ShipBob Alternatives for Cost-effective and Speedy Ecommerce Fulfillment

In the world of 3rd-party logistics (3PL) ShipBob reigns supreme. But does that mean it’s the absolute best fulfillment provider for every single ecommerce business? Absolutely not! That’s why we want to share some of the best ShipBob alternatives. 

The reason it’s important to explore ShipBob alternatives is not only because it’s wise to shop around, but also because ShipBob isn’t for everyone. You may find that ShipBob doesn’t service a particular country, or maybe they’re not pros at storing and shipping specific products, like with Hazmat services or cold storage. You might also find that some 3PLs are simply more affordable for your ecommerce business, whether that’s due to your shipping volume or the type of product.

With that said, keep reading to learn a bit about ShipBob, then check out the best ShipBob alternatives to choose from. 

What is ShipBob?

ShipBob is a popular ecommerce 3PL (3rd party logistics) provider—which means that ecommerce brands can pay ShipBob to store, package, and ship their products to customers.

Headquartered in Chicago, IL, ShipBob boasts a large network of warehouses and fulfillment centers across the globe. As of this article, they have 26+ US fulfillment centers—spread through the West Coast, Midwest, South, and East Coast—along with 7 non-US locations, including several in Australia, one in Canada, and one in the UK. 

ShipBob is one of the most popular, affordable, user-friendly software and services you can find for ecommerce fulfillment (and they offer 2-day shipping); yet, as mentioned before, there are reasons to consider ShipBob alternatives. If you’re finding that ShipBob isn’t quite right for your business, take a look at the other options you have below. 

5 Best ShipBob Alternatives

From Shopify Fulfillment to ShipHero, we have numerous ShipBob alternatives worth looking into. We encourage you to contact each one for a quote, and consider some of the more unique features and integrations to ensure you’re getting the absolute best fulfillment provider possible. 

1. Shopify Fulfillment

At the top of the list is Shopify Fulfillment. With a wide network of fulfillment centers around the US and Canada, Shopify combines its iconic ecommerce platform with a complete fulfillment network.

We like it when compared to ShipBob due to Shopify’s 2-day delivery, simple pricing, smooth returns, and a smart warehouse management process that decides the most efficient location to store your products based on where customers live. 

Notable Features and Offerings

  • Some of the most affordable 3PL pricing on the market. 
  • A robust network of warehouses and fulfillment centers, located all across the US and in other countries such as Canada. 
  • Fast, 2-day shipping to just about every city in the US. 
  • Inspections, returns processing, and tracking for every order. 
  • Smart fulfillment and warehouse management for the most efficient process. 
  • Free storage for every product that you can sell within 6 months. After that, they start charging for storage. 
  • Options to choose your delivery speed and send anywhere around the globe. 

Pricing and Fees

It’s essential to contact Shopify and go through the actual application, but Shopify does provide some insights into its general ecommerce fulfillment pricing:

  • $7.32 to fulfill a 4 oz (0.15 kg) item
  • $7.76 to fulfill an 8 oz (0.3 kg) item
  • $8.63 to fulfill a 12 oz (0.45 kg) item
  • $13.22 to fulfill a 4lb (1.81 kg) item

All of these prices drop as you add more items to each order. 

Your fulfillment fees include:

  • 2-day delivery when possible
  • Packaging and postage supplies
  • Storage and handling for all products
  • Inventory management within your Shopify dashboard

Why it Might be a Better Alternative to ShipBob

Shopify Fulfillment is one of the best ShipBob alternatives due to its simple, clear, affordable pricing. You can get a quote within minutes online, and there are several aspects of fulfillment already included into the price. Not to mention, you get 2-day delivery to much of the US, along with rather fast and inexpensive international shipping. 

Finally, Shopify Fulfillment combines the ecommerce selling portion of your operation with fulfillment, meaning you don’t have to switch between dashboards, like you’d have to do with ShipBob. 

2. ShipMonk

ShipMonk offers fulfillment for ecommerce stores, retail shops, subscription boxes, crowdfunding operations, Amazon shipping, and more. It’s a direct alternative to ShipBob due to its inventory management software and fulfillment warehouse network. 

You can integrate with your favorite ecommerce platform, while also understanding the entire workflow of your business through a cloud-based software. 

