Ecommerce shipping software lets you compare shipping rates among different carriers, select the best option for each parcel, and print shipping labels. We reviewed the best shipping software providers and found that ShippingEasy, ShipStation, and Ordoro cover a range of small business and ecommerce shipping needs in terms of price, ease of use, and key features.
Best Overall Ecommerce Shipping Software for Small Business: ShippingEasy
ShippingEasy is our recommendation for the best shipping software because it offers a free starter plan and is competitively priced as needs increase, is extremely user-friendly, and connects to virtually all ecommerce platforms. It also delivers timesaving and revenue-building tools, such as multichannel inventory management and email marketing tools — and help is just an email or phone call away.
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Best Ecommerce Shipping Software & Rate Comparison Tool 2018 Summary Table
Price Per MonthLearn More
|Free (50 orders/month)$29 (500 orders/month)$49 (1,500 orders/month)$69 (3,000 orders/month)$99 (6,000 orders/month)Multichannel inventory starting at $14; email marketing starting at $3||$9 (50 orders/month)$29 (500 orders/month)$49 (1,500 orders/month)$69 (3,000 orders/month)$99 (6,000 orders/month)$159 (Unlimited)Includes basic inventory tracking||Free (50 orders/month)$25 (700 orders/month)$49 (3,000 orders/month)$129 (Unlimited)Shipping + multichannel inventory plans$299 (1500 orders/month)$499 (4000 orders/month)|
|Best For||Overall best shipping software value||Best for high volume and truck freight shippers||Best for advanced inventory and dropshipping|
|Ease of Setup & Use||Easy||Easy||Easy|
Compares Rates for Multiple CarriersLearn More
|UPS, FedEx, USPS & DHL||UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL & Canada Post, plus 25+ others to support international, freight, & fulfillment services||UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL & Canada Post|
|Supports Carrier Discount Rates& USPS Commercial Rates||Shows your discounts for UPS, FedEx & DHL Offers users USPS Commercial Base & Plus Discounts||Shows your discounts for UPS, FedEx & DHLOffers users USPS Commercial Base & Plus Discounts||Shows your discounts for UPS, FedEx & DHLOffers users USPS Commercial Base & Plus Discounts|
|Order Management Features||All levels - print order packing slips, invoices & prepaid return labels||All levels - print order packing slips, invoices & prepaid return labels||All levels - print order packing slips, invoices & prepaid return labels|
Shopping Cart, Seller Marketplace & Multichannel IntegrationsLearn More
|35+ shopping carts, marketplaces & multichannel selling tools||53+ shopping carts, marketplaces & multichannel selling tools||18 shopping carts, marketplaces & multichannel selling tools|
|Multiple Store & Seller Marketplace||Unlimited sales channels on all plans||Unlimited sales channels on all plans||Free plan - 1 channelUnlimited channels on all paid plans|
Drop Ship & 3PL FulfillmentManagementLearn More
|Drop ship - Not automated, but supported through the inventory planFulfillment - via API||Drop ship - Not automated, but can be supported Fulfillment - integrates with many providers and via API||Drop ship -Automated with paid Shipping+Inventory plansFulfillment - Built-in integrations plus API|
Optional Inventory FeaturesLearn More
|GreatInventory includes updates to sales channels, purchase orders, receipts, and kitting||FairTracks inventory quantity but no updates to sales channels|
GreatUpdate quantities to all selling platforms, manage purchase orders, receipts, and kitting
Customer Support, Documentation, & TutorialsLearn More
Free - knowledge basePaid plans - Live chat, phone and emailComprehensive setup and support tutorials
|All plans - email and online forumHigher plans - live chat and phoneComprehensive setup and support tutorials||All plans - Free phone and email setup supportOngoing - varies based on planComprehensive setup and support tutorials|
Best Overall Shipping Software for eCommerce Sellers: ShippingEasy
We recommend ShippingEasy as the best overall ecommerce shipping software in 2018 because it delivers the best mix of shipping rate comparison tools, multichannel integrations, and inventory management features for the best price. For the price, ShippingEasy delivers more shipping features than its close competitor, ShippingStation. Plus it also delivers an impressive set of multichannel ecommerce inventory management features that rival Ordoro, but at a fraction of the cost.
In terms of multi-carrier shipping software for rate comparison and shipping label printing, ShippingEasy vs. ShipStation vs. Ordoro all perform equally well. Each of our best shipping software picks let you compare shipping rates among various carriers, select the best shipping option for each parcel, and print labels with ease. All three also handle return labels, print packing slips or invoices, support batch and automated shipping rules, and send tracking information to sales channels and customers. All three also save users between 10 to 65 percent off USPS shipping via Commercial Base and even lower Commercial Plus discount rates.
