Many ecommerce businesses use a fulfillment warehouse to handle stock storage and order shipping tasks. We looked at the most popular options and the rising stars and selected six that suit the range of small business needs. Read on for our review of these fulfillment warehouse options as well as our top recommendations.
|Warehouse Provider||Who is it best suited for?|
|ShipBob||Small & startup ecommerce companies and crowdfunding campaigns shipping under 1000 unique skus.|
|FulfillmentCompanies.net||Sellers interested in finding a custom-tailored solution to match specific order volume, shipping & budget needs.|
|Ships-a-Lot||High-volume Shopify sellers, crowdfunding campaigns & small ecommerce companies selling a large number of unique skus.|
|FedEx Fulfillment||Small, medium & large ecommerce and multichannel sellers, and international sellers looking for an alternative to FBA.|
|Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)||Amazon sellers & ecommerce companies selling via Amazon, their own site & other sales channels.|
|Red Stag||Small to large online sellers who ship high-value, oversized, heavy & special handling products.|
Many factors go into choosing the right fulfillment warehouse for each ecommerce business’s specific needs and budget, so we looked at fulfillment solutions that:
- Meet a range of shipping needs and budgets
- Integrate with a wide variety of online selling platforms
- Don’t require long-term contracts or commitments
- Don’t charge hefty onboarding or setup fees
- Offer simple, straightforward billing
We also took into consideration unique fulfillment warehouse needs like crowdfunding rewards programs, startups, and global market expansion. Finally, we compared account onboarding speed and other benefits such as overall ecommerce business and fulfillment expertise.
All six of the options we reviewed offer the expected fulfillment warehouse services such as secure storage, accurate pick and pack, and discounted shipping. Plus each offers an extra something that answers specific selling and order fulfillment needs. Read on to learn more about our top six fulfillment warehouse picks.
Best Fulfillment Warehouse for Small Businesses, Startups & Crowdfunding Fulfillment: ShipBob
Who is ShipBob best suited for?
Small & startup ecommerce companies and crowdfunding campaigns shipping 1-1000 unique skus.
ShipBob is our number one fulfillment warehouse choice for small businesses, startups, and crowdfunding fulfillment because of their quick onboarding, simple fee structure, low negotiated fulfillment fees, and overall ecommerce business knowledge. ShipBob’s leadership includes former small ecommerce business owners who were unhappy with the fulfillment services they received. So they switched course to provide tailored fulfillment solutions to small sellers, batch shippers, and crowdfunding campaigns.
|Stock storage||$5/bin; $40/pallet - up to 2 skus per pallet|
|Stock shipment receiving||$35/shipment|
|Fulfillment fees||Pick, pack, packaging & shipping costs combine in one customized fee|
|Startup & onboarding||Free|
|Get a free quote||Get a quote from ShipBob for your fulfillment needs here.|
What can ShipBob do for you?
ShipBob offers a range of services that covers all stock storage, picking, kitting, and shipping tasks for daily ecommerce order fulfillment. Plus they offer very budget-friendly batch shipping services, which is ideal for product launches, promotional programs, and crowdfunding rewards.
ShipBob’s account minimums are as low as 100 orders per month, or per batch. But even if your volume isn’t quite there yet, don’t hesitate to call them. ShipBob is happy to discuss your business or program to see your growth plans and forecasts.
In fact, personal service is something that ShipBob takes very seriously, and not just at the account setup stage. They position themselves as your business partner rather than a service supplier. In that, they provide regular communications and report on all facets of your company’s fulfillment operation. This way, any inefficiencies, problems, and savings opportunities are quickly pinpointed and resolved. They also have the expertise to help you expand into international shipping when you’re ready.
ShipBob integrates with five top selling platforms, plus many more via API connections. They don’t charge any onboarding or setup fees if your system connects to theirs through standard integrations or API. ShipBob also can onboard your program quickly. Typical accounts can be up and shipping within a week, or as fast as you can get stock to them.
Another plus that ShipBob offers is three warehouses nationwide. This puts your inventory close to major population centers which saves on both delivery times and shipping costs. To make stock storage and shipping as efficient as possible, ShipBob’s software tracks order delivery destinations to forecast ideal stock levels across its fulfillment warehouse network.
