This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
ShipHero is a third-party logistics (3PL) and SaaS provider geared toward small to midsize businesses. It delivers third-party order fulfillment services in addition to cloud-based warehouse management software (WMS) for ecommerce retailers and 3PL providers.
In our review of the best order fulfillment companies for small businesses, ShipHero came in third place with a score of 4.58 out of 5 based on our evaluation of 23 data points. Our research into the company’s performance included visiting a ShipHero warehouse. We found that it offers a unique array of solutions for in-house and hybrid fulfillment along with functional and affordable third-party services.
ShipHero’s third-party order fulfillment services are designed to help DTC and B2B ecommerce businesses meet consumer demand at scale. Its unique shipping fee structure provides high levels of predictability, making it a good fit for transitioning from in-house to outsourced fulfillment or running a budgeted startup.
Our ShipHero review finds that the company also offers money-saving perks for importers and tools to support international expansion—plus batch-fulfillment programs for crowdfunding campaigns and Amazon Prime compatibility.
ShipHero’s separate warehouse management solution simplifies in-house order fulfillment for merchants and 3PL providers. It can also support hybrid fulfillment or transitioning between your own operation and ShipHero’s outsourced services.
However, its zone-free shipping fees can make ShipHero’s value inconsistent for some businesses, especially if the majority of your orders come from nearby zones. The company’s international warehouse network is limited, and it’s not economical for high-value, heavy, fragile, or oversized products.
ShipHero Deciding Factors
Supported Business Types
Small to midsize businesses, startups, 3PLs, ecommerce stores, retail stores, DTC sellers, B2B sellers, crowdfunding ventures, subscription-box services
Minimum Order Requirements
Setup and Onboarding Fees
US Warehouse Locations
International Warehouse Locations
Shipping Partner Options
UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL, GLS, and open-ended regional carriers
Via email 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Eastern time, Monday–Friday
Best for: DTC and B2B ecommerce fulfillment; FDA-certified storage and handling
Best for: On-demand services, labor, and space for scaling in-house fulfillment
Best for: Oversized, heavy, high-value, or fragile items
Best for: Amazon sellers
Monthly minimum: None
Monthly minimum: None
Monthly minimum: ≈200 orders
Monthly minimum: None
Since many fulfillment companies offer pricing on a custom-quoted basis, we couldn’t fairly compare the specific costs of each provider. So, our evaluation of the top fulfillment companies considered pricing transparency, billing transparency, and billing predictability.
ShipHero earned a perfect score in this category thanks to its transparent fulfillment fees, easy-to-use billing portal, and uniquely predictable fulfillment pricing structure.
The company offers flat-rate pricing that includes packing, shipping, mailing supplies, and postage. Unlike most fulfillment providers, ShipHero doesn’t use shipping zones to calculate shipping charges; instead, they’re determined by each parcel’s size and weight, along with the service level you select (standard, two-day, or overnight). The only exceptions to this fee schedule are Zone 9 (Freely Associated States) and international shipments.
This structure can help accurately calculate and anticipate your fulfillment spend. Shipping costs typically account for the largest portion of a business’s fulfillment outlay, so ShipHero’s excellent billing predictability can benefit small businesses and startups—especially as they transition from in-house to outsourced fulfillment.
By aggregating shipping charges to give clients a flat-rate fee, ShipHero offers pricing that can be helpful for some businesses—but for others, it may provide an inconsistent value. If the majority of your orders come from nearby zones, a provider like ShipBob would likely provide better value.
Storage is charged on top of ShipHero’s flat-rate fulfillment fees, as is pick-and-pack labor for multi-item orders containing four products or more. Overall, the service is very competitively priced.
ShipHero’s warehouse management software is offered and billed as a separate product. See pricing for both services below.
ShipHero Fulfillment Fees
What It Covers
Onboarding and account setup are free
Inbound stock receipt, unpack, and check-in
65 cents per cubic foot
Storage, security, and inventory management
Calculated per-package based on weight, size, and service level
Pick and pack, packaging materials, and shipping
Pick and Pack
$0 for the first 3 picks, 25 cents per additional item
Picking items from inventory and packing them for shipment
(included in fulfillment fee)
Free standard boxes, polymailers, bubble mailers, bookfolds, and dunnage
(included in fulfillment fee)
Flat-rate charge based on package weight, size, and service level
ShipHero WMS Pricing
Two versions of ShipHero’s warehouse management software are available to support the different needs of merchants or brands performing their own in-house fulfillment and 3PLs providing fulfillment services for other clients. An additional plan with flexible features is offered to enterprise-level brands at a customized price.
