This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
When to Use Shippo
Shippo is one of the few shipping solutions that offers a free plan—making it a good option for customers on a budget with simple shipping needs.
It’s unique pricing structure makes Shippo’s paid plans economical at any volume, and the top-tier paid plan has features that appeal to enterprise-level businesses.
In particular, we recommend Shippo for:
- Shipping newcomers and computer novices: Shippo’s app interface is consistently described as the easiest to use. In the software’s plentiful online reviews, many users report switching from other platforms due to the steep learning curve, and having no trouble picking up Shippo with ease.
- Sellers using a variety of other apps/tools: Shippo offers far more pre-built integrations than other free shipping solutions, such as OrderCup. It’s a good choice if you’re seeking a free shipping software platform to complement the other apps in your ecommerce workflow.
When to Use an Alternative
- Small businesses building in-house fulfillment operations: Shippo is missing a few crucial features that are important to an efficient shipping workflow—such as peripheral hardware compatibility, advanced automation rules, and accessible customer support. ShippingEasy is a better choice for well-rounded functionality as it’s our top choice for best shipping software for small businesses.
- Retailers seeking a multipurpose tool: Shippo doesn’t deliver much functionality outside the scope of shipping. Its users must accomplish related tasks (such as inventory management) by integrating separate apps. For a more broad-spectrum all-in-one solution, check out Ordoro.
- Dropshippers: It’s not possible to manage dropshipped orders through Shippo independently (users must go through a connected third-party app such as Jetti). Ordoro is the best shipping solution with robust dropshipping functionality.
How Shippo Compares to Other Shipping Solutions
Free starter plan
Paid monthly plan
Discounted shipping rates
(shipping carriers, shopping carts, marketplaces, and ecommerce solutions)
(only available on Pro plan)
(Higher-level plans only)
Ease of Use
*Per-label surcharges may apply
|Free starter plan||Per-label surcharges|
|Easy to get started||Inaccessible customer service|
|Simple and usable interface||Frequent technical issues|
|Wide range of paid-plan volume options||Inconsistent tech support|
|Discounted shipping rates||Reported issues with carrier discounts|
|Effective multichannel management||Rudimentary features|
|Plentiful pre-built integrations||Limited peripheral hardware support and automation rules|
Shippo Compatible Carriers
Shippo is compatible with a wider range of carriers than most competing providers. Plus, if you don’t see your carrier listed, Shippo accepts requests for new carrier connections.
Shippo users can ship parcels with the following carriers:
- Australia Post
- Canada Post
- DHL eCommerce
- Deutsche Post
- FedEx SmartPost
- GLS France
- GLS Germany
- GLS U.S.
- GLS U.S.
- Mondial Relay
- ePost Global
The platform works with these carriers and services for tracking purposes only:
- Hongkong Post
- NZ Post
- New Zealand Post
- Nippon Express
- dpd Germany
- dpd UK
- почта россии
The platform integrates with a variety of ecommerce tools, services, platforms, and marketplaces. This allows Shippo users to sync data and streamline processes.
Here’s a complete list of Shippo’s current direct integrations:
Ecommerce Platforms and Carts
- Reaction Commerce
Order and Inventory Management
- Freestyle Solutions
- Orange Manager
- Pulse Commerce
- DYK Post
- Return Magic
Finance and ERP
Fulfillment and Logistics
- AMS Ship
Shippo offers a free starter plan in addition to two levels of paid plans. The Professional plan has nine pricing options that provide different volumes of shipping labels. Each Shippo pricing tier in this level comes with the same features and functionality.
Unlimited, but per-label surcharge may incur
5 (all Professional options)
Custom pricing (contact Shippo)
All accounts have an unlimited allowance of sales channels and integrations. Unlike our other shipping software picks, Shippo doesn’t have the option to add additional users to an account á la carte.
There’s no contract required to use Shippo, so plans can be changed or canceled at any time. However, discounts are available for users who pre-pay plan fees multiple months in advance.
The main differences between each plan level are the included features and shipping label surcharges—as well as the cost for extras like insurance, address validation, and tracking options.
Here’s an overview of Shippo’s three plan options:
Shippo’s free starter plan (which recently replaced its “Pay-As-You-Go” plan) comes with no limit to the number of shipments you can make. However, starter plan users must pay a 5 cent surcharge per label.
