Ecommerce fulfillment is one of the most critical but tricky decisions that you’ll make as a merchant.
More so when you have multiple choices such as ShipBob, Deliverr & Shipmonk staring at you, each with its own USPs, pros and cons.
In today’s article, I will compare ShipBob vs Shipmonk & Shipmonk vs Deliver. I will then pit these services against Sourcingbro and separate the chaff from the wheat.
At the end of this blog post, you’ll be armed with enough information to choose the right fulfillment service for your business.
- Sourcingbro Services
- ShipBob Features and Details
- Deliverr Features and Details
- ShipMonk Fulfillment Services
- Conclusion: ShipBob vs Deliverr vs ShipMonk
Sourcingbro is a dropshipping fulfillment agent that brings reliability into the ecommerce supply chain. One of the common gripes that merchants have, is that agents have a transactional approach towards business.
They will source products and complete fulfillment. But the intent is purely monetary. In other words, it’s not a personalized service.
That’s the void we aim to fill. Sourcingbro brings personalized attention and care into dropshipping.
We believe that care brings accountability. With accountability comes responsibility. In simple terms, we are responsible for your shipments. Every parcel, every single product that we source, every vendor that we speak to, is our own business.
Our vision is to support ecommerce-businesses grow in a sustainable and efficient way.
Sourcingbro can manage the entire ecommerce supply chain for you. Right from helping you find a better supplier, to securely storing your inventory in our warehouse, until overseeing the product till it is delivered to the customer.
Sourcingbro will be your vigilant dropshipping partner never missing an update and never failing to update you.
Here’s an overview of some of our services.
Finding the winning product is half the battle won. The other half is sourcing it from the right supplier. Sourcingbro can help you source your winning product directly from manufacturers who have multiple, effective communication channels, reasonable production lead times & quality that matches your existing vendor.
Let’s look at each one of those factors closely.
The Manufacturer/Supplier – Our endeavor is to help you source the product at a better price when possible, with favorable MOQ & an overall smoother experience. Let’s face it. Suppliers can be unreliable.
Communication is one of the biggest hurdles that merchants face while sourcing from Chinese suppliers. Rather than shopping pig in a poke, Sourcingbro can help eliminate these hurdles using our network of verified suppliers. Our sourcing services do not end with finding a better prospect.
Low risk Inventory Management – We use an input-based inventory management system that allows you to minimize risks by ordering only as much as you can sell. In current times, when platforms can suspend ad accounts in the blink of an eye, this allows you to avoid losses that can arise due to overstocking inventory.
Private Labeling – Private labelling is the key to building a sustainable ecommerce business. Sourcingbro can assist you with branding your product with a custom logo, or bespoke packaging, at reasonable prices.
In simple terms, Sourcingbro takes hassles out of Sourcing, allowing you to focus on sales.
Dropshipping from China to the world offers a plethora of benefits for small ecommerce brands. For starters, you do not need to invest a large amount of cash for inventory. Most sellers will be willing to work with smaller MOQs.
To add to that, shipping costs from China to some key markets, such as Europe, are much lower than the price to ship from warehouses in the USA. This makes it the perfect opportunity for small ecommerce brands to test new products, markets and scale the winning model.
Sourcingbro’s dropshipping fulfillment services will ensure that your package is picked, packed and shipped to precision, every single time. We work with dropshipping businesses & ecom brands big and small. Right from merchants who are generating 10 sales a day, all the way to large brands with 1000s of orders.
Our fulfillment services include but are not limited to:
- Securely receiving and stocking the inventory in our warehouse in China
- Counting and Verifying every shipment before it is stored safely in the warehouse
- Selecting the right packaging material for your shipment
- Picking, Packing & Shipping
Sourcingbro has a battle-tested logistics network that covers 44 countries across the globe and is steadily expanding. We deliver to the US and busy destinations in the EU within 5-10 days. More importantly, we offer prompt solutions for pre-shipping and post-shipping problems that merchants encounter frequently.
We currently offer four shipping options for our clients.
Small Parcels – Send packages from our warehouse to your customers.
Express Shipping – Our shipping partners include Yanwen, 4PX, Yunexpress, DHL & Fedex.