Where they differ, and where ShippingEasy pulls ahead of the others, is in the many shipping, order, and inventory management features it delivers for less. ShippingEasy offers a free plan that supports unlimited sales. Ordoro has a free plan too, but is limited to one sales channel. ShipStation doesn’t offer a free plan at all—its lowest plan is $9 per month.
ShippingEasy also has a very robust multichannel inventory management package that you can add to any paid plan, starting at just $14 per month. With it, you can update stock levels across all of your sales channels, create purchase orders, and track stock receipts. ShippingEasy also offers a built-in email marketing service for all plans, starting at $3 per month. Neither ShipStation nor Ordoro offers this. In short, ShippingEasy delivers far more than multi-carrier shipping software at a very economical price, and you can add these features as you grow.
There are a few drawbacks to ShippingEasy. For a high-volume shipper that relies on direct connections to dropship suppliers, Ordoro’s highly advanced automated dropshipping features beat ShippingEasy. But the cost difference is extreme—from $150 to $450 per month, depending on the plan. If you ship both parcels and LTL truck freight, ShipStation readily integrates with a larger range of carriers than ShippingEasy. Aside from those specific needs, ShippingEasy truly delivers the best ecommerce multi-carrier shipping software solution for the price.
Best Shipping Software for Multi-Carrier Shippers: ShipStation
ShipStation handily beats both Ordoro and ShippingEasy in the number of carriers its multi-carrier shipping software supports. It offers far more plug-and-play integrations with fulfillment centers, freight companies, and international carriers than our other two picks. Since these types of shipping services are typically used by mid- to high-volume ecommerce sellers, this impressive feature doesn’t weigh as heavily for small business needs. However, it’s nice to know you can quickly scale up to meet freight and international shipping demands as needed.
Like our other picks, ShipStation also offers wonderfully intuitive order processing and multi-carrier shipping rate comparison screens. You can easily access and print order invoices, packing slips, and shipping labels—individually or in batches—and send shipment tracking data back to sale channels. ShipStation supports both USPS Commercial Base and Plus discounts, but its Plus discount is limited to shipments under 10 pounds. ShippingEasy and Ordoro don’t have this limitation. If you ship parcels larger than 10 pounds, ShippingEasy and Ordoro both offer more USPS savings.
ShipStation also leaps ahead of Ordoro and ShippingEasy in shopping cart, multichannel, and marketplace seller integrations. It seamlessly connects to a huge number of selling platforms—50 and counting—and if it doesn’t readily connect to yours, you can through its open API.
Where ShipStation really falls short of our other picks is in built-in inventory features. ShipStation does have a basic inventory tracking feature on all plans, but it does not send counts back to sales channels, unlike ShippingEasy and Ordoro. This can be a real problem for multichannel sellers.
The lack of a free plan also demotes ShipStation. ShipStation has excellent user reviews and is very popular, but there’s no free ride at all. You have to pay at least $9 per month to access ShipStation. That makes the free plans from Ordoro and ShippingEasy better choices for low-volume and occasional shippers. However, ShipStation does offer a 30-day free trial with no credit card needed to sign up. So it cost you nothing to give ShipStation a try.
Best Shipping Software for Volume Sellers and Dropshippers: Ordoro
Ordoro delivers excellent ecommerce shipping rate comparison software at a price that’s very competitive with our other two picks. You can quickly compare rates among different shippers and service levels in intuitive screens, print labels per-package or in bulk, and update tracking data to customers and sales channels upon shipment. Ordoro also offers users USPS Commercial Plus discounts equal to ShippingEasy, which beats ShipStation’s limited Plus version.
Ordoro offers a free plan for sellers shipping under 50 orders per month, and paid plans that are in-line cost-wise with both picks. However, Ordoro’s free plan has a one-channel limit, unlike ShippingEasy’s unlimited channels—though it beats ShipStation’s $9 starter plan.
Where Ordoro really impresses is in advanced inventory management and automated purchasing features that seamlessly integrate with its shipping system. If you need a highly-advanced shipping, purchasing, and inventory tracking system that supports multiple warehouses, dropship orders, and even inventory data feeds from vendors, Ordoro truly delivers.
However, adding Ordoro’s inventory and purchasing management combination to a shipping plan does not come cheap. Unlike ShippingEasy, which adds a robust set of multichannel inventory features to paid plans for just $14 to $49 per month, Ordoro’s shipping plus inventory plans cost $299 to $499 per month. If you just need to track inventory, update counts to sales channels, and manage purchasing, ShippingEasy does it all for less. But, if you’re a volume shipper with an expansive dropship supplier base or multiple warehouses for order fulfillment, Ordoro’s efficient system is likely worth the cost.
