ShipBob and ShipHero are two leading third-party order fulfillment companies offering outsourced services and Warehouse Management System (WMS) software. They both provide comprehensive solutions for affordable shipping, increased efficiency, hybrid fulfillment, and international expansion.
We compared ShipBob vs Shiphero based on pricing, features, functionality, ease of use, and customer reviews to identify differences and highlight their unique strengths to help you choose the best option for your small business.
We recommend ShipHero vs ShipBob for:
- ShipBob: Outsourced ecommerce order fulfillment or software for brands growing an in-house fulfillment center
- ShipHero: Brands expanding into Canadian markets or software for 3PL warehouses
ShipBob vs ShipHero Compared
- Not finding what you’re looking for? Read our buyer’s guides to learn about more options.
ShipBob vs ShipHero: Pricing & Fees
In the world of third-party logistics, outsourced fulfillment and WMS software are very different offerings that come with different pricing structures.
ShipHero provides its WMS pricing openly online, while its fulfillment costs are based on custom quotes. Similarly, ShipBob’s fees for both fulfillment and WMS are also custom-quoted.
ShipHero’s fulfillment centers use a zone-free, flat-rate shipping fee structure, lending to ultra-predictable pricing. However, both companies have received reports of over-charging and hidden fees from users.
For its WMS solution, ShipBob charges custom-quoted pricing based on your operation’s needs. There are three core fees included: a one-time implementation fee, a monthly software fee, and the cost of shipping each order. Unlike ShipHero WMS, the standard fee gives you unlimited user seats.
For third-party fulfillment, ShipBob charges a per-order, all-inclusive fulfillment fee that covers pick and pack, packaging materials, and shipping. On top of that, you’re charged for inventory receiving, storage, and other special services. Here’s an overview of ShipBob’s fulfillment pricing:
- Onboarding: $975 for full implementation package or $0 on the Growth Plan for self-onboarding
- Receiving: $35 per hour first two hours and $50 per hour following
- Inventory Storage: $40 per pallet, per month; $10 per shelf, monthly; or $5 per bin, monthly
- Fulfillment Fee: Calculated per package based on weight and shipping distance. Includes labor, packaging materials, and shipping
- Pick and Pack: $0 for the first 4 picks, 50 cents per additional pick
- Returns: $3 per order (plus shipping cost)
- Special Projects: $45 per hour
ShipHero’s WMS software has three plan options:
Included Store Connections
Standard WMS for Brands
WMS for 3PLs
Enterprise WMS for brands
All plans come with five user seats; additional seats can be added for $150 per user/month. Additional store connections can be added to any plan for $30/connection per month.
In addition to the attributes shown above, the difference between each plan comes down to access to features like a sandbox account, customer portals, and 3PL billing capabilities (among others).
As for third-party order fulfillment, ShipHero doesn’t disclose any costs online. According to the company, creating a unique set of pricing for each client aids in providing value.
ShipHero vs ShipBob: Features
Supports in-house and hybrid fulfillment for brands
Supports in-house and hybrid fulfillment for brands and 3PLs
Third-party Order Fulfillment Services
Inventory Tracking Tools
Transportation Management Tools
Branding & Customization
Walking Path Routing/Optimization
For businesses weighing the pros and cons of ShipHero vs ShipBob, here’s a side-by-side comparison of their key features:
Both ShipBob and ShipHero provide comprehensive outsourced fulfillment services, but their approaches to fulfillment features are tailored to meet slightly different business needs:
- Amazon Prime Fulfillment: ShipBob can’t fulfill Amazon Seller-fulfilled Prime orders, whereas ShipHero can. Both companies offer FBA prep.
- International Fulfillment: Both companies have options for international shipping, but ShipBob stands out with localized fulfillment in eight non-US warehouses and discounted international rates. ShipHero offers duty-free importing through Section 321 via its two Canadian fulfillment centers near the US border, as well as a specialty in Canadian expansion.