And speaking of inventory, one drawback ecommerce sellers with large inventories may encounter is ShipBob’s stock storage fees. They charge for storage by the item bin or pallet, which can add up if you sell a number of unique items. In this case our next pick, Ships-a-Lot, might save you money in stock storage fees.
Best Fulfillment Warehouse Matchmaker Service: FulfillmentCompanies.net
Who is FulfillmentCompanies.net best suited for?
Sellers interested in finding a custom-tailored solution to match specific sales volume, shipping needs & budget.
If one of the five fulfillment warehouse solutions listed in this guide doesn’t jump out as a ready answer to your needs, check out FulfillmentCompanies.net. They are a team of fulfillment professionals who review your specific stock storage, order fulfillment, shipping, and budget needs. Then they match you to prescreened fulfillment warehouses geared to meet your specific requirements.
|Get free quotes||Get quotes for your fulfillment warehouse needs here .|
What can FulfillmentCompanies.net do for you?
FulfillmentCompanies.net reviews, screens, and constantly updates their listing of more than 500 individual fulfillment warehouse solutions, large and small. Plus, they understand the many factors that make up a successful logistics partnership, from warehouse locations, to price, to shipping specialties, to customer service.
Again, it costs you nothing to work with FulfillmentCompanies.net. It takes just a few minutes to submit a request for a quote here. Once reviewed, they will identify fulfillment warehouses that best fit your needs and connect you to them.
Best Fulfillment Warehouse for High-Volume Shopify Sellers & Stores with Large Inventories: Ships-a-Lot
Who is Ships-a-Lot best suited for?
High volume Shopify sellers and crowdfunding campaigns that need a fulfillment process tailored to their brand and 24/7 access to account experts.
Ships-a-Lot is a top contender in small ecommerce store and crowdfunding fulfillment, with a special nod to Shopify stores. A certified Shopify Partner, Ships-a-Lot integrates beautifully with every aspect of Shopify’s powerful ecommerce platform. In fact, nearly 90% of Ships-a-Lot’s fulfillment clients are Shopify stores. Since the founders began as Shopify sellers, it’s no wonder they service this niche so well. Ships-a-Lot also leverages the power of Shopify to fulfill crowdfunding campaigns, and have helped crowdfunding clients transition to ecommerce by providing them a ready-made Shopify account.
|Stock storage||Flat fee $35/mo. for unlimited products|
|Stock shipment receiving||Free|
|Fulfillment fees||Pick, pack & packaging combine in one customized fee|
|Shipping||Lowest discounted rate|
|Startup & onboarding||Free|
|Get a free quote||Get a quote from Ships-a-Lot for your fulfillment needs here.|
What can Ships-a-Lot do for you?
Ships-a-Lot offers clients core fulfillment services including secure stocking, guaranteed accurate pick & pack, kitting, and discounted shipping. But it handily beats our other picks in one major cost center: Stock storage. Ships-a-Lot charges a single flat fee of $35/mo. to stock your goods, regardless of quantity. Send in one pallet containing stock for one item, or 10 pallets containing stock for 100 items, you pay just $35. Plus, there’s no charge for receiving product shipments. This makes them a top pick for ecommerce companies selling a large number of unique skus
Ships-a-Lot, like ShipBob, quotes its fulfillment fees based on the items being shipped and order volume. But unlike ShipBob, shipping charges aren’t rolled into fulfillment costs. Shipping is billed separately and they pass the lowest discounted carrier rates on to you. This can be quite a savings compared to the rates you’d receive as a small shipper. Plus, Ships-a-Lot operates one Ohio-based warehouse, so orders reach a good portion of the nation’s population within 1-3 days.
Most Ships-a-Lot ecommerce clients ship between 100 to 5000+ orders/mo., and crowdfunding campaigns average about 500 rewards per program. But Ships-a-Lot is happy to talk with you regardless of your current volume, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you don’t yet meet these numbers.
Since Ship-a-Lot’s founders got their ecommerce start on Shopify, they truly know who to make the Shopify platform sing. They are a certified Shopify partner, but also integrate seamlessly with the following top selling platforms using simple app-based plug & play integrations. Learn more here.