Sea Freight – Sourcingbro can ship your inventory by Sea Freight. You can either rent an entire container (FCL Shipping) or share it with another shipper (LCL Shipping).
Sea Freight is generally preferred when you are moving a large volume of inventory. It’s 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 – If you are not shipping a large volume of inventory, Air Freight might be a better choice. It’s more expensive than sea freight. But we generally recommend it if your inventory weight is less than 500 kilos.
One of the advantages of working with us, is that we use the delivery duty paid (DDP) method. All you have to do is hire us and sit back until your inventory reaches the destination.
We take care of the delivery costs, taxes or any unexpected charges that may arise during shipping and delivery. No hassles with hiring an agent for customs and clearance, or dealing with unexpected charges.
4. Customer Support
No matter the size of your ecommerce operation, you cannot deny the importance of having a reliable support team on-ground. Be it pre-shipping issues or ones that arise after the shipment is dispatched, Sourcingbro will become an extension of your team.
We will vigilantly track every package, every day. This allows us to spot unusual shipments, such as the ones that are stuck, or the ones that are slow, and take prompt remedial action. If the package is damaged in transit, or lost, we will refund you, or reship to the customer for free.
We create a custom dashboard with a project management system that gives you a bird’s eye view of the entire supply chain. Deliveries, delays, transition times, you will get timely updates about everything.
Apart from this, you also get automated updates about inventory levels, a view of the inventory status, shipments, costing and delivery times.
That sums up Sourcingbro for you.
Let’s now take a look at ShipBob, shall we?
ShipBob Features and Details
ShipBob is a shipping software platform & a 3PL combined into one. It has quickly become one of the most preferred fulfillment services for large ecommerce brands, partly due to their fast shipping times, and also due to their streamlined software platform.
The shipping is made possible because of their vast network of fulfillment centers. They have 13 fulfillment centers in the United States, 2 in Canada and 1 in the UK, which translates into one or two-day deliveries for your primary target markets.
Secondly, their software platform and partner integrations cover the entire e-commerce supply chain including Inventory management, Order management, Warehouse management & Transportation management. In a nutshell, it gives you everything you need to run a fast & effective e-commerce business, which is what a lot of brands seek.
Let’s take a look at some of their core features.
ShipBob’s software platform is crammed to the brim with features. But most of these are beyond the scope of this comparison article. So we will look at three key features.
Shipping Options and Shipping Time
ShipBob offers a variety of shipping options such as Fedex, UPS, USPS & DHL. To make things simpler, we’ll just list the 2 most common and affordable options.
This is the most affordable and a relatively fast shipping method. The average shipping time is 4-7 days for the US & 7-30 days for International shipments.
2. ShipBob 2-Day Shipping
ShipBob 2Day, a smart portmanteau that sounds like ShipBob Today, is a fast and affordable 2-day shipping service offered by ShipBob for customers in the continental USA, barring Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, military addresses, and PO boxes.
To understand how reliable ShipBob’s shipping services are, we did an in-depth review about ShipBob. We analyzed 21090 orders and found that the average fulfillment time is about 1-day. That’s extremely fast. Only 6-orders have gotten delayed.
At first glance, it’s a little tricky to figure out ShipBob’s pricing model. But we’ll try and break it down for you. There are different charges that you’ll encounter at each stage of the supply chain.
1. One Time Set Up Charges
ShipBob will charge you a one-time setup fee. This is a customized quote that’s business specific. This means that it might be different from one business to the other. That said, it’s generally around $975. But could vary depending on the size and volume of your operation.
2. Inbound receiving fees
This is a flat rate of $25 for two hours of securely unloading and storing your inventory in bar-coded locations. For every additional hour after that, it’s $35 per man hour.
Storage is priced at a monthly price of $40 per pallet, $10 per shelf or $5 per bin.
4. Pick & Pack
The first five picks in an order are free. It’s $0.20 for the sixth pick and beyond.
5. Shipping Costs
The Shipping cost is a total cost that includes the fulfillment service, which means picking, packing, the packaging material & shipping. This however, is calculated on the basis of the distance of the shipping destination from the ShipBob warehouse where the inventory is stored. ShipBob divides North American markets into 9 Zones and the proximity of the package to the shipping destination will determine the cost.