- Startup-friendly Plans: ShipBob has a Growth Plan explicitly designed for businesses fulfilling fewer than 400 orders per month, without a minimum volume requirement. The minimum volume required to use ShipHero’s services is 500 orders/month, but no startup-specific plan is available.
- Customization & Branding: Both providers allow for a range of branding customizations, including custom boxes, marketing inserts, and printed gift notes.
- Freight Management: ShipBob offers a service called FreightBob, a managed freight and inventory distribution program powered by Flexport, aimed at importers. This distinct offering focuses on reducing time-in-transit and freight costs, an area where ShipHero doesn’t provide a comparable service.
- Hybrid Fulfillment: Both ShipBob and ShipHero offer hybrid fulfillment options, enabling businesses to store part of their inventory in-house while using the companies’ warehouse networks for additional storage and fulfillment. This approach offers greater flexibility, aiding in scalable growth, serving expanding customer bases, and providing added resources during peak sales seasons.
While ShipBob and ShipHero’s WMS systems offer a similar range of services and features, ShipHero’s WMS stands out by offering specialized options for 3PL warehouses serving multiple brands—a capability that ShipBob lacks. That said, ShipBob excels in accommodating B2B fulfillment, whereas ShipHero is limited.
Here’s how the other features stack up:
- Inventory Management and Tracking: Both systems provide advanced inventory management with tools like barcoding, automated reordering, and multi-warehouse allocation. However, ShipHero goes the extra mile with features like lot tracking and dynamic and static slotting, while ShipBob offers intelligent cycle counts and location-specific inventory visibility.
- Order Management: Both companies offer advanced dashboards for high-level order metrics and organization. One of ShipBob’s standout features is its capability to include uploaded images as additional checks and balances within each order at every stage, improving accuracy. It also allows merchants to easily make post-purchase changes to orders. ShipHero, on the other hand, offers specialized tools like PostHero for tracking carrier performance and automated rule-setting for order routing, ensuring that inventory is strategically placed for optimal business needs.
- Picking and Packing: Both WMS systems plan the most efficient picking route, and offer flexible picking options like single-item batch, multi-item batch, and bulk ship. Shipbob’s system even has an algorithm to recommend the most efficient packaging and automatic pick list generation. ShipHero has a unique packing station system that ‘gamifies’ the process, promising to reduce clicks and encourage employees.
- Additional Tools: ShipHero stands out with its array of additional features such as 3PL Billing Management, sandbox accounts, and extensive automation rules. ShipBob counters with its own unique offerings like Cubiscan machines for box sizing and robust customization options.
ShipBob vs ShipHero: Functionality
3.81 / 5
4.26 / 5
Reported Fulfillment Error Rate
Number of Fulfillment Centers
Prebuilt Native Integrations
70+, plus open API
65+, plus open API
Excellent (EDI integrations, retail dropshipping programs, wholesale distribution)
Fair (only via integration with SPS Commerce)
Reporting & Analytics
When it comes to ShipBob vs ShipHero, both are high-performing providers with competing capabilities. Here’s where they excel and fall short:
ShipBob Quality & Functionality
ShipBob’s fulfillment centers have a standout accuracy rate—99.95%—and its WMS software aims to deliver similar accuracy for in-house operations by improving picking and shipping accuracy. That said, ShipBob reviews contain many fulfillment users who claim they experience frequent errors.
With over 40 warehouses, ShipBob caters to brands looking to scale, expand internationally, take advantage of hybrid fulfillment, or just optimize distribution for the lowest delivery times and shipping costs. ShipHero offers similar benefits but with a smaller footprint. ShipBob’s reporting and analytics features are also robust, helping brands gain visibility into their supply chain.
ShipBob integrates with 70+ platforms for fulfillment and 40+ for warehousing, complete with an open API for custom solutions.