Aside from costly shipping and inventory plans, the other downside is Ordoro’s limited plug-and-play sales channel integrations compared to ShippingEasy and ShipStation. Ordoro offers plug-and-play integration with 18 sales channels, whereas ShippingEasy and ShipStation plug-and-play with over 35 and 50, respectively. That said, Ordoro offers API integrations and will help you establish connections to sales channels, fulfillment centers, and dropshippers as needed.
In-Depth Review: ShippingEasy vs. ShipStation vs. Ordoro
Each of our best shipping software picks’ monthly fees increase with your shipping volume. However, as monthly rates increase, so do the features available, such as user access, inventory functions, and increased support. As you grow, you’ll likely find these time-saving features are worth the price.
Here’s a look at how our top three shipping software picks stack up in pricing:
ShippingEasy’s free, 50 orders-per-month plan supports unlimited stores and users, which beats Ordoro’s Free plan. In fact, all of ShippingEasy’s plans support unlimited stores and users. This is a nice feature for testing different sales channels. As shown above, pricing increases based on monthly shipping volume and starts at $29 per month for 500 orders.
Other handy business management features, like inventory management and email marketing, can be added for a monthly fee that is based on your shipping plan. Overall, the $49 per month plan is a great value for most small ecommerce business. It supports 1,500 orders per month and gives you access to all shipping features, including the exclusive Flat Rate Green discount shipping program. If you add inventory features and email marketing to the $49 plan, you can fully manage a multichannel ecommerce business for just $82 per month. That’s quite a deal.
ShipStation does not offer a free plan; its lowest plan price is $9 per month for 50 orders—here, ShippingEasy is the clear winner. Like the others, ShipStation’s pricing is based on monthly order volume and supports unlimited sales channels, and even includes its basic inventory features at no extra cost. However, your users are limited per plan. If you need to have three or more staffers access the platform to manage orders, shipping, and inventory at the same time, you need the $69 plan or higher. Both ShippingEasy and Ordoro support unlimited users on all plans.
Ordoro’s paid shipping-only plans are actually a better deal than both ShippingEasy and ShipStation; they support more orders and unlimited sales channels and users, and all plans support an array of multi-carrier shipping software features. However, to add inventory and purchasing management features, your costs jump dramatically, to $299 or $499 per month, depending on the plan. But these features are mighty impressive and if you’re juggling multiple dropship vendors or fulfillment warehouses in your multichannel ecommerce business, Ordoro is built for efficiency.
Multi-carrier Shipping Software Rate Comparison Tools
This is the number one reason every ecommerce seller should consider using shipping software with a rate comparison tool. To stay competitive in ecommerce, you need to control shipping costs wherever possible. Comparing rates among UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL is the best way to ensure every order ships at the lowest cost. Our top picks let you compare carrier rates, select the best, and print shipping labels all from one convenient screen.
With ShippingEasy, you can easily swap between different carriers to browse all shipping rates on one screen. Of the three, ShippingEasy has the simplest rate comparison screen. If you’re on the $49 plan or above, their Flat Rate Green discounts appear in this screen for applicable shipments, too.
In ShipStation’s order shipping screen, you can select carriers and methods from the pull-down menu to compare rates for each shipment. Plus you can select the warehouse location you’re shipping from in this screen. This is a helpful tool if you ship orders from different warehouse locations.
Ordoro lets you easily toggle between carriers and shipping methods in one screen. On the highest ($129 per month) shipping plan and the shipping plus inventory plans, you can also manage orders shipping from dropship vendors and multiple warehouses within the shipping screen.
Access to Discounted Shipping Rates
All three of our multi-carrier shipping software picks link to UPS, FedEx, and DHL via your carrier account and display your contracted shipping discounts on screen. So when comparing rates, you see the actual rate you’ll be paying when your bill comes.
USPS rate discounts work differently. These are accessed via the shipping software itself and the level of discount you receive depends on your plan. Here are the two USPS discounts that each of our ecommerce shipping software solutions support:
- USPS Commercial Base – This is the same rate you receive when you print labels on USPS.com. All three of our best shipping software picks support Commercial Base on the free or lower-level plans.
- USPS Commercial Plus – This a much higher discount normally available only to high-volume shippers. All three of our top picks make it possible for smaller shippers to tap these rates on paid plans. However, ShippingEasy limits Commercial Plus rates to packages under 10 pounds.