Notable Features and Offerings

  • Choose from standard ecommerce fulfillment, or go with something more unique like FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) prep services, duty paid delivery, or 321 services. 
  • Delivery protection and an automated claims portal for managing chargebacks and lost packages.
  • 321 fulfillments that minimize the complexities of tariff and duty fees for international deliveries. 
  • Actionable reports for everything from cost breakdowns to unit movement, and order tracking to shipping frequency. 
  • Returns and freight management. 
  • Free integrations with some of the top marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. 
  • Integrations with major ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce, and WooCommerce. 
  • Shipping from the 2 strategically located warehouses, on the East Coast and West Coast of the US. 
  • A complete, transparent breakdown of monthly costs. 
  • A “snap and pack” service, where ShipMonk takes a picture of each order before sending it out. 
  • Automated reshipping. 

Pricing and Fees

Pricing from ShipMonk varies depending on the type of fulfillment. For instance, you’ll most likely pay more to fulfill subscription boxes when compared to standard ecommerce fulfillment. You’ll also have to factor in shipping fees, which, by the way, are heavily discounted when going with ShipMonk. 

Having said that, basic ecommerce fulfillment pricing is dictated by your monthly order count. You can calculate ShipMonk fulfillment fees here.

Here’s an example:

  • 0 to 500 orders per month costs $3.00 to pick each first item
  • It’s $0.75 for every additional item per order
  • There’s a $0.20 set fee for promotional inserts
  • Return processing costs $2.00 + $0.50/additional item

Ongoing storage costs (variable) include:

  • $1 per month for a small bin
  • $2 per month for a medium bin
  • $3 per month for a large bin
  • $4 per month for an XL bin
  • $25 per month for a pallet

You should also account for any one-off costs that may come around, like for container unloading, extra packaging materials, and special projects. There’s also a minimum pick and pack fee of $250 per month. 

Why it Might be a Better Alternative to ShipBob

ShipMonk is a wise ShipBob alternative if you need something unique that ShipBob can’t offer, like, perhaps 321 services or seller fulfilled prime offerings. You also might find that the ShipMonk pricing is more affordable for your business, especially since fees decrease with your monthly order count, and there are fixed rates for things like promotional inserts. 

3. Red Stag Fulfillment

Red Stag Fulfillment serves as one of our favorite ShipBob alternatives for two main reasons: it’s a smaller company with excellent customer support, and Red Stag Fulfillment delivers in 2 days to most of the US (with a 1-day option for 13% of the country). 

There are only 2 fulfillment centers when you opt for Red Stag Fulfillment, but they’re so strategically located (in Knoxville, TN and Salt Lake City, UT) that they’re able to reach the vast majority of the United States in just a few days. 

Notable Features and Offerings

  • Red Stag Fulfillment utilizes a robust security and product preservation system at each of its warehouses.
  • They have a fulfillment error rate of just 0.02%, and they’ll pay you if an error does occur. 
  • 2-day shipping to 96% of the US; 3-day shipping for remote corners; 1-day shipping for 13% of the US, mainly around Knoxville and Salt Lake City. 
  • Integrations with top platforms like Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Bigcommerce. 
  • A cloud-based software for inventory and warehouse management. 
  • Tracking and return management. 
  • Real-time fulfillment automation. 

Pricing and Fees

Red Stag Fulfillment has no hidden fees, no SKU management fees, no setup fees, and no long-term commitment. 

You must contact Red Stag Fulfillment in order to receive a custom quote for fulfillment. 

Why it Might be a Better Alternative to ShipBob

As one of the top ShipBob alternatives, Red Stag Fulfillment works well for ecommerce owners tired of working with large fulfillment companies. Red Stag works well if you’d like to have an immediate contact person from the 3PL, but without sacrificing speed. Red Stag is also useful for international shipping, but its main resources go towards fast shipping in the United States. 

4. ShipStation

Although not a direct 3PL alternative to ShipBob, ShipStation offers many of the same software features for syncing with your ecommerce platform, managing shipping, fulfilling orders, and sending out tracking information. 

It’s more of a DIY solution rather than partnering with a 3PL, making it ideal for businesses running their own warehouses or handling their own storage and shipping. As opposed to partnering with a fulfillment company, ShipStation provides the software for you to handle much of it yourself, often allowing for a less expensive fulfillment process. Not to mention, you still receive a team of shipping experts just in case you have any questions. 

