Are you looking to deliver faster, outsource all the logistics and focus mainly on marketing and product selection for your Shopify/dropshipping store? Here are some of the best fulfillment centers outside of China which can boost your business and increase those hard earned dollars.
A fulfillment center is a location that is used mostly by small and medium-sized online stores to outsource the logistics. These stores let the fulfillment center know which order has been placed so that they may know where to send it. In short, a fulfillment center is where e-commerce merchants outsource warehousing and shipping for the purpose of fulfilling customers’ orders.
The biggest benefits associated with fulfillment centers are that the online store is relieved of the need for unnecessary physical storage space for the products and you can deliver faster in another country and/or area, with less expenses. The shipping times are ofthen the best using fulfillment centers.
The seller sends the products to the fulfillment center then the outsourced provider ships the products to the customer. These centers make inventory management so easy and allow the entrepreneur more time to focus on other areas of the business. Yes, you could send the products directly from Aliexpress, but the shipping times are, especially during these epidemic times, quite big.
Dropshipping is one of the easiest ways to take your ecommerce business to the next level. You can “stock” a wide selection of amazing products for your customers to choose from, without having to worry about the headaches of things like storing and shipping items.
A fulfillment center is ideal for online store owners who:
- a) Don’t have space for additional products
- b) Need to cut down on costs
- c) Want to expand to new markets
- d) Want to free up their time in order to focus on other matters.
Businesses looking to outsource order fulfillment need to focus their search on providers that can handle their unique mix of stock storage, order handling, shipping, and sales channels. Some businesses simply need economical fulfillment services for large inventories and reliable pick-and-pack services. Others might be looking for Amazon Prime support, international expansion, or specialty packaging services.
Is fulfilment different from dropshipping? How?
Technically, outsourced fulfillment and dropshipping are the same thing. The company that’s completing the dropshipping or fulfillment for you is storing, handling and shipping all of your products, as I’ve mentioned before. Most of them even take in returns without you having to lift a finger.
However, dropshipping generally takes one initial step out of the equation. When companies dropship they generally contact a manufacturer that is already making the products they would like to sell. Therefore, all the retailer has to do is put a product page on their website then communicate to the dropshipper when an item is sold.
This means that a company that makes proprietary, or unique, products doesn’t have a chance to dropship. All of those items need to be built by a separate manufacturer or in-house. Therefore, you could say that fulfillment is different in the fact that your items have to be shipped to the fulfillment company at some point for them to store, while dropshipping often has a situation where the products are already in the possession of the manufacturer or dropshipper.
So here is a list of fulfillment services you might be interested in checking out in 2020.
Fulfillment by Amazon – better known as FBA – doesn’t only allow you to sell on the Amazon platform, but they can help you via multi-channel as well. The beauty of FBA is that you can sell small items and they can even handle inventory by the thousands because they charge by the size and weight of your items.
If you enroll in the FBA program, you can automate order fulfillment by taking advantage of Amazon’s advanced shipping and fulfillment services and earn more sales from Amazon’s coveted Prime customers. About half of all sales on Amazon come from third-party sellers. And out of the top 10.000 sellers, 66% of them use FBA.
The way it work is:
- You send your products to Amazon.
- They store them in their warehouses.
- When a customer orders one of your products, Amazon picks, packs, ships and tracks the order for you.
- They also handle returns and refunds.
All this does come at a price. Amazon charges both storage fees and fulfillment fees, so you’ll want to make sure your products are still profitable after paying Amazon’s fulfillment fees. Also, If you let your inventory sit too long, you could be faced with sky-high storage fees.
The subscriptions start at 5$ per month and it works great with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, SquareSpace, and Magento stores. It also provides shipping services for crowdfunding organizations. ShipBob offers fulfillment centers in major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Brooklyn. This way, you can split your inventory to the location closest to your customers in order to speed up deliveries and lower costs.
There’s also package shipping fees to consider.
Ship Bob is best-suited for small and mid-sized businesses shipping at least 100 products each month. If you’re selling less than that, you may end up simply visiting UPS or FedEx on your own instead.
Its main advantage is that it’s situated in five of the largest regions of the United States: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, and New York. This close proximity to merchants and customers enables ShipBob to provide next- and 2-day delivery services just like Amazon but at an affordable cost for small businesses.