Labels purchased using one of Shippo’s master accounts with the following carriers don’t incur the additional charge:
- DHL Express (for international shipments originating from the US)
- Deutsche Post
- Fastway Australia
- Couriers Please
If you’d prefer to use your own account with these carriers, a surcharge will apply.
This program includes useful, basic shipping management features—such as discounted rates, a multicarrier rate comparison tool, integration capabilities, and API access. Customer support is only available through email at this level.
Starter plan users can’t access automation capabilities, branded deliverables, or certain order management features. Basic cost reporting and analytics are included, but the feature is very limited at this level.
Starter plan users can insure parcels through Shippo’s insurance partner for a fee of 1.25% of the package value. Global address validation is available for 9 cents per service.
The Professional plan comes with more features, better functionality, and four more user accounts than Shippo’s starter plan. It’s divided into nine pricing tiers to cater to shipping needs at any stage.
Users pay a monthly subscription fee in lieu of the per-label surcharge, and there’s no additional fee to use your own carrier accounts.
All features are available at this plan level, (excluding enterprise-grade services like dedicated customer support agents and technical implementation assistance). Users can contact customer support via email or live chat.
Professional-plan users can insure parcels through Shippo’s insurance partner for a fee of 1% of the package value. Global address validation is available for 8 cents per service.
Shippo’s Premier plan delivers the same features as its Professional program, plus some added benefits that appeal to large operations. It’s built for sellers shipping 10,000+ packages per month, and subscription fees are customized based on the client.
It provides 15 users accounts, a dedicated support and integrations team, and a 99.9% uptime service level agreement.
Premier plan users can insure parcels through Shippo’s insurance partner for a fee of 1% of the package value. Global address validation is available for 8 cents per service.
We found that Shippo can help sellers purchase labels and manage shipments aptly, but competing platforms deliver better features.
Rather than providing the baked-in tools to handle important extras like dropshipping, inventory management, marketing, or customer relations, Shippo encourages users to integrate its platform with separate apps.
Here’s a look at what Shippo has to offer:
Shippo works with a greater range of domestic and international carrier options than most of its competitors. It allows users to import orders from their sales channels, calculate shipping costs while comparing rates, purchase postage, and print labels directly from the app.
It also enables sellers to schedule pickups through USPS and DHL express, as well as process shipments in batches.
Shippo gives users the following tools to make and manage their shipments:
- Shipping calculator
- Rate comparison tool
- Discounted rates
- Label creation
- Pickup scheduling
- Return label creation
- Address validation
- CVS upload
- Branded packing slips and tracking pages
- Shipping notification emails
We found that Shippo’s rate comparison tool isn’t as robust as those of competitors such as ShippingEasy, ShipStation, and OrderCup. More steps are required to get a comprehensive view of your options, and the layout isn’t as intuitive. Furthermore, some Starter plan users complain that it’s impossible to predict how much they’ll be charged before purchasing a label.
Discounted USPS and DHL Express rates are available on all Shippo plans. Plus, users are eligible to sign up for a discounted FedEx account through Shippo’s carrier partnership.
It should be noted that a number of online Shippo reviews express disappointment in Shippo’s discounts. Some users state that they compared the “discounted” prices against standard retail postage prices and found that they weren’t receiving any discount at all. Others claim that the discounted services are compromised as compared to what is included normally.
Automation is a time-saving feature that allows users to specify a set of conditions that trigger certain actions. For example, through Shippo you can program the app to automatically select a specific carrier and service based on the customer’s delivery preferences chosen at checkout.
Shippo’s automation rules can trigger the following actions:
- Assign package templates
- Assign carrier service levels
Based on the following conditions:
- Item name
- Item SKU
- Order quantity
- Order weight
- Shipping destination: Domestic/international
- Shipping destination: State/province (US and Canada)
- Shipping destination: ZIP code (US and Canada)
These automation capabilities don’t stack up to those of Shippo’s competitors. Platforms like Ordoro and ShippingEasy allow users to set a much wider range of actions that can be triggered by more granular conditions—plus customization of automation rules directly from the web app.
That being said, Shippo’s API allows for greater customization of automation rules, but it requires significant tech savvy.