If you avail standard shipping, the prices are pretty uniform regardless of package dimensional weight and shipping zone. For instance, if your package weighs 10 oz, then the standard shipping cost for Zone 1 is $5.69 and for Zone 9 is $11.66.
If you opt for ShipBob 2-Day, it’s the same for zone 1 and just $11.94 for Zone 9. In comparison, USPS 2-Day costs $76.83 for the same package size.
Additional charges will apply if you avail of any additional services.
ShipBob has 13 warehouses in the USA, one Warehouse in Ottawa, Canada and two in the UK. These are located at Feltham near London & in Ireland.
Like we mentioned, this is one of the biggest advantages of working with ShipBob. The inventory can be distributed to warehouses close to your primary markets. This can be done by using data from your existing orders to reduce costs and transit time.
If you do not have data, you can pick the warehouse that offers you the best price advantage. ShipBob’s Zone Map analysis is immensely helpful for this.
ShipBob vs Deliverr vs ShipMonk: The Pros & Cons
- Integrated solution that handles fulfillment
- Reasonably easy set up while migrating from another service
- 2-Day Shipping in most parts of the United States
- Lots of actionable data at your fingertips for inventory management
- May be pricey for smaller brands
- No personalized support unless you are generating high sales volume
- Lots of additional charges. For instance, if you accidentally miss to fill specific information while sending inventory, they list it as a Unidentified Receiving Order or a URO. This will be charged at an average cost of $25/day until you
Deliverr Features and Details
Deliverr is a 4PL (4TH Party Logistics Service) that offers an interesting alternative from a 3PL such as Shibob. It is an all-inclusive fulfillment service for ecommerce brands big and small. By all-inclusive, we mean that they pick, pack, stock and dispatch your order, essentially taking care of the entire supply chain.
Deliverrr was designed like the Amazon fulfillment (FBA) model, which has become incredibly popular in the past few years.
Just like Amazon FBA, Deliverr allows you to accelerate deliveries across multiple channels that are integrated into the backend. Some of these are Walmart, eBay, and Shopify which you can connect in one clicks. In addition to this, Deliverr allows you to increase your click-through rates by using a unique badge feature that it calls Fast Tag.
Deliverr is an umbrella service that handles the multiple components in the ecommerce supply chain. This means that there are far too many features to list here. You might want to check out our comprehensive Deliverr review over here. For now, we will focus on the three primary features for the sake of uniformity.
1. Shipping option and time
Deliverr’s shipping options can be divided into Fast Tag & Non-Fast Tag. Here’s an overview of the options and the time taken for delivery.
2. Fast Tag Services
- Walmart Fast Tag – Standard, 3-Day and 2-Day
- eBay Fast Tag – 3-Day & 4-Day
- Wish Fast Tag – 2-Day
- Google Shopping – 2-Day & 1-Day
- Websites (Shopify, Bigcommerce) – 2-Day & 1-Day.
3. Non Fast Tag Services
- 3 Day
- 2 Day
- 1 Day
Deliverr has a network of warehouses across the United States that it rents, unlike Shipbob which owns their warehouses. This allows you to distribute your inventory directly to a warehouse depending on your markets. This allows you to avail the fastest delivery time at the lowest cost.
Also, Deliverr offers 2-day deliveries in 95% of America.
Deliverr’s pricing model is reasonably straightforward as compared to Shipbob, which has a whole bunch of different charges. Deliverr consolidates everything into two charges.
Fulfillment Fee – The fulfillment fee depends on the package weight, dimensions and service level that you choose. It includes the cost of the pick, pack, box and shipping it. These charges are different for fast tag and non-fast-tag. for package weighs 10 oz, Deliverr standard shipping price is $5.99.
Storage Fee – 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. The pricing may change depending on the season.
Fast Tag or Fast-Shipping Tag is an exclusive service that allows you to display AWS like shipping badges on your product listings across a wide range of platforms that Deliverr integrates with. These include sales channels such as Walmart, eBay where you can display a ‘Free Next Day Delivery’ badge to eligible customers.