Another plus that Ships-a-Lot offers is guarantees on its inventory and order accuracy and 24-hour order turnaround times. If any performance promise is missed, they pay clients $20. Add to that the fact that they pack and ship 24/7, and Ships-a-Lot definitely qualifies for a top spot in our fulfillment warehouse comparisons, especially for small- to mid-volume shippers.
For large-volume sellers, omnichannel power sellers, or those looking to expand globally, an enterprise fulfillment warehouse network like our next pick might be the solution for you.
Best Fulfillment Warehouse for Multichannel Sellers & Global Shippers: FedEx Fulfillment
Who is FedEx Fulfillment best suited for?
Small, medium & large ecommerce and multichannel sellers, and international sellers looking for an alternative to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
|Fedex Fulfillment Service:||Cost:|
|Storage, fulfillment & account setup fees||Quoted per account|
|Shipping||Choice of Fedex shipping methods|
|Get a free quote||Get a quote for your fulfillment warehouse needs here.|
What can FedEx Fulfillment do for you?
FedEx Fulfillment is a newcomer to the fulfillment warehouse scene, but it’s long been in the making. And why not? With global distribution and delivery reach in 220 countries, FedEx already solves many top global ecommerce order delivery and supply chain challenges. So in 2015, they purchased the logistics firm Genco, which added 130 North American fulfillment warehouses to their mix. They also launched a management system that neatly connects to top ecommerce and multichannel platforms including Shopify and Magento. And in late 2017, FedEx Fulfillment launched.
With these many components in place, FedEx Fulfillment is set to stock, pack, and ship all types of products for ecommerce businesses small and large. Perhaps they’re the right solution for you?
Currently FedEx Fulfillment does not publish any pricing, but it costs you nothing to contact them, discuss your fulfillment needs, and get program costs. They’re specifically targeting this service to small and medium online sellers, and many brands have already adopted the new FedEx model. Services can be tailored to match your needs, from basic pick, pack, and ship all the way through custom kitting and branded unboxing programs.
One great benefit to the FedEx Fulfillment option is how it can neatly tie your supply chain, order fulfillment, and delivery needs together under one enterprise management system. Another major plus is FedEx’s global services reach. FedEx handles shipping within 220 countries, and FedEx Cross Border global ecommerce services handles returns, provides secure international checkout, package tracking, and much more. Learn more here.
Many experts feel that FedEx Fulfillment was launched to give ecommerce sellers a viable turnkey enterprise-level alternative to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). But if you’re an Amazon seller, our next pick, FBA, is still the top choice for your Amazon-based sales.
Best Fulfillment Warehouse for Amazon Sellers: Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)
Who is FBA best suited for?
Amazon sellers and ecommerce companies selling via Amazon, on their own site, and other sales channels.
|Stock storage||43¢ - 72¢/mo. per cubic foot|
|Stock shipment receiving||Free|
|Fulfillment fees, pick & pack||Approximately $1.06 - $10.53 per order|
|Shipping||41¢ - 92¢ per pound|
|Amazon Seller fees||15%* of the item’s sale price, on average|
|Amazon Seller account fees||$39.99/mo.*|
|See FBA program pricing||Learn more about using FBA and see pricing details here.|
What can FBA do for you?
For Amazon sellers, using FBA as your fulfillment warehouse is almost a no-brainer because of the many benefits you, and your buyers, will enjoy. For most sellers, offering Prime 2-Day Shipping to Amazon’s vast buying audience is the top reason to use FBA. But Amazon’s Free Shipping offers, practically hands-free order management, and the Amazon trust factor all come into play when considering FBA, too.
Depending on what you store and ship, FBA’s fulfillment fees can be quite competitive and even inexpensive in direct comparisons. However the Amazon Seller Fees,* which average around 15% of the sale price plus your monthly account fee, can make FBA seem costly. But you’ll pay these fees if you’re selling on Amazon, regardless of your fulfillment solution. So it’s best to leave the seller fees out of your fulfillment warehouse cost comparisons.
FBA pricing and the time and costs involved in setting up FBA depends on many factors. We won’t explore those now since we have an excellent guide that outlines everything in detail here.