● Low Fulfillment Rates Matter – There are many fees in outsourced fulfillment. If you’re new to the process, it’s hard to identify potential pitfalls. A fulfillment matchmaker can help identify your needs and the related fees to expect when searching for a fulfillment partner.
● Benefit from Free Industry Expertise – Whether you’re selling apparel, books, car parts, or nutritional supplements, you want a fulfillment service that has experience storing and shipping your products. Don’t let your business be their test program.
● Smart Shipping Is a Priority – Warehouse location is the key to economical shipping. Fulfillment Companies can match your geographic needs to well-positioned providers within the U.S. as well as those with international reach.
FreightPros is one of the best freight broker companies and is especially suited for small businesses. Along with affordable prices, you also get excellent customer service, which is a great addition to any 3PL services.
FreightPros gives you access to impressive services, including, LTL (less than load), a wide array of tools that allow you to manage your shipment directly, rail carriers, and so forth.
Overall, the users seem to be satisfied with FreightPros’ services, customer support, pricing, and more. However, there are some negative reviews, especially related to the carrier. Reviews also suggest that the delivery is quick, and these are little or no issues when it comes to transportation.
FreightPros is best-known for offering the best services to small businesses and excelling in everything they do. The management team of the company is exceedingly competent and know how to handle things. Furthermore, the company effectively manages every single detail of the process and offers the best pricing options.
Zendrop was actually built from scratch but a dropshipper who got sick of the long waiting times from Aliexpress. He promises:
- Faster Shipping Times
- 50 free orders per month with the 0$ package
- Custom Packaging
- US Dropshipping
- Private Labeling
- Full Automation
- 24/7 Chat Support
- Bulk Ordering
- Customer Thank You Letters Inside Packaging
- Real Time Analytics
When you upgrade to the $49/month plan you’ll have access to express 4-7 day shipping times. Zendrop only builds relationships and partners with suppliers who have the ability to process orders within 24 hours and get them to your customers within a week.
On the Zendrop dashboard, you have access to thousands of products that they have already sourced. They’re ready to be imported into your store and sent to your customers with record speed. If you’ve done your own research and found a product outside of Zendrop’s immense product catalog, they’ll find a supplier for it and source it for you
Shipstation is known for working well with Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento customers, and it has some wonderful packages that start at $25 per month (not the cheapest one, but it delivers for the money).
The shopping cart integration is one of the best parts of the ShipStation interface, while orders and shipping are all automated on the backend. What’s more is that ShipStation gives you the freedom to add your own branding to all the packaging and anything that goes in the packaging, strengthening the effectiveness of your company in the long run.
A company that started in 2019 and has scaled up nicely since then. Their platform integrates with Shopify, no matter how many you are running, it allows to process thousands of orders with just a few simple clicks, it takes care of virtually everything so you can finally focus on the most important aspect of your business, which is growing your business.
Wiio dropshipping offers additional Custom Product Photos, Product videos and Packaging inserts, Bundles creations on request and hold additional inventory (warehouse).
FedEx Fulfillment boasts a global fulfillment network that’s surprisingly accessible to small businesses—even startups. It services all types of businesses with economical storage, pick-and-pack, and return services, and minimums are just 100 orders per week. It delivers an array of specialty packing services, helps sellers expand internationally, and supports business-to-business (B2B) sales and freight shipping.
The FedEx Fulfillment pricing scheme is custom priced according to a merchant’s needs. Prices for similar providers range from $2 to $8 per order, plus an additional receiving fee of $35 to $40 per hour, while storage costs range from $8 to $15 per pallet, per month.
WhiteBox provides business owners with comprehensive order fulfillment solutions. It makes selling and delivering products to customers a less painful experience. Its services include quality control and knitting, inventory tracking, warehousing, order fulfillment, and online product listing. The solution also offers help when it comes to managing returned products or orders and handling customer service.
A great service they offer is their quality control system. They will inspect things for their clients and troubleshoot on the spot. For instance, is your product missing certain regulatory labels? They’ll have that covered for you. According to them: “We manage your entire online sales process.”
Whitebox calculates the amount of inventory you should send and asks for inventory once or twice a month depending on your product’s demand. This way, you can avoid overstocking and paying for high storage costs. You will be able to have just enough stock to keep your items moving.