On Facebook Ads, Instagram, Shopify Websites & Google Shopping, the products will display a ‘Free 2-Day Delivery’ badge.
Fast Tags are immensely beneficial for more reasons than one. They significantly increase click-through rates and according to numerous case studies presented by Deliverr, sales volumes as well. But they can also increase visibility and allow your product to stand out from the rest in a marketplace.
Deliverr vs ShipMonk vs ShipBob: The Pros & Cons
- Extremely easy UX with clean, intuitive navigation. Even a rank newcomer can set up and import SKUS without struggling too much
- Easy shipping option mapping. There are just three to four services to choose from and you can easily map these to the closest match in your store
- Cheapest shipping and fulfillment prices in USA
- Fast delivery times. 95% of the USA is eligible for 2-day deliveries.
- No international shipping
- Does not handle buyer returns. If your business generally experiences a large volume of return shipments, this may not be the ideal service for you.
- Despite an intuitive interface, the dashboard lacks key metrics. We prefer a dashboard that shows all important details at one glance.
We hope that you are with us so far. Now, let’s take a look at Shipmonk.
ShipMonk Fulfillment Services
ShipMonk is a cloud-based inventory management solution that started in 2014. In a span of 7 years, they have risen to one of the top 3PL fulfillment services for startups, e-commerce merchants, subscription box companies and crowdfunding campaigns. A recent funding boost hints that more features may be on the way.
ShipMonk offers a 4-in one cloud-based software that can manage the entire ecommerce supply chain for you. The services include LTL shipments, inventory management, kitting, warehouse management, forecasting, packaging support, and Seller fulfilled prime and deliver duty paid.
They boast of over 100 one-click integrations including marketplaces like Etsy, Jet, Sears, Walmart, Target & Wish. They have a network of 3 warehouses in the USA and offer returns management and custom packing procedures.
With a current order volume of 1-million shipments a month, it is a smaller service than ShipBob, which makes it sound appealing to smaller merchants. To be honest, there are a lot of good things about ShipMonk, including a clean UX and a simple pricing pattern. But there are some limitations too and a few hidden charges that can quickly add up.
Let’s take a look at the three core services that we have used to compare these services all along.
Shipping option & Shipping time
ShipMonk has a custom pricing model which makes it a little tricky to get right, the first time around. So we have tried to simplify it a little. Here’s an overview of their shipping options with the estimated delivery times.
- Free Shipping for All US Orders – 6-9 Days – Free for the customer – Chargeable to you
- Economy Shipping – 2-5 Days – A small additional fee. They use the same shipping method for this as for free shipping.
- Domestic Express – 2-Days
- Domestic Express Overnight – Provides three different delivery slots with varying prices
- Economy International – Standard option for all international shipments
- International Express – 2-4 Days
They allow you to mark up the prices for any shipping method to offset any losses that you may be making by offering free shipping. Alternatively, you can offer free shipping only for a minimum cart value. For instance, free shipping only if the cart value is $100.
Lastly, if you are subscribed to the premium version of Shopify or are using another shopping cart that supports live rates, you can connect your store directly to shipping calculators for FedEx, DHL Express, and USPS. These allow you to display live rates based on the customer’s shipping zip code and factor in the rate you’ve set up in your shopping cart. However, for this to work you have to ensure that you set the right package weight and dimensional weight beforehand.
The carriers that ShipMonk recommends depends on the package size and dimensions. Here’s an overview.
- Free Shipping- 0-1 lbs. – DHL Expedited 1-5 lbs. DHL Expedited Plus (flys) or FedEx SmartPost (ground – but cheaper) 6+lbs. FedEx Ground
- Economy – 0-1 lbs. DHL Expedited 1-5 lbs. DHL Expedited Plus (flys) or FedEx SmartPost (ground – but cheaper) 6+lbs. FedEx Ground
- Domestic Express – FedEx 2-day Standard or Priority Mail (not guaranteed)
- Domestic Overnight- FedEx Overnight Standard
- International Economy- DHL Global Mail Packet Plus
- International Express- FedEx Priority or DHL Express
ShipMonk uses a volume-based model to calculate pricing. The more inventory they handle, lower the prices. If you are clocking more than 10000 sales a month, you may be eligible for a custom quote which may be better than what’s listed here.