If you only ship via USPS, you can do it all with Stamps.com shipping software. Stamps.com offers discounts up to 40 percent off USPS-approved postage. The software also automatically imports your orders from wherever you sell, selects the best shipping method based on price and delivery speed, and emails your customers their tracking information.
Create & Send Return Labels
All three top picks make it easy to print and send or email return labels to customers. This is an especially handy feature when you need to cover return costs for incorrect orders or damaged goods. Plus, you can assign return authorization numbers (RMAs), and even add package pickup if needed.
You can easily create a return label from ShippingEasy’s shipping screen. There you can select the items being returned to generate the correct weight for the return label. You can also return shipments via any method you prefer and select which location should receive the return if you ship from multiple locations.
In ShipStation, you can create a return label for a specific order from the shipping screen, select items to be returned, choose the carrier and method, and select which location should receive the return, if applicable.
You can quickly print return labels in Ordoro from your shipped orders list, shown below. You can also select specific items(s) being returned so label weights are correct, and select the carrier and method you prefer. If you ship from different locations, such as a dropship supplier or separate warehouse, you can select which location receives the return.
Multichannel Ecommerce Integrations
If you’re not familiar with the different online selling platforms, called channels, here’s a quick primer:
- Ecommerce Platforms and Shopping Carts – These are online store platforms that allow you to accept orders on your own website. Some top platforms include Shopify, WooCommerce, and Volusion.
- Seller Marketplaces – These include multi-seller websites like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay, where you can sell goods without having your own website. However, many small businesses sell on both their own website and in one or more seller marketplaces.
Dropship & 3PL Fulfillment
Dropship vendors and third-party fulfillment (3PL) services are ecommerce order shipping methods used by many small and growing online businesses. All three of our top ecommerce shipping software picks let you send assign orders to specific dropship vendors and fulfillment centers manually or using automated rules.
ShippingEasy supports dropship and fulfillment partner orders using the multi-user and multi-warehouse features available on every plan. This lets you assign a warehouse location and user login to your vendor or fulfillment partner, and they can access orders that they need to ship right in your ShippingEasy platform. Or, you can connect dropshippers and fulfillment partners via API connections and set up automated rules to route orders. With the inventory feature add-on, you can auto-generate dropship purchase orders and forward them for fulfillment, too.
For dropship orders, ShipStation works much the same as ShippingEasy. You can make it happen by assigning warehouse locations to various dropship and fulfillment partners and route dropship orders using automation tools. Where ShipStation really stands out is in their ready-to-go 3PL integrations and easy API connections. If you plan to outsource some of your order fulfillment to 3PL services, ShipStation is one to consider.
You can manage orders shipping via dropship vendors and fulfillment services using the multi-warehouse feature, available on Ordoro’s top $129 per month shipping plan. It lets you route orders to various warehouses, which can be dropship vendors or fulfillment services. But, unlike ShippingEasy and ShipStation, Ordoro’s multi-warehouse feature is limited to the highest shipping plan.
Where Ordoro really shines in its handling of orders shipping via dropship vendors or fulfillment centers. Using Ordoro’s shipping plus inventory plans, you can set any item to automatically ship from a dropship supplier or outside fulfillment service when ordered.
Optional Advanced Inventory Features
Shipping and inventory management are closely tied together in any ecommerce operation. Even if you just want the best shipping software for comparing rates and printing labels for now, as you grow, your inventory tracking needs will too. So we considered inventory management features in our shipping software reviews as well.
All three of our top picks provide free onboarding support to get you up and running fast. Each provides excellent online knowledge base information and tutorials as well. The only real difference is in the free phone support, which we detail below.
The Bottom Line
Comparing rates among multiple carriers is the only way to ensure you’re getting the best shipping rate on every package you send. If you ship with a variety of carriers, multi-carrier shipping software is a cost- and time-saving asset that benefits your entire operation—and your bottom line.
In our reviews, the best shipping software solutions let you easily compare rates among carriers and shipping methods, print order paperwork, manage shipments manually or in batches, print shipping labels, and create return labels. Our top ecommerce shipping software picks also integrate with multiple sales channels and carriers, and offer a range of dropship, multi-warehouse, and inventory management features. Where they differ greatly is the number of channels, users, and available features for the price.
Taking everything into account, ShippingEasy is our overall pick for the best shipping software for ecommerce and multichannel sellers. Its free plan is the most generous, and paid plans offer unlimited channels and users across the board. Finally, add-ons like inventory management and email marketing are impressive and very economical. It delivers the shipping and order management tools that multichannel sellers need to grow at the best price.
Do you use Ordoro, ShippingEasy, or ShipStation or another ecommerce multi-carrier shipping software solution? We’ve love to hear what works best for your ecommerce shipping operation in the comments below.