Planet Express is advertised as a shipping solution for consumers who want to buy in the United States but have their packages shipped internationally, but they also provide a fulfillment service.
They provide ecommerce, subscription box and Amazon fulfillment at minimal costs for both storage and delivery. If you check out their website they also have fulfillment calculators to determine how much you would be spending on their services.
If you’re looking for a vanilla solution to your needs, their approach entails no bells and whistles but straight to the point bulk fulfillment services.
11. Fulfillman USA
Fulfillman manages your production from inquiry to delivering to your doorstep. They provide a full range of services from sourcing existing products to manufacturing for your company. It is one of the best rated services in the industry, offering a very wide array of (paid) services like taking photos of the products and even professional videos, on top of the usual fulfilment services.
They also have several hundred products in the catalog for very fast shipping.
Fulfillify is a full-service order fulfillment company that is run using 5S Principles and Six Sigma standards so that’s enough to tell you that they are as efficient as they come.
The platform is designed primarily for eCommerce companies, providing its customers with ordering, storage and delivery services. It also offers kitting, custom order assemblies and a returns management program. The company boasts of shipping an average of over 75 million items annually, delivering products to end users all over the globe.
For first time users, Fulfillify offers absolutely free setup and does not require prospective clients to get locked in long term agreements, giving businesses the choice to change providers in case they are not satisfied with the company’s service. Such offers also save clients’ precious time as Fulfillify does all the setting up needed, leaving its customers with a fully functional system.
Fulfillify offers flexible prices for its vast line of services, with volume parameters serving as basis for monthly payments. The paltform’s monthly pricing for its pick and pack services starts at $1.99 per order. Custom prices are also available for the service for shipment volumes exceeding 6,000 orders per month.
For Fulfillify’s product storage service, pricing is computed on a per pallet basis. The service starts at $12.50 per pallet, while the solution’s product receiving is priced at $12 per pallet received per month. The pricing scheme is designed to have client companies save on costs as prices are reduced with increased orders, making the service ideal for organizations of all sizes.
Whiplash is a modern order fulfillment service that is built to scale and takes care of the fulfillment workload for your eCommerce and online selling business. It can handle the day to day management of inventory and fulfillment as well as provide integration and technical support. The service utilizes automation features to streamline vital fulfillment processes from ordering, payment, product tracking, shipping and delivery. It harnesses a network of warehouses for easy product storage and global distribution, and its real time item monitoring and information ensures that every product stored and shipped is accounted for.
They concentrate on the full automation of your business processes and they give you options for scaling up or down depending on your needs. If you need to start bundling your shipping volumes in order to reduce your costs, these guys have got you covered.
You get standardized dashboards
so you can monitor your entire operation from the ground up wherever you are
and whenever you please.
Whiplash pricing is determined by orders per month and comes in 4 categories:
- Lite (up to 500 orders/month) – $2.95
- Small (up to 1,000) – $2.50
- Medium (up to 5,000) – $2.25
- Large (up to 50,000) – $1.90
The above, however, only refers to packing fees. There are other fees for additional items for an order, for promotional items, serial number collection, product barcoding, returns, and storage. You can check out Whiplash’s pricing page to get more details and particulars.
If you’ve been in the printing business for more than, say, a month, you know how difficult it can be to find a printer that provides quality prints, delivers on time, and answers the questions to your customer support. There’s a large collection of printing and fulfillment companies out there, and Printful is one of them.
All you have to do is to send in your product for approval and once it’s approved, they can streamline the process for you. They provide you with custom branding with no minimum order. In this way, it doesn’t matter how much you need as they will be able to provide.
However, they’re an even greater service if you want to drop ship customized products anywhere in the United States.
Printful offers a fantastic selection of tools for creative people who want to explore the benefits of the low-cost dropshipping route for their business. If you’ve always wanted to sell your own unique products, from custom leggings to laptop covers, Printful can help you to do just that, without the headache of warehousing and stock management to think about.
You can integrate Printful with Amazon, eBay, and Etsy – giving you more options to sell online. You can also combine your Printful experience with Shopify, so you can track more of your customer journey, and build better connections with your clients. Other integration options include:
Printful also has a highly reviewed app on Shopify.