Notable Features and Offerings

  • A complete shipping software for in-house shipping as opposed to 3PL partnerships. 
  • Integrated shipping labels and automation. 
  • Product and inventory level management. 
  • Carrier pickup scheduling and end-of-day forms. 
  • A mobile app for keeping track of fulfillment at all times. 
  • Tracking of in-transit shipments. 
  • Multichannel shipping with analytics from all marketplaces. 
  • Integrations with platforms and tools like Amazon, Shopify, Bigcommerce, eBay, Etsy, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, and Magento. 
  • Automation for scans, split shipments, tag orders, and more. 
  • Branded emails, packing slips, SMS tracking, returns, and tracking pages. 
  • Rate shopping, and up to 88% off shipping rates from carriers like UPS, USPS, and DHL.

Pricing and Fees

ShipStation has a fee for its software, but you must also consider shipping fees. 

Here’s a look at the ShipStation pricing plans:

  • Starter: $9.99/mo for 50 shipments per month
  • Bronze: $29.99/mo for 500 shipments
  • Silver: $49.99/mo for 1,500 shipments
  • Gold: $69.99/mo for 3,000 shipments
  • Platinum: $99.99/mo for 6,000 shipments
  • Enterprise: $159.99/mo for 10,000 shipments

You can get an idea of shipping pricing by using the ShipStation USPS Shipping Calculator. 

Why it Might be a Better Alternative to ShipBob

ShipStation may work wonders for businesses just starting out, or those scaling with their own warehouses and fulfillment processes. Essentially, you’re skipping the third-party logistics system altogether and using a software like ShipStation to manage everything from one software. 

5. ShipHero

ShipHero offers a robust network in the United States, but it’s also small enough, so it won’t overwhelm you trying to pick a warehouse. Not to mention, you may find it more difficult to get answers about your products from a provider like ShipBob, so it’s nice to think about smaller networks. 

With over 800k square feet of space, ShipHero is known for its strong southern US presence, in states like Florida and Texas. Yet, they also have warehouses elsewhere in the US, and in Canada. Along with that, ShipHero works as a ShipBob alternatives due to its automation rules and unique 3PL offerings like dynamic slotting. 

Notable Features and Offerings

  • Massive, secure warehouses with 14 foot ceilings, internal badging systems, and excellent security for protecting your merchandise. 
  • Integrations with ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce. 
  • Less common fulfillment and storage options for things like kitting and dynamic slotting. 
  • An open API for merging your other business tools with ShipHero. 
  • Software for inventory management and reporting. 
  • Multichannel selling and fulfillment through marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and Walmart. 
  • Business app integrations like CartRover and ChannelAdvisor. 
  • A unique rate shopping tool to figure out which major carrier has the best rates for your routes. 
  • Return processing that goes right back to the ShipHero warehouses. 
  • Smart warehouse routing so that you don’t need to think about the most efficient place to store products. 

Pricing and Fees

There are three warehouse management systems (WMSs) provided by ShipHero:

  • Essential WMS: $499/mo
  • Standard WMS: $1,850
  • Enterprise WMS: Custom pricing

And the 3PL pricing is formed into one plan:

  • $1,995/mo

Why it Might be a Better Alternative to ShipBob

ShipHero looks like a winner when compared to ShipBob if:

  • You want a smaller, more manageable network
  • You’d rather a simple fee structure with everything included
  • You need direct access to all the US, and maybe Canada, too

Which ShipBob Alternative is Right for Your Ecommerce Business?

There are plenty of other 3PLs, shipping tools, and fulfillment providers that you can look into, but we feel these 5 ShipBob alternatives make the most sense for the vast majority of ecommerce businesses. You can find something unique from all of them, whether it’s particular shipping speeds, or the ability to store unique products. 

If you’re still uncertain about the best ShipBob alternative for your ecommerce website, take a look at our final recommendations: 

  • Shopify Fulfillment: Only use Shopify Fulfillment if Shopify is your ecommerce platform. Compared to ShipBob, it’s often less expensive, and everything gets consolidated into one dashboard—both your online store and the fulfillment module. 
  • ShipMonk: Ideal for unique shipping methods like 321 services. We also like it for some of its fixed storage and shipping rates, which you often can’t get with ShipBob. 
  • Red Stag Fulfillment: Best if you’d like to partner with a smaller operation (for significantly stronger customer service), while also getting fast shipping (sometimes 1-day shipping), but only in the US. 
  • ShipStation: Works well for a DIY fulfillment solution, if you’d rather not partner with a 3PL like ShipBob. This could save you money and provide more control over the fulfillment process. 
  • ShipHero: Excellent if you want smart warehouse routing, a smaller (yet still strong) network than ShipBob, and direct access to Canada via two locations. 

If you need any clarification about the best ShipBob alternatives, or you have experience you’d like to share about the alternatives discussed here, drop us a line in the comments section below!

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