ShipHero Quality & Functionality
Like ShipBob, ShipHero boasts a 99.9% fulfillment accuracy and its WMS software aims to reduce operational errors. With seven warehouse locations, ShipHero lacks ShipBob’s international reach—but it specializes in inventory optimization and efficient cross-border shipping, plus specialized programs for expanding into Canadian markets. ShipHero lacks in B2B functionality compared to ShipBob, but can achieve it to some extent through integration with SPS Commerce.
ShipHero offers seamless integrations with over 60 platforms, including unique compatibility with Etsy, and a fully open API for custom solutions.
In terms of analytics and reporting, ShipHero is comparable to ShipBob. Its feature-rich software enables scalable operations, and its flat-rate, no-zone shipping fees offer predictable billing.
ShipBob vs ShipHero: Ease of Use
3.81 / 5
4.26 / 5
Customer Support Hours
By phone 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Central time M–F;
By live chat 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Central time 7 days/week
Customer Support Channels
Phone, live chat
In-app ticketing system, email
Having a 3PL partner that’s easy to work with is a must. For fulfillment and WMS, ease of use largely comes down to onboarding, customer support, training, and the ability to grow. Here’s how each provider performs:
ShipBob Ease of Use
Getting started with a new WMS or fulfillment company requires migration of your inventory among other logistical challenges. ShipBob provides an implementation team to assist all users except the Growth Plan, with service starting at $900. ShipBob claims that onboarding is doable with no downtime—which is a rarity in the 3PL space. And, thanks to its unlimited user seats, its WMS is easy to scale.
Once on board, ShipBob offers helpful training features to get employees up to speed. Its WMS software comes with picking tools designed to be as straightforward as possible, taking very little time to learn and leaving marginal room for error.
Customer service is available via chat and phone but draws criticism for being outsourced and unresponsive. While ShipBob excels in scalability and features, those valuing customer support should proceed with caution.
ShipHero Ease of Use
Similarly to ShipBob, getting started with ShipHero involves onboarding with an assigned specialist who shares a checklist of tasks with you and helps you migrate. Historically, this service was free, but updated pricing has not been provided since ShipHero made its pricing custom-quoted. The company states that onboarding with their services typically takes three to five weeks.
When training employees on the WMS software or fulfillment portal, the company reports that it often takes as little as 15 minutes to get them proficient. That said, dedicated training modules are not available.
Customer support for both WMS and Fulfillment clients is available 24/7, but is limited to an in-app ticketing system and email—earning criticism from customers in user reviews. However, scheduled phone calls are available for complex issues.
ShipHero vs ShipBob: Expert Review
After weighing ShipBob vs ShipHero, our experts researched how real-world users feel about the platforms and contributed their own assessments.
ShipBob Expert Evaluation
ShipBob offers efficient outsourced fulfillment backed by strong software, making it a good choice for businesses of various sizes. However, its high storage costs can be a drawback when compared to competitors.
The custom pricing for its Warehouse Management System (WMS) makes it hard to gauge its value, and its service limitations for other 3PLs may be a deal-breaker for some. But its excellent hybrid fulfillment and readiness for global expansion keep it in the running as a solid option.
ShipBob reviews are mixed, ranging from high praise for its customer service and effective software to criticism for operational issues like delayed orders and mislabeled shipments. The majority of ShipBob reviews are for its fulfillment service rather than its WMS solution.
While some users laud the Growth Plan and two-day express shipping, others complain about hidden fees and poor customer service. Of the negative ShipBob reviews, many are highly opinionated, expressing lost profits and severe issues.
ShipHero Expert Evaluation
ShipHero stands out as a good choice for businesses making the shift from in-house to outsourced fulfillment, or those looking for a hybrid approach. Although its warehouse network and global expansion capabilities are strong, they aren’t quite as scalable as those offered by ShipBob.
Although its custom-quoted fulfillment pricing adds a level of uncertainty, its WMS fees are reasonable compared to other high-level options—making it accessible and helpful for many small businesses.