All plans include standard features such as inventory management, returns, automation rules, and reporting, as well as highly rated customer support and optional consulting services.
The WMS for 3PLs comes with tools for managing clientele such as a customer portal, billing management, and finder listings. Meanwhile, the standard software for brands doesn’t include third-party functionality but comes with more store connections and is offered at a lower price.
For a detailed list of features and add-on options, visit ShipHero.
WMS for Brands
WMS for 3PLs
Enterprise WMS for brands
(additional seats $150/month each)
(additional connections $30/month each)
Number of SKUs
Number of Orders
ShipHero performed well in this category—its services are efficient and scalable while maintaining 99.9% accuracy. It also provides a sizable list of integrations and shipping partner options.
We awarded the company points for its reasonable number of fulfillment locations, but companies with large warehouse networks (such as ShipBob and Deliverr) scored higher.
Click below to expand on the features contributing to ShipHero’s Quality & Functionality score.
Businesses that outsource their fulfillment to ShipHero receive free, cloud-based fulfillment software for managing orders and returns, inventory, billing, and more. The platform is accessible from your desktop and mobile devices.
It prioritizes visibility and delivers real-time updates on your inventory and orders throughout the day. Additionally, the software gives insight into your stock levels across warehouse locations and reports expected depletion with a customizable re-order/replenishment level setting.
Multichannel sellers can manage orders on a unified dashboard or refine their view by channel. One-click integration allows for easy connectivity to the leading ecommerce platforms and marketplaces.
The software also features customizable automation rules that allow you to control order flow through smart warehouse routing, shipping method mapping, and address validation.
We found that its analytics capabilities aren’t very robust, but ShipHero’s fulfillment software can generate reports in the following categories:
- Inventory reporting
- Operational reporting
- Shipments reporting
- Efficiency reporting
- Sales reporting
ShipHero has fulfillment centers in five US locations plus two in Canada, providing 1.1 million+ square feet of warehouse space.
Unlike some fulfillment companies (such as Deliverr), all of ShipHero’s North American locations are owned and operated by the provider. This structure minimizes room for error and streamlines control.
ShipHero’s load balancing program allows businesses to ship their inventory to a single warehouse, from which the company manages further distribution to other locations. Stock is strategically split between facilities near your customer bases to optimize shipping speed and stock levels.
That being said, only users who have been pre-approved for load balancing are eligible for ShipHero’s multi-warehouse distribution, and approval requirements are unclear.
The company works with a wide scope of shipping providers—plus an open-ended roster of smaller regional carriers—to achieve affordable two-day shipping options to the lower 48 US states.
As mentioned above, ShipHero’s flat-rate fee structure doesn’t use shipping zones to calculate shipping costs. This means that all orders of the same size, weight, and service level are charged at the same rate, regardless of the distance they need to travel to get to the customer (with the exception of Freely Associated States in zone 9 and international orders).
According to ShipHero, this approach allows it to provide more competitive pricing. How that translates to value depends on where your customer orders from in any given month and on the location of your inventory.
Although its exact value may be inconsistent, ShipHero’s no-zone shipping fee structure allows for unbeatable levels of billing predictability. This can enable precise forecasting and budgeting, which is especially helpful for startups and businesses transitioning to outsourced fulfillment.
ShipHero’s list of one-click native integrations include a wide array of shipping solutions and leading ecommerce platforms and marketplaces. It also integrates seamlessly with Etsy, which many competing fulfillment providers don’t.
Clients can use CartRover to connect with platforms that the company hasn’t yet developed turnkey integrations for. Alternatively, ShipHero’s open API can be used to create custom connections.