What you really need to know when considering the FBA fulfillment warehouse is this: If you sell on Amazon, seriously consider FBA. It’s hands-down the easiest way to sell and fulfill Amazon orders. If you don’t sell on Amazon, another fulfillment warehouse solution will likely be a simpler, less expensive choice. If you sell on Amazon and through your own website or other sales channels, consider using both. Let FBA handle Amazon sales, and have another fulfillment warehouse handle orders for your other channels. Most fulfillment warehouses will even stock, label, pack, and ship goods to FBA as needed, which is a tidy way manage FBA stock for your Amazon sales.
Best Fulfillment Warehouse for High-Ticket & Special Shipping Needs: Red Stag Fulfillment
Who is Red Stag Fulfillment best suited for?
Small to large online sellers who ship high-value, oversized, heavy & special handling products.
|Stock storage||$1.25/bin to $15/pallet|
|Stock shipment receiving||$13.25/shipment|
|Fulfillment fees, pick & pack||$2.55 1st item, + 30¢ per additional item|
|Startup & onboarding||Free|
|Get a free quote||Get a quote for your fulfillment warehouse needs
What can Red Stag Fulfillment do for you?
If you sell high-tickets items, oversized goods, heavy products, or even items that require light assembly prior to shipping, Red Stag Fulfillment caters to you. They are less concerned with volume sellers, and instead cater to sellers needing an array of special services.What can Red Stag Fulfillment do for you?
Red Stag Fulfillment is adept at packing fragile, oversized, or heavy goods to ensure safe transit, and even has a video tracking system that follows each order’s inventory through fulfillment process. This is a great security feature that ensures that stock is accounted for and orders are packed correctly. It’s especially helpful if there’s ever a question of order accuracy upon delivery. And if errors are found? Red Stag Fulfillment guarantees their order accuracy with a $50 payout if an error occurs.
Like our other small business fulfillment warehouse picks, Red Stag Fulfillment’s onboarding process is quick and easy. They readily integrate with top ecommerce platforms, and most others via API connections. Red Stag Fulfillment typically can get your account set up and your products shipping within a one to two weeks. Like ShipBob and Ships-a-Lot, Red Stag Fulfillment has no onboarding fees and no long-term contracts. Accounts are managed on a rolling 30-day agreement.
If you ship large, heavyweight items in particular, Red Stag Fulfillment’s fulfillment warehouse is definitely worth considering. They negotiate deep discounts with FedEx for shipping heavy and oversized goods, and pass this savings on to their clients. Plus, they operate two US warehouses, which lowers both your delivery times and shipping costs to most destinations.
Like the other top picks in our field, it costs you nothing to talk to Red Stag Fulfillment’s friendly and knowledgeable account managers and work out a pricing plan for your fulfillment needs. But if Red Stag Fulfillment or our other four picks don’t quite answer your specific needs, we have one more option that’s sure to deliver the right fulfillment warehouse solution for you.
Ecommerce and crowdfunding order fulfillment is, in many ways, a very personal thing for the small business owner. Your company is unique and oftentimes so are your stock management and order fulfillment needs. But now more than ever, outsourcing these tasks to a professional order fulfillment warehouse makes sense, even for small sellers.
There are many options available to you and we covered five top-rated companies that fill a range of small business needs. ShipBob and Ships-a-Lot are two that have been in the ecommerce trenches themselves. Small businesses, startups, and crowdfunding campaigns should see what each has to offer. But sellers needing special services for high-ticket, heavy, or assembly items should look to Red Stag Fulfillment to answer their needs with an accuracy guarantee.
Ecommerce sellers looking to expand into global markets can greatly benefit from FedEx Fulfillment’s global shipping network. And, of course, Amazon sellers should seriously consider using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) since it gives them so many perks that help drive Amazon sales.
If none of the above seem the right fit, visit FulfillmentCompanies.net here and request a quote. Their seasoned pros have the know-how to match your needs with reputable fulfillment warehouse partners that can do the job. In fact, even if one of the above seems a great match, you might just see what FulfillmentCompanies.net comes up with, too. That way, you’ll know you did all your homework when you make your final choice.