ShipHero’s WMS solution gets great reviews, with users citing its high scalability and seamless integrations. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for its fulfillment service, which has received many negative reviews recently reporting a decline in quality—especially when it comes to customer support.
Many reviewers state that they have been using ShipHero for years and have seen an extreme downturn in the past six months. These criticisms mention lost inventory, delayed shipments, and surprise charges.
Methodology: How We Evaluated ShipBob vs ShipHero
To evaluate both ShipBob and ShipHero, we used a comprehensive assessment method tailored to the needs of small retail and ecommerce businesses. Our approach combined a detailed scale for both third-party fulfillment services and WMS solutions, focusing on key attributes such as functionality, scalability, value, and transparency. We gathered data through third-party reviews, user ratings, industry articles, and hands-on assessments of each platform.
How to Choose the Best WMS
A warehouse management system is a complex tool with a wide array of options, features, and moving parts—so choosing one can seem like a daunting task. To simplify the process, use this step-by-step guide:
Step1: Assess your Needs
Start assessing what you need in a WMS by clearly defining your objectives. Are you looking for faster fulfillment, streamlined inventory control, robust staff management, or overall cost savings? Knowing your goals will guide you in choosing the right system.
As you’re outlining your goals, also create two different lists of features—one for those that are nonnegotiable and another for those that would be nice to have, but aren’t essential. This will give you a framework for evaluating different systems.
Step 2: Research and Shortlist Providers
Once you’ve got a handle on your business needs, start researching and narrowing down a list of potential providers. Use your professional network, look through online ratings, and read reviews like this one to compile a list of reputable WMS systems.
During this step, refer to your list of must-have features to ensure each potential solution is not only a good fit for now but a scalable one for the future.
Step 3: Request Demos and Quotes
After narrowing down your list, contact the vendors to request live demos and quotes. The demos offer a hands-on experience, providing insight into the system, whereas the quotes give you a picture of how the system will fit into your budget. Be sure to ask about onboarding fees, monthly or annual subscriptions, and any additional charges.
Step 4: Evaluate and Decide
Lastly, bring your team into the loop for the final evaluation, and weigh the expected return on investment. Consider how long it will take for the WMS to pay for itself based on your specific operational needs, labor costs, and financial benefits. Ensure the system you choose is flexible enough to support your current demands and adapt as your business evolves.
ShipHero vs ShipBob Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
ShipBob and ShipHero offer similar services (outsourced third-party order fulfillment and in-house warehouse management system software) but they are not the same. They are distinct companies and close competitors.
Recently, ShipHero has received a string of negative reviews stating unresponsive customer service and operational issues that have led to lost profits. Additionally, the company’s pricing model lacks transparency, and its zone-free shipping structure makes its value unpredictable.
ShipBob’s storage costs are higher than many competitors, making it less suitable for businesses fulfilling large or oversized items. It also can’t fulfill items that qualify for Amazon Prime. Plus, ShipBob has received many negative reviews criticizing its reliability and customer support.
ShipBob is great for businesses wanting to fully outsource order fulfillment, especially those receiving higher-than-normal order volumes. It’s also helpful for seasonal scaling without adding resources or staff. It offers a warehouse management system for brands running an in-house fulfillment center.
ShipHero’s third-party fulfillment services are good for small to midsize businesses, especially growing ecommerce stores. Its warehouse management system is a popular choice among brands performing fulfillment in-house as well as third-party logistics (3PL) companies providing services for other vendors.
ShipBob and ShipHero are similar companies that offer many services in the same space—but they differ in pricing, customer service, features, and geographic reach. This makes each provider a different fit for varying business needs when comparing ShipHero vs ShipBob.
Overall, ShipHero’s WMS is a time-tested solution with an established customer base, but ShipBob’s WMS comes with unique features that give it an edge. Conversely, ShipBob is possibly the industry leader when it comes to ecommerce order fulfillment, but ShipHero’s zone-free shipping and 24/7 support make it a worthy contender.