ShipNetwork Review: Is This Fulfillment Service for You?
If you’ve been around the block of ecommerce, you likely know just how vital shipping is. After all, it’s inextricably linked with customer satisfaction – and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Amazon Prime has set the standard of convenience. So, now customers expect shipping times of just a few days and often expect low-cost or even free shipping.
So, with that in mind, it’s no wonder that in 2022, 70% of online retailers were working to improve their tracking information to provide a better customer experience, and 38% worry about meeting their customer’s delivery expectations.
This is where fulfillment solutions for smoother, faster, and easier shipping come into their own.
One such option is ShipNetwork. So, here we’ll cover what services ShipNetwork provides, how much it costs, and what to consider before partnering with them.
There’s lots to sink our teeth into, so let’s get to it!
What is ShipNetwork?
ShipNetwork was formerly known as Rakuten Super Logistics before new ownership changed its name in the summer of 2022.
So what does ShipNetwork do?
In short, it handles everything to do with order fulfillment, including warehousing, kitting and packing, supply route optimization, warehouse technology, returns, and shipping. So, by partnering with a fulfillment service like ShipNetwork, you can focus on other aspects of your business, like marketing and customer service, and lean back whenever an order comes in.
Overall, ShipNetwork has over 20 years of experience in the fulfillment industry. During this time, it has established an impressive network of shipping and warehousing partners across the US. This ensures you benefit from 1-day fulfillment and that your customers enjoy 1-2 day delivery times.
On top of this, ShipNetwork offers US-based support and a 100% accuracy guarantee. So if anything goes wrong with product fulfillment on their end, rest assured you’re covered.
ShipNetwork’s setup process is simple. You start by integrating your shopping cart or ecommerce platform with ShipNetwork’s API. There’s no coding needed to do this – ShipNetwork comes with native integrations for major eCommerce platforms, which you can activate in just a few clicks.
Next, you’ll ship your inventory to ShipNetwork’s fulfillment center network. The smart software wires each order placed on your store to the most appropriate fulfillment center for processing.
Shipnetwork Review: ShipNetwork’s Key Services
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a closer look at how Shipnetwork sets out to help with your fulfillment:
As we’ve already hinted, ShipNetwork offers speedy fulfillment services with a 100% order accuracy guarantee. In addition, the company also promises 100% order turnaround by the next business day. This might put your mind at ease where upholding your good reputation is concerned!
ShipNetwork stores your products in one of its many US warehouses. From there, your products are easily located, picked, and packed when an order comes through.
Incidentally, your order details are automatically routed through ShipNetwork’s SmartFill fulfillment management platform. This lets ShipNetwork’s team know which items to include in the order and where to locate them in the warehouse. Then, every order is carefully packed and receives a shipping label. This is then scanned, and automatically your inventory levels are updated accordingly.
ShipNetwork’s fulfillment centers reach over 98% of the US within two days with ground shipping. Their warehouses are located in key locations across the West Coast, East Coast, Southcentral states, and the midwest. Notable locations include Chicago, Las Vegas, Reno, Atlanta, Austin, Denver, and Salt Lake City.
As we’ve just said, ShipNetwork boasts a two-day delivery network, which, as you’ve probably guessed, means all ground orders across the US can reach their destination within 1-2 days.
ShipNetwork’s Xparcel service helps you pick shipping carriers that can cut transit time and shipping costs. Carriers include FedEx, USPS, UPS, and DHL but regional and local carriers are also available. On top of this, all Xparcel carriers offer parcel tracking, so you can keep customers posted about their delivery status.
If orders have to travel further afield, Xparcel offers a range of shipping speeds. Standard ground shipping is usually completed within 3-8 days. Expedited shipping takes 2-5 days, and premium shipping takes 1-3 days. Faster shipping costs a premium, but you’ll need to contact the team for a quote.
Despite ShipNetwork offering 100% accuracy on their orders (meaning that no wrong or broken items will be packed and shipped), there will still be customers who want to return an item because it wasn’t quite what they were hoping for.
Fortunately, ShipNetwork also offers return management services, which include restocking returned items to your inventory when appropriate. Otherwise, damaged items will be discarded as instructed.
It’s also worth noting that ShipNetwork collects the returns and sends them to specific locations on a schedule to minimize transit costs.
Lastly, you can work with the Shipnetwork team to plan your eCommerce return management to suit your needs. The team can give you a quote for the specific services you require.
Implementing product kits can be an excellent way to improve sales and make smart shipping decisions.
For the uninitiated, kitting allows you to bundle multiple items into a unique SKU to treat them as one shippable item. I.e., the products are packed and shipped together.
Kitting items can also increase order value. In terms of marketing, you need to demonstrate how certain products complement each other. This helps to justify to the customer why they should pay a little more for said extra items.
You can kit bundles virtually from your eCommerce platform. The ShipNetwork team can assemble the kits in the warehouse whenever a bundle is ordered. Or you can have ShipNetwork physically pre-package a ready-made kit to reduce human error and fulfillment times.
