.
9. eStore Logistics
Best 3PL Fulfillment in Australia
eStore Logistics is one of the biggest ecommerce fulfillment services in Australia, that uses a mix of state-of-the-art technology and good old manual inputs, to deliver up to 20-million packages every year.
They offer late cutoffs for same day delivery and use autonomous robots for error-free pick and pack. Oh yes, you heard that right. eStore Logistics has two warehouses that are manned by around 200 AI-powered robots, that detect the most efficient picking paths and order groupings.
According to eStore, this has increased pick and pack efficiency by up to 4x.
Fulfillment services and fees
eStore Logistics uses a quote based pricing model that’s based on three simple parameters. The number of ecommerce sales you generate each month, the number of pallets you need for inventory storage & the cubic square meter of shelf storage that’s required.
Lastly, they check whether the inbound inventory is bar coded on a unit level. These simple questions are all you need to answer to get a single fulfillment cost for a single parcel. This includes the cost for receiving, storage, picking and packing, and shipping.
eStore Logistics’s automated fulfillment centers and fully-stacked cloud based logistics software currently handles fulfillment for 10 of Australia’s top 50 eCommerce businesses including Kogan.com, Temple and Webster, Patagonia, and Hairhouse. Here’s a look at their key features.
1. 3-Hour Deliveries
eStore logistics makes it possible to deliver parcels within specific locations in Australia within 3-hours. They have a delayed 4pm cut off service for same day deliveries. Same day deliveries are a proven way to increase click-through rates and sales volume.
2. Optimized Shipping
Just like Omnipack and many other leading 3PL fulfillment services, eStore Logistics uses a Freight Optimisation System, which is an AI-powered inventory distribution and carrier selection module. It automatically distributes your inventory amongst the warehouse network to optimize shipping costs and transit times.
3. Cloud Based Customer Portal
This 3PL logistics company offers a fully loaded cloud-based customer portal where you can view real-time stock levels, manage orders, manage returns, view real time return status and generate reports.
The best part is that there is no setup fee for using the software or onboarding. Everything is included in the per-parcel fulfillment quote you receive.
4. Service Guarantee
eStore has some of the best service levels in the industry and they back it up with reliable guarantees. If they fail to meet the SLAs, they pay you in return.
eStore logistics with its unit-based price and automated fulfillment centers bring accuracy, speed and reliability into your ecommerce business. Whether it’s cost effective depends on your sales volume and your business goal.
But if you seek credibility and a great customer experience, 3-hour deliveries and a 99.92% accuracy in pack and pack, are just what you need.
Fulfillment Service FAQs
What is fulfillment in ecommerce?
Fulfillment is everything that happens after the customer clicks on the ‘Buy Now’ button. It is the process where the order is received, it is picked from the warehouse closest to the customer, it is packed and shipped. The tracking details are automatically sent to both, the business and the customer.
Without an ecommerce fulfillment center, a business would have to accomplish all of these tasks manually, which leaves them with little time to focus on sales and marketing. Fulfillment services do the heavy lifting and they do it with efficiency.
What is an ecommerce fulfillment center?
An ecommerce fulfillment center is a warehouse that can be rented or owned by the fulfillment company. It is used to receive inventory, sort and store the inventory in bins, shelves, or pallets, and pick, pack and dispatch the inventory after an order is received.
Many fulfillment services these days use a network of fulfillment centers to distribute inventory. This reduces transit time by ensuring that the package is always stored in a fulfillment center close to key target markets.
How do fulfillment services work?
Fulfillment services can be partial, like a 3PL that only handles the logistics, or it can be fully stacked, which means that it handles all the components that go into successfully delivering the shipment.
This includes warehousing the inventory, optimizing inventory distribution, receiving orders, accurately picking the package from the warehouse, packing (packaging), shipping it, and informing customers about their order status.
This is a rough outline though. The exact workflow may be different for different services.
How much do fulfillment centers cost?
That depends entirely on the type of service you choose. Some services have a scattered pricing model, which means that every step of the supply chain is billed separately. For instance, you will be billed for
Some services like Deliverr, consolidate all these charges into a single fulfillment cost, or separate charges for fulfillment and storage. This is generally easier to work with, rather than dealing with multiple separate charges.
That said, sometimes the per unit cost is not the most efficient one for certain businesses.
Benefits of Working With a 3PL Fulfillment Service
Let’s face it. You can either maintain focus on generating sales, or divide your attention into the multiple phases of the ecommerce supply chain. Most businesses would prefer to focus on generating sales. That’s where a 3PL fulfillment service comes into the picture.
A 3PL will take the weight off your shoulders by automating most tasks of the supply chain. Here are some of the important benefits of working with one.
1. Razor focus on growth
If there’s anything that deserves your undivided attention, it is business growth. With logistics, warehousing and shipping out of the way, you will be able to give it your 100% without dealing with hassles.
With a 3PL partner, you can focus on expanding your sales into international markets, or aim to penetrate newer unsaturated markets, that were previously difficult to reach.
3. Cost Effective
The right 3PL service will be a cost effective addition to your ecommerce business. It will use its partnerships with logistics providers and warehouses to bring better rates and faster shipping times. This translates into credibility and brand recognition.
4. Easy Management
Most 3PL also offers a cloud based software that allows you to manage the entire operation from a single dashboard. You can import products, send products to warehouses, manage orders, select packing, use branding, change shipping providers and stay updated about your entire operation.
Even this is just scraping the surface of what a 3PL brings to the table.