Shippo Ease of Use
In our evaluation of shipping solutions for small businesses, Shippo was awarded points for its user interface—which is very easy to use. The app is also applauded for the quality of online resources and documentation surrounding it.
On the whole, the platform’s ease of use is compromised by its hardware limitations and lackluster customer support.
Take a look at how each of these factors break down:
Users at all levels of scale love Shippo’s web app interface and reliability. For this reason, the company receives a lot of converts from platforms such as ShipStation—which has a steep learning curve.
The platform is also available from a RESTful API for use by developers. This option allows for greater customization and more automation capabilities. Shippo’s API capabilities appear to be more built-out than many competing providers, which makes it a good choice for businesses with an in-house dev staff.
Shippo’s platform boasts 99.9% uptime—a reliability feature that isn’t offered by other shipping software providers.
Shippo has a wealth of well-developed resources to help sellers use its platform and generally succeed in the ecommerce space.
We found that its demos and tutorials are thorough and easy to understand. For new customers considering trying Shippo or having trouble getting started, a weekly panel called “Shippo Service Hours” is open to the public every Friday afternoon.
The meeting is hosted by multiple Shippo staff members from different teams. From my direct experience with these customer-facing employees, they are highly informed about the product and communicate its details straightforwardly.
These online resources are available through Shippo:
- YouTube channel with 50+ videos
- 9 recorded webinars
- 19 E-books
- 9 case studies
- 13 tutorials
- Featured podcasts
- Weekly live Q&A session
- “Shippo 101” guide library
- “Shippopedia” collection
Shippo’s customer support team is listed as being reachable via email and live chat, but hours of availability aren’t disclosed online.
From your Shippo dashboard, reaching a human isn’t as simple as it should be. There are multiple embedded “Contact Support” links, as well as a floating “help” icon in the bottom corner of the screen that looks deceptively similar to a live chat feature.
Each one of these elements links to the same request form, which appears to be the only way to receive support.
Online Shippo reviews state that the sales team is highly accessible, informative, and knowledgeable—but that’s where the human support ends. According to their accounts, customer service and tech support can take seven or more days to respond, and are often ineffective.
This issue is one of the biggest reasons we recommend checking out OrderCup instead if you’re seeking a free shipping software solution. The company’s customer support is extremely accessible, effective, and highly rated.
Shippo’s hardware connectivity is very limited. Users can connect printers, although not much information is available concerning compatible models.
This app can’t connect to USB scales or scanners, unlike all of our top picks for shipping software. If you use (or plan to use) one of these devices in your shipping workflow, we recommend trying ShippingEasy instead.
What Shippo Users Think
Shippo’s reviews are problematic—especially those left in the past 12 months. While the company has a high aggregate score on trusted sites like Capterra, many of its recent reviews on the Shopify App Store and G2 are deeply negative.
Satisfied users mention switching to Shippo from platforms with a steep learning curve. These sellers applaud Shippo’s interface and general ease of use. Others commend Shippo’s ability to stream their multichannel order flow smoothly, and its economical paid-plan pricing structure.
Negative reviews consistently mention trouble with customer service. Some of these users report having issues with bugs, glitches, or shipping mishaps that lead to significant losses—then having to wait many hours or days for support staff to respond to their requests.
Other problems reported in Shippo reviews include syncing issues and faulty batch functionality—forcing users to perform tedious tasks manually. A number of ratings describe issues with Shippo’s shipping rate discounts and per-label surcharges.
- Capterra: 4.9 / 5 from 600+ reviews
- Shopify App Store: 4.1 / 5 from about 500 reviews
- G2: 3.7 / 5 from about 20 reviews
|Easy to get started||Poor customer service and tech support|
|Simple and usable interface||Frequent technical issues|
|Economical plan pricing structure||Costly surcharges|
|Effective multichannel management||Problematic or nonexistent discounts|
Shippo is a popular shipping software solution reportedly used by 10,000 businesses across the globe. However, it’s not one of our recommended shipping platforms for small businesses due to inaccessible customer support and lacking functionality.
We recommend exploring other shipping software options before signing up for Shippo. But, thanks to its free starter plan and 30-day free trial on all paid plans, you can try Shippo with minimal risk.