Here’s a current list of ShipHero’s available integrations:
- Ecommerce platforms and shopping carts: BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento 2, MyStoreNo, Shopify, Shopify Plus, Shopify POS, Sure Done
- Online marketplaces: Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Etsy, Google Shopping
- Shipping and freight solutions: APC, Asendia, Australia Post, Bring, Buku, Canada Post, Couriers Please, Deutsche Post, DHL Ecommerce, DHL Express, DPD, Endicia, ePost Global, Estafeta, FedEx, FedEx Cross Border, Firstmile, Globegistics, Globegistics 2.0, GLS US, Hermes, Interlink Express, Joeyco, NZ Post, OnTrac, Passport, Purolator, Redsky Europe, Royal Mail, Sendcloud, Sendle, Shippo, Startrack, UPS, USPS, Webshipr, Xdelivery
- Operations, inventory, and order management: Alloy Automation, Brightpearl, Channel Advisor, ConstaCloud, Flxpoint, Inventory Planner, Nulogy, SPS Commerce, 6 River Systems
- Custom packaging and design solutions: Arka, Ranpak
- Returns management: Happy Returns, Loop Returns, Returnly
- Integration Partners: APIWorx, CartRover, Pipe 17, Viking Consulting
- Accounting, tax, and financing: Clearbanc, Brex
- Marketing and CRM: E-motive
ShipHero’s impressive specialty services earned it a high score in this category. It offers all of the standard features we look for in a fulfillment provider—including assembly/kitting, reporting, and customizable packaging options—plus uncommon offerings that add value.
Furthermore, ShipHero is eligible to send Seller-fulfilled Prime (SFP) orders, which is a significant advantage for Amazon sellers.
Unlike competitors such as ShipBob, the company doesn’t offer climate control, and it lacks an international warehouse network beyond North America. That being said, ShipHero is partnered with facilities in Europe and Australia, so it can help facilitate local fulfillment in foreign markets in addition to sending cross-border shipments domestically.
ShipHero’s two fulfillment centers in Canada are positioned close to the US border, which enables the company to offer a duty-free importing program through Section 321.
Section 321 is a type of shipment used to clear the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Under Section 321, shipments can bypass the tariffs and duties typically associated with international packages. One of the most commonly-used ways to qualify for Section 321 is to send shipments valued below $800.
Importers can have their wholesale shipments delivered to one of ShipHero’s Canadian locations. From there, the stock is incrementally moved into the US, divided into multiple $800 portions. This allows the imported goods to qualify for Section 321, which eliminates import duties with only a few days of downtime.
ShipBob and ShipMonk also facilitate duty-free import through Section 321 from their warehouse locations in Canada and Mexico.
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
ShipHero’s proprietary warehouse management software is available to brands and 3PLs to power their in-house fulfillment operation. The complete, cloud-based solution streamlines order fulfillment processes by providing businesses with tools to manage picking, packing, inventory, orders, and shipping directly on their mobile or desktop devices.
The platform works for ecommerce brands and merchants by connecting multiple stores with a centralized system that synchronizes and updates inventory. Similarly, it can be used by 3PLs to offer an end-to-end order fulfillment solution for clients with a customer portal, billing platforms, and listing tools.
It also delivers automation capabilities and reporting/analytics to support operational efficiency and accuracy. Plus, users get access to shipping rate comparison tools, customizable user account permissions, purchase order management, and a sandbox account.
ShipHero WMS clients can use the company’s third-party fulfillment services to supplement their own on an ad hoc basis. This option is helpful in supporting seasonal sales spikes, growth, and regional expansion. It can also ease the transition between in-house and outsourced fulfillment (or vice versa) and eliminate potential downtime.
Since ShipHero’s own fulfillment services rely on the same WMS platform, hybrid fulfillment options are seamlessly integrated.
Advanced Tracking Tools
PostHero—a suite of proprietary shipping tools—is available to all ShipHero WMS and third-party fulfillment clients.
PostHero expands your ability to track outgoing orders from shipment to delivery by centralizing tracking and shipping info, generating relevant reports, and providing customizable insights with robust data visualization.
According to the provider, these tools help businesses identify growth opportunities, recognize and address fulfillment gaps, and simplify tracking across carriers.
We gave ShipHero high marks in this category thanks to its intuitive software, excellent operational transparency, and functional scalability.
The company also received points for its extended customer service hours, although providers with 24/7 support and multiple support channels scored higher. We deducted points for ShipHero’s moderate minimum order requirement, but companies with higher thresholds saw greater penalties.
Here’s an overview of the factors we considered when evaluating ShipHero’s ease of use:
- Operational accuracy: ShipHero’s mobile pick-and-pack systems and automation technology eliminate 99.9% of errors.