Here’s an overview of their pricing model for ecommerce fulfillment only. They have different prices for box subscriptions, FBA prep & Retail, mind you.
1. For 0-500 orders
- 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
2. For 501-1000 orders
- First time order pick fee – $2.25/order
Everything else remains the same.
3. For 1001-2500 Orders
- First time order pick fee – $2.00/order
- Additional Items for orders with two or more items – $0.40 per item/order
Everything else remains the same.
4. For 2500 – 5001 Orders
- First time order pick fee – $1.80/order
- Additional Items for orders with two or more items – $0.35 per item/order
5. For 5001 – 10000 Orders
- First time order pick fee – $1.50/order
- Additional Items for orders with two or more items – $0.30 per item/order
One of the things that’s not mentioned here is that ShipMonk offers free receiving for all orders regardless of volume. This is a service they call ‘Good Faith Receiving’ and most other 3PL will charge you for it. The caveat is that unlike their verified inventory program which is charged extra, the inventory will not be counted. They limit their liability to $10/unit for full cartons if any are found missing. The liability is only with them if a full case goes missing.
ShipMonk has three warehouses. These are located in –
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Los Angeles, California
- Pittston, Pennslyvania
ShipMonk’s system automatically selects the warehouse when you send an inbound shipment.
ShipMonk vs ShipBob vs Deliverr: The Pros & Cons
- No minimum order value. So even a startup generating 2 sales a day can join them at no additional cost as compared to what a 500/order merchant would incur.
- Lots of integrations.
- Every new account is assigned a ‘Happiness Engineer’, who is always around for prompt responses
- They have a Live Chat support system
- Email and Telephone support as well
- Tricky pricing pattern. Also, it’s difficult to estimate some of the charges that may not be mentioned up front. Such as the verified inventory program. We were unable to find the exact cost for that.
- The monthly minimum of $250 may be expensive for small businesses
- Only 3 fulfillment centers
- Slightly higher shipping costs as compared to other 3PL.
Conclusion: ShipBob vs Deliverr vs ShipMonk
That sums up our detailed fulfillment service comparison article. We hope that you find it useful while trying to narrow down on the best ecommerce fulfillment for your business. Here’s a quick summary of what we covered so far, along with a recommendation on when to use one of these services.
1. Use ShipBob if you have stable sales volumes and want to expand fast
ShipBob is best suited for large ecommerce brands that are steadily generating three digit sales volumes. They have one of the best dashboards, a very easy onboarding process and some of the best shipping times.
But they lack one-on-one customer support. Some of their charges are unreasonable and there is an equal onus on the brand to ensure that everything is in order.
2. Use Deliverr if your target market is the USA & you prefer cheaper price
Deliverr is one of the best ecommerce fulfillment services for brands selling primarily in USA. It has an extensive network of warehouses that make it possible to deliver to 95% of US in 2-days. Their fast-tag service is an excellent add on for sellers on platforms like Walmart and eBay.
But they do not offer international shipping, nor do they handle buyer returns.
Besides, their dashboard lacks the key metrics that one looks for at a single glance. So, you’d have to weigh the options and make a choice.
3. Use ShipMonk if you are a small brand or you need subscription box fulfillment service
To be honest, ShipMonk doesn’t offer anything that the other two fulfillment services do not. The only scenario that we feel works in its favor is if you are generating a small volume of sales, like say 2-10 orders a day, or you seek a custom quote for more than 10000/sales a month.
We liked their customer support and their onboarding process. But the pricing pattern is tricky and it’s often easy to not notice the fine print.
4. Use Sourcingbro if you seek a reliable sourcing agent who can oversee the entire operation
Sourcingbro can become an extension of your business and oversee the entire ecommerce supply chain. Our services are flexible and we don’t have hidden costs. From secure warehouses in China to warehouses in USA, we can deliver your inventory securely at flat Duty Paid rates.
Most importantly, we offer a custom dashboard that takes guesswork out of business management. You get all key metrics at one single place, backed with our reliable, 24/7 customer support.
Click here to schedule a call with us and seek an obligation-free quote for your business.