Another way to secure regular sales and revenue is to sell subscription boxes. These might ship out once every month or at another pre-defined interval. ShipNetwork makes this easier by offering subscription fulfillment services. They’ll assemble and pack all the required elements of your subscription boxes and ship them at the right time.
ShipNetwork also offers assistance if you need to procure or move products from across the country or outside the US. Their SmartFreight service can handle the entire process from pick-up to drop-off and comes with door-to-door tracking.
ShipNetwork shops around for competitive rates for shipments of different sizes, like less-than-truckload (LTL) or full truckload (FTL), so you can pick the most cost-effective transportation for your freight needs.
ShipNetwork takes care of the following:
- Preparing shipping rate quotes so you can pick the best carrier
- Creating the bill of lading (This is crucial paperwork in ensuring international exporters receive payment and importers receive merchandise)
- Booking the carrier
- Scheduling pick-up
- Alerting the shipper or consignee of estimated delivery dates
- Providing customers with proof of delivery.
Finally, what do you do if your products have special requirements? For example, if items have to be kept at a specific temperature?
Fortunately, ShipNetwork offers essential additional services such as:
- Lot tracking: You can track and fulfill products by expiration and freshness date. You can also recall products along the supply chain if they surpass their freshness or if any concerns arise.
- Temperature control: Many products benefit from temperature control besides food and drink. For example, paper products, products with adhesives, musical instruments, electronics, and more. ShipNetwork has temperature-controlled order fulfillment center locations in the US.
- Custom projects: ShipNetwork is willing to partner with eCommerce merchants to meet their unique business needs.
As before, you’ll need to discuss your business needs with ShipNetwork to create a fulfillment plan and receive an accurate quote.
ShipNetwork Review: ShipNetwork’s Integrations
First, you should check that ShipNetwork integrates with your ecommerce platform for a smooth and straightforward setup. This allows orders to automatically transfer to your fulfillment solution.
Ecommerce integrations include:
- Walmart Marketplace
Shipnetwork also integrates with various shipping platforms and carriers To streamline the shipping process and afford you special shipping discounts. It’s worth checking whether these carriers deliver in the regions you’re actively selling to.
Notable shipping integrations include:
- First Mile
- United States Postal Service
ShipNetwork Review: Pricing
ShipNetwork offers customized pricing as they believe no two businesses are identical, so no pricing structure will fit all. You’ll have to get in touch with ShipNetwork for a quote and discuss your unique needs.
ShipNetwork Review: Customer Support
https://ecommerce-platforms.com/go/TryShipNetworkShipNetwork’s sales team can be contacted via phone. However, what support options they offer once you become a customer is a little less clear. With in-house representatives available on the East and West coasts, however, you should get quick responses from one of ShipNetwork’s industry professionals, no matter where you’re based.
On top of this, ShipNetwork has warehouse liaisons whose job is to ensure prompt communication between warehousing and fulfillment.
Additionally, ShipNetwork provides a wide range of resources to help you learn more about shipping and fulfillment. Resources include eBooks, case studies, webinars, and podcasts. There’s also a ShipNetwork blog covering eCommerce, fulfillment, and shipping topics.
ShipNetwork Review: Pros and Cons
Before we wrap up, here’s a quick summary of the key pros and cons we’ve noticed about ShipNetwork:
- Many custom services are available, such as kitting, subscription fulfillment, lot tracking, and temperature control.
- With the Xparcel service, you can optimize delivery time and costs and track your parcels.
- 100% accuracy guarantee
- Provides complete return management, including restocking your inventory
- Integrates with many popular ecommerce platforms
- You can get shipping discounts on major carriers like DHL, USP, and USPS.
- Based wholly in the US with a wide range of warehouse locations, ensuring faster delivery times.
- Pricing isn’t transparent.
- There isn’t a help center dedicated to answering more specific FAQs or resources that speak in depth about any feature.
- We couldn’t find an exact definition of their 100% accuracy guarantee.
- It’s unclear how they enable customers to contact them for support queries, as online resources are primarily geared toward sales.
ShipNetwork Review: Our Final Verdict
ShipNetwork promises reliable, accurate, and fast fulfillment services for ecommerce merchants in the US. This is possible thanks to their extensive network of warehouses and shipping carriers. In addition, they guarantee fast ground shipping, parcel tracking, fully managed returns, and a range of custom services.
If you’re a US merchant, getting a quote directly from ShipNetwork might be a good idea to understand their pricing.
The big downside to ShipNetwork is that there’s little information out there at the moment to fully comprehend their services. It looks good on paper. But as they’ve taken over from Rakuten Super Logistics, it’s yet to be seen whether they’ll turn the poor reviews the company received under previous ownership around.
At the moment, it’s obvious the website design is finding its feet. Unfortunately, there’s insufficient transparency on their website concerning customer support, what’s included in their pricing, and who bears the costs of returns or shipment mistakes.
That brings us to the end of this ShipNetwork review. Let us know what you think in the comments below!