- Error policies: ShipHero’s policies are far less customer-friendly than competitors such as Red Stag Fulfillment. The provider is not responsible for any damage in storing, picking, packing, and shipping inventory, so it’s important to insure your goods. In the case of wrong shipments, non-shipments, and swapped shipments, reimbursement is limited to the shipping fee and/or return fee at ShipHero’s discretion. Inventory that is lost in the provider’s warehouse will be reimbursed as a ShipHero credit for future shipping and storage costs.
- Customer service: Email support is available 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday, (excluding US national holidays). Specific response time is not guaranteed in ShipHero’s SLAs, although staff attempt to respond to support questions within one business day.
- Transparency: ShipHero’s software provides visibility into each order’s status in real time, including photos of every packed box. Billing transparency is also provided through detailed, itemized invoices.
- Scalability: ShipHero’s minimum order requirements (500/month) are fairly accessible to microbusinesses and startups, and its 1.1 million square feet of total warehouse space provides ample room to grow.
Overall, we gave ShipHero a strong score for its ability to serve small businesses with its wide range of flexible offerings. It delivers unique special services, excellent ease of use, and high popularity among all varieties of users.
When we toured ShipHero’s Las Vegas fulfillment center, we found that the operation is functional and organized. Staff members were highly knowledgeable about processes, clients, and their products. The facility was well maintained and equipped with innovative technology and organizational techniques that clearly boosted efficiency.
Its combination of SaaS and third-party fulfillment services helps ShipHero stand out against the competition. It also enables the company to deliver adaptable solutions that support pivoting and growth in ways that other providers can’t.
Amazon Seller-fulfilled Prime eligibility was another feature that helped bolster ShipHero’s score here. Not all fulfillment partners can offer that compatibility (including the No. 1 pick in our evaluation), and it’s a must-have for multichannel sellers interested in Amazon.
We detracted a small number of points in the value criteria of this category due to ShipHero’s zone-free shipping rates. Since the structure aggregates shipping costs to all zones, it may provide an inconsistent value depending on your customers’ locations.
What Users Say in ShipHero Reviews
ShipHero appears to have a shining reputation among users of both its fulfillment services and warehouse management software. Online feedback is plentiful, and the company’s rating is very high across many trusted review sites.
Fulfillment users frequently commend the support staff for being communicative and helpful, especially with onboarding. Another theme in ShipHero’s reviews is its robust software, with many users praising its user-friendly interface.
Different reviewers describe using ShipHero for in-house, outsourced, and hybrid fulfillment, which speaks to its impressive flexibility. A number of reviews also mention using it to transition from outsourced fulfillment back to an in-house operation and vice versa.
Positive and moderate reviews alike mention ShipHero’s lackluster reporting and analytics features, as well as its unsophisticated backend functionality. Negative reviews report hidden charges, lapsed SLAs, sluggish receiving, and delayed responses from customer support.
There are very few 1-, 2-, and 3-star ratings of the company, but It’s worth noting that an alarming number of ShipHero’s negative reviews were left within the past year. The majority of these reports mention that the company “used to be great” and now “isn’t what it used to be”—which could indicate growing pains that need to be addressed.
- Trustpilot: 4.6-star rating from 350+ reviews
- Shopify App Store: 4.6-star rating from 150+ reviews
- G2: 4.3-star rating from about 47 reviews
|Cooperative and effective customer support||Slow support response times|
|User-friendly software interface||Poor reporting and analytics capabilities|
|Lots of powerful features||Hidden fees|
|Helped business grow||Decline in service|
Methodology: How We Evaluated ShipHero
To evaluate ShipHero and all 3PLs, we considered the factors that matter most to small retail and ecommerce businesses. We started by researching the provider through third-party reviews, user ratings, relevant articles, and the company’s own content.
For information we can’t find online, we reached out to the company as potential customers rather than reporters. We also visited a ShipHero fulfillment center and found that the provider was highly transparent with its pricing, features, and operational processes.
Our ShipHero fulfillment review evaluated the provider on a 23-point scale shaped by industry experience, reader surveys, and competing providers’ attributes. The criteria weighs functionality, scalability, and transparency throughout a range of processes.
30% of Overall Score
We evaluated the quality of service and functionality of each company by weighing critical details like order turnaround time, shipping partner options, size of fulfillment center network, and accuracy rate. We also considered how each service integrates with ecommerce shopping carts, marketplaces, operational tools, and solution providers that your online store may use.