How to Choose a Fulfillment Company
Every ecommerce business today can benefit from a fulfillment service. These services will reduce your overall workload as well as streamline the entire supply chain, by consolidating most of the individual services under one umbrella.
However, not every ecommerce business is cut from the same cloth. At Sourcinbro, we deal with small brands that are currently generating just 10 sales a day to large ones shipping thousands of orders.
The ideal fulfillment company for both these types of businesses will be very different. Here’s a brief checklist that we have prepared for businesses, to help them while selecting a fulfillment company.
1. Do They offer Everything You Need?
The basic needs for all ecommerce businesses are the same. But some businesses have specialized requirements. They need custom packaging, a cold chain delivery system, or a temperature controlled warehouse, for instance.
Does the fulfillment service offer everything you need?
The last thing you want is to sign up and finish the onboarding to realize that one of the critical services is not offered by them.
2. Transparent Pricing
Regardless of whether they have separate fees for individual services or a consolidated single price per unit, the pricing needs to be transparent. We have seen numerous services that have hidden charges that will be revealed when you begin to work with them. Always analyze the pricing in detail.
3. Startup Friendly
Startups typically look for easy onboarding, free account setup, low MOQs, low or no minimums & no long term commitments. There are many services in this list that meet these requirements.
At the same time, the service needs to be scalable too. Startups can quickly grow into large brands generating thousands of orders a day. The fulfillment service you choose should be capable of handling the extra volume without buckling down under pressure.
5. User Friendly Dashboard
The dashboard or the cloud-based software that the fulfillment service uses is a critical, but terribly underrated aspect of the selection process. Software can be buggy, prone to glitches or just plain difficult to work with. Else, they can be user friendly and easy to navigate.
Does the fulfillment service include the software in the core offering? Is the software user friendly? Check if they can offer you a free test run, like free signup and imports. Do they offer easy integrations with shopping carts and sales channels? Can you easily generate reports?
6. Customer Service
Does the service offer you a dedicated account manager? Brands these days use fancy terms to describe the account manager. But it’s essentially the same thing. A single point of contact that you can reach out to anytime.
What are the support communication channels? Sometimes, it’s extremely annoying to wait for email support to respond. You need fast answers.
Check out our detailed comparison with ShipBob, Deliverr, and ShipMonk
Bonus: How to Send Inventory from China to 3PL Warehouses
So, you have decided that you are going to go with one of the order fulfillment companies that we have listed above. The next step is to send your inventory to their warehouses.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to do that.
1. Get Accurate Packing Information
The first and most important step, ensure that the packing information is accurate and contains all these details at the bare minimum.
- Product Weight
- Packaging Dimension
- Quantity per carton
- Carton Weight
- Carton Dimension
We recommend not mixing SKUs in the same box to avoid long processing time and additional charges.
2. Generate the Inbound Label in 3PL’s System
Head to the 3PL’s dashboard and print out the inbound labels. It’s a small form that provides the fulfillment provider with all the details of the incoming shipment.
You will need to enter the SKU, the product quantity, whether it will be a standard delivery or Less than truckload, shipping label information and so on.
3. Choose the Shipping Method
There are three shipping options to send your inventory to 3PL warehouses.
Sea Freight – Your inventory will be shipped by Sea in container vessels. Depending on the quantity of the inventory (Full Container Load or Less than Container load), you may be able to share the container or rent an entire container.
Sea Freight is generally preferred when you are moving a large volume of inventory. It’s typically more cost effective than air freight. But delivery times can range from 20-40 days depending on the point of origin and the destination in the US.
Air Freight – Faster than sea freight shipping but more expensive. Generally it takes 10-20 days to deliver.
Express Shipping(Like DHL, Fedex) – This is the most expensive option & it usually takes 4-7 days. I’d recommend this option only when you’re selling small items or in urgent situations to catch up the sales.
Whether it’s sea or air freight, if the declared order value to US is more than $800, the traditional way is that you need to go through the process for customs clearance and pay duty & Tax, when it arrives at the port or customs.
But, we use the delivery duty paid (DDP) method for our clients for sending inventory to 3PL’s warehouses. This means that you are not responsible for any delivery cost, tax or unexpected charges that may arise during shipping and delivery.
Once the cargo is shipped, you can sit back and await updates as it reaches the designated warehouse on time.
4. Put the Inbound Label on the Outer Boxes
Ask your dropshipping agent or supplier to attach the label to the box. Ensure that it is not stuck on the seams, where the packaging will be cut or the box opens. It must always be stuck on the side of the box.
An ecommerce fulfillment service can be an invaluable asset to your business. They can automate the entire supply chain, or the most difficult parts of it, leaving you free to focus on your core competencies instead.
Almost every ecommerce brand that used to multitask and handle their logistics in-house, has achieved better efficiency when they outsourced fulfillment to a fulfillment service. It enables you to expand into larger markets and match burgeoning customer expectations with two-day and overnight deliveries.
That said, it is critical that you select a service that works for your business. All of these services have their own advantages. But the one you choose should be the most cost-effective and business-specific for you.
At Sourcingbro, we have been handling ecommerce fulfillment for our clients who ship to key international markets, for the past 4 years. Our flexible pricing, 24/7 customer support, and personalized sales dashboard makes it a breeze to manage the entire operation.
Our pricing is transparent and our vigilant team has a constant eye on every parcel that we ship out.
If you seek efficiency and reliability in ecommerce, without the huge upfront costs associated with some of the big-ticket fulfillment services, speak to us now.
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