The service was founded with providing brands with eCommerce capability in mind, thus, it is not your average, run-off-the-mill order and fulfillment service. The service’s primary objective is to help clients establish and grow their own online sales channels, making it basically an eCommerce management firm whose main offering encompasses all the needs of online sellers.
Symphony Commerce guarantees the speedy delivery of products at reasonable prices. This is made possible by the service’s network of strategic warehouse locations, which also ensures that 98 percent of packages are delivered within two business days from the date of order.
Another key feature of the service is its returns process. The platform automates return shipments, a process that includes inventory, sales data and refunds updates. It is even capable of handling tax computations in cases where a single item is to be returned. In addition to this, suspected fraudulent orders are immediately held and reviewed before being released.
In terms of pricing, Symphony Commerce is built on the premise that a service should be a partner to its customers, Symphony Commerce utilizes what it calls a “pay-as-you-go” model. This scheme helps assure prospective clients of fair pricing, which in the long run, results in business growth and huge cost savings. The service does not have specific pricing packages. Customers are priced based on order volume, fulfillment requirements and gross revenues.
Rakuten has a system called Smartsuite which combines cloud-based fulfillment and management, simplified freight and advanced analytics which help you determine the best route for your packages.
They focus on one business Day fulfilment with delivery within two days for your customers based in the United States. They highlight the accuracy of their services and each order goes through their quality checks to make sure everything is alright before delivery.
RSL also provides seamless integration with Shopify, Amazon, Magento, Bigcommerce. Their client support system is personalized depending on the needs that you have and you can get a response within three hours of your query.
ShipStation is a web-based, multi-carrier
shipping solution for ecommerce retailers. Designed to streamline the
fulfillment process, this software offers a huge number of integrations that
allow you to synchronize your business with the most popular sales channels,
shopping carts, payment gateways, and mail carriers.
The starter plan for ShipStation is 9$/month and it includes:
- All selling channels (unlimited stores)
- One user
- Branded labels and packing slips
- Email and community forum support
The software employs solid design, has obviously been tested thoroughly, and can execute its various tasks efficiently. If you’re running a small to medium-sized business and want a multi-carrier shipping option it’s a great app to use.
Shippo is a shipping software provider that offers discounted shipping rates and the ability to track packages, schedule pickups, and print shipping labels. Below we’ll go over all of the services that Shippo has to offer and what you can get from them as a business if you’re looking to improve your shipping processes.
Shippo pricing starts at $0.05 as a one-time payment.There is a free version of Shippo.Shippo does offer a free trial.
Shippo works most major carriers, so you can likely find your preferred shipping solution working with Shippo. For national delivery Shippo works with:
- United States Postal Service
- FedEx SmartPost
- UPS Mail Innovations
- Canada Post
- Australia Post
- Deutsche Post
- DHL Germany
- DHL Ecommerce
- GLS France
- GLS Germany
- Mondial Relay
- Parcel Force Worldwide
- RR Donnelley
Shippo works with a host of other companies, including ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, inventory management apps, finance software, and more, so you can streamline your operations.
This is one of the less known fulfillment centers in USA that do a great job of handling your orders. The prices are competitive and shipping is fast. Plus, they work with US manufacturers for speedy deliveries.
They are specialized in helping brands with their order fulfillment services in many industries. Verde is a global distribution center, where 50% of their clients are located outside the US, with the other 50% coming from the many corners of North America. E-comm shipments, large retailer shipments, pallet movements and full-truckload shipments are part of what they do daily.
Their customer service is pretty solid, they put their clients first and everyone is assigned a coordinator that they can speak to with regard to their needs.
They also provide product returns management via their sister company, The Returns Lab. The company was put up in order to focus solely on the pain point of customer returns. This has led to streamlined and efficient processes for returning items to the seller.
20. We’ve picked for you several fulfillment companies recommended by the players in the dropshipping industry as an alternative to Aliexpress.
- MarkersRow.com – a great manufacturing fulfillment business
Shopify Fulfillment Network, Shopify’s own fulfillment center, is available to merchants now for early access. The fees start from $2.41 for small packages and can reach up to $80 for very large and heavy products.
Check this video for how you can find a dropshipping agent that can help you scale up your business.
What fulfillment service are you using and why? How much does it cost and what does it offer for the price? Comment below.