We gave ShipHero high marks for its efficient processes, vast shipping partner options, helpful list of integrations, and high accuracy rate. But, it was docked for its moderate number of warehouse locations, ultimately bringing the score down to 4.55 out of 5 for the category.
20% of Overall Score
Many fulfillment companies offer pricing on a custom-quoted basis. We assert that it’s better to openly publish pricing. This eliminates the need for potential clients to contact each company for a quote—potentially wasting both parties’ time—and promotes general transparency.
Since we can’t fairly compare the specific costs of each provider, this category examines the providers’ pricing transparency, billing transparency, and billing predictability.
ShipHero has an ultra-predictable pricing structure, and the company is highly transparent with its pricing and billing. It scored a perfect 5 out of 5 here.
15% of Overall Score
This score considered customer service accessibility—prioritizing companies that provide a dedicated service rep for each client and weighing their support center’s hours of availability.
Each service was also evaluated for software usability and operational transparency. Companies were awarded points for having highly functional software that allows users to see where each order is within the fulfillment process and warehouse space.
Lastly, order minimums and service scalability were weighted heavily to provide the best recommendation for small businesses that need a fulfillment partner that can grow with them.
ShipHero earned points for its extended customer service hours, but providers with 24/7 service scored higher. We also awarded points for its intuitive software and excellent scalability. The company’s 500-order/month minimum requirement brought its marks down slightly to a final score of 4.23 out of 5 for the category.
15% of Overall Score
We awarded points for the availability of special services like climate control, international shipping, custom packaging elements, and different types of assembly. Being crucial to ecommerce operations, return handling and reporting/analytics were prioritized. Lastly, we assessed whether each company was eligible to fulfill Amazon Prime or SFP (Seller-Fulfilled Prime) orders.
ShipHero was docked for its lack of climate-controlled storage facilities, but earned points for its impressive range of other specialty services—ultimately scoring 4.3 out of 5 here.
20% of Overall Score
This score combined our retail and ecommerce experts’ final evaluation of value, ease of use, and standout features with scores from real-world users on trusted third-party review sites.
ShipHero’s flat-rate shipping fee structure may provide inconsistent value, which cost the provider points in this category. We gave it high marks for its popularity, ease of use, and impressive specialty services for a final score of 4.69 out of 5.
ShipHero Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who Should Use ShipHero?
ShipHero has two main offerings. Its third-party fulfillment services can support DTC and B2B ecommerce businesses that sell physical products. They may be a good fit for you if your store processes more orders than you can—or want to—fulfill on your own. The company also offers batch-fulfillment programs for crowdfunding ventures and Seller-fulfilled Prime Eligibility for Amazon sellers.
ShipHero’s SaaS warehouse management software (WMS) is designed to simplify fulfillment operations for retailers performing their own in-house fulfillment as well as 3PLs that provide fulfillment services for other businesses. If you want streamlined tools to help manage inventory, orders, pick and pack, shipping, and returns in your own facility, ShipHero’s WMS is a strong choice.
When Should I Use a ShipHero Alternative?
- Businesses dealing in health products, food and beverage, cosmetics, or medical goods may want to partner with an FDA-certified fulfillment provider, such as ShipBob.
- Local international fulfillment has a number of advantages over cross-border shipping. ShipHero doesn’t operate any facilities outside North America, so sellers targeting foreign customer bases may find better success with a broader global 3PL. We recommend ShipBob.
- Sellers dealing in products that require special handling should also seek an alternative fulfillment solution. ShipHero doesn’t offer liability insurance, and its error/damage policies are unaccommodating. It also lacks services for goods like ammunition. We recommend Red Stag Fulfillment for heavy, oversized, fragile, or high-value items.
Competitive pricing, excellent ease of use, and highly efficient services make ShipHero a strong choice for third-party fulfillment and/or warehouse management software. This dual offering gives ShipHero’s clients the unique ability to blend in-house and outsourced fulfillment, which can support growth or aid in the transition between fulfillment strategies.
That being said, ShipHero’s pricing structure may not provide consistent value for some businesses, and its limited warehouse network isn’t ideal for expansion. We recommend evaluating multiple options to ensure a good match between you and your fulfillment provider.
Broker sites, such as WarehousingAndFulfillment.com, compare your specific needs to 500+ pre-screened companies to find the best fit for your business. Plus, the service is completely free to use.