Best fulfillment companies of 2024

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Your customers’ satisfaction hinges on your order fulfillment process. Even the best products rely on the support of quick, seamless, and reliable delivery to create a loyal base of repeat customers. 

People may not need to know how your product gets to them, but they must believe that it will arrive safely, accurately, and on time. The best order fulfillment service for your ecommerce business will meet customers’ expectations at every turn. 

That’s why it’s important to compare the top fulfillment services companies. The right third-party logistics (3PL) partner can accommodate the unique needs of your business while caring about your customers’ happiness as much as you do. But, of course, that’s easier said than done. 

This article lists some of the best fulfillment services today and highlights each of their strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to help you learn more about 3PLs and discover some options that might be a good fit for your business.

We’ll do that by sharing a [mostly] balanced view of each 3PL’s offerings, prices, and capabilities. Use the links below to learn about a specific order fulfillment company, or read straight through to compare them all.

  • Red Stag Fulfillment
    Best known for shipping heavy, fragile, oversized, and high-value merchandise, with money-back guarantees you won’t find anywhere else
  • eFulfillment Service
    Best for new sellers, with no minimums or long-term contracts
  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
    A dedicated shipping and fulfillment services company for Amazon sellers
  • SaltBox
    Ideal for small ecommerce stores and those with an in-house fulfillment process
  • ShipBob
    Ideal for small to mid-sized ecommerce businesses shipping small to medium-sized parcels
  • Shipfusion
    Best for sensitive cargo and FDA-compliant, food-grade inventory storage (like cold chain transportation)
  • ShipHero
    Ideal for enterprise ecommerce sellers with high order volumes
  • ShipMonk
    Uniquely suited for subscription box management
  • ShipNetwork (formerly Rakuten Super Logistics)
    Best for large or enterprise-level shippers with lots of order
  • Whitebox
    Best for combined fulfillment services and marketplace management services for high-volume sellers shipping large-margin products

How to compare the best ecommerce fulfillment services

best fulfillment warehouse

The best order fulfillment company for you depends on multiple factors related to your business. Consider your specific needs, like the products you ship, your order volume, and your inventory management processes. Also, look at your need for ecommerce fulfillment services like kitting, labeling, dropshipping, cold storage, custom packaging, and managing returns. 

Collectively, the details you uncover about your news will determine the order fulfillment process that’s most likely to deliver the results you’re looking for.

A good place to start is by assessing your current business operations and goals. Ask yourself some questions:

  • What are your short- and long-term goals?
  • Are you trying to scale your operations?
  • Are you hoping to break into a new market?
  • Are you preparing for increased product demand?
  • Do you need special services?

(Please note: This list is not exhaustive. It’s just meant to give you an idea of what you need and the types of questions you might ask a top ecommerce fulfillment service company.)

Once you’ve answered all of the relevant questions, take a look at how your top choices stack up against each other. Compare various metrics, requirements, and facts, such as:

  • Parcel weight limits
  • Order volume minimums
  • Accuracy rates
  • Fulfillment center locations
  • SKU breadth requirements
    compare best ecommerce fulfillment services

    Parcel weight limits

    How large are your products?

    Most ecommerce packages weigh less than 10 pounds. So, if you sell products bigger than that, you likely need a fulfillment service provider that knows how to safely store, pick, pack, and ship large products.

    Other products may have specific storage and handling requirements, like refrigeration. In these cases, the best fulfillment services will accommodate your needs with the right warehouse space and box sizes.

    Order volume minimums

    How many packages do you ship each month?

    Order minimums are not a judgment of your business. Instead, consider them a good indicator of each 3PL’s strengths. If you ship high volumes of product each month, search for a fulfillment center set up to accommodate your needs. And if you have lower order volume, the best fulfillment services are the ones designed for smaller businesses like yours.

    Consider your goals, too. If you’re working toward big, fast growth, the best order fulfillment services are ready to meet your needs today, while also offering the flexibility to scale with you over time. You don’t want to quickly outgrow your order fulfillment service and start the search all over again.

    Accuracy rates

    How often does the 3PL ship the correct products?

    Mistakes happen—but they shouldn’t happen often. Knowing that every mishap costs your business money and potentially harms customer satisfaction, be sure to ask potential fulfillment partners about their error rate

    Some fulfillment service providers allow up to a 4% error rate (yikes!). But, the best order fulfillment companies in this guide boast an accuracy rate of 99% or higher.

    Warehouse locations

    Top ecommerce warehouses are strategically located for fast shipping

    Physical warehouse locations are important because they indicate how quickly your customers will receive their orders. Based on your unique needs, find a third-party logistics company with order fulfillment centers in strategic locations that can get items out to your customers quickly, reliably, and with optimized shipping costs.

    Costs associated with warehouse locations

    If you ship from multiple fulfillment warehouses, you should expect additional shipping costs to get your inventory to each warehouse location. Plus, you’ll have to closely monitor your inventory management at each warehouse to make sure you don’t run out of stock.

    However, the freight shipping costs will potentially be offset by the savings you see from using fulfillment centers that are close to your customers. If you offer free shipping, this can have a big impact on your margins.

    SKU breadth requirements

    How many unique SKUs do you sell?

    SKU breadth is the ratio of how many different items you sell to the number of customer orders you ship each month. Some fulfillment services have a minimum SKU-to-order ratio they allow. 

    For example, if you sell 100 different SKUs, a 5:1 SKU breadth ratio would require you to ship at least 500 customer orders each month. You don’t need to ship five from each SKU—just 500 orders overall.

    Even if an order fulfillment company doesn’t have a SKU breadth requirement, the best ecommerce fulfillment services companies may still want to know your SKU breadth to help understand your business and serve you better.

    best fulfillment service by SKU breadth

    Other considerations when choosing the best fulfillment company

    Products, order volume, and locations are key to your 3PL decision, but there are several other factors to consider. You want outsourced fulfillment from a partner that’s easy to work with and provides the extra services you may need. 

    Use this fulfillment company questionnaire to help form the questions you ask when interviewing a potential ecommerce fulfillment provider. Be sure to modify the questionnaire to fit your business needs and values. Be specific and thorough.

    Products, order volume, and locations are key to your 3PL decision, but there are several other factors to consider. You want outsourced fulfillment from a partner that’s easy to work with and provides the extra services you may need. 

    Use this fulfillment company questionnaire to help form the questions you ask when interviewing a potential ecommerce fulfillment provider. Be sure to modify the questionnaire to fit your business needs and values. Be specific and thorough.

    What questions should you ask an ecom fulfillment company?

    Can you handle reverse logistics? 

    If you need help with returns and refunds, ask an ecom fulfillment company how they handle adding the product back into your inventory, paying shipping costs, and keeping your numbers accurate. 

    What shipping carriers do your order fulfillment centers use?

    Unexpected capacity challenges from shipping carriers can derail your fulfillment, so it’s a good idea to have shipping options beyond the major carriers. A great ecommerce fulfillment company will offer a wide range of companies you can choose from.

    Do you offer customizable subscription boxes and other kitting services?

    If you offer customized packages or subscription boxes, choose a partner that provides kitting services to assemble your orders—because not every third-party provider will do that. 

    What sales channels do you support?

    Seamless connections between your online store and the 3PL’s fulfillment software are essential for effective order processing. The best fulfillment services in the U.S. and Canada will have ecommerce integrations for platforms like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Amazon, eBay, and Shopify.

    Do you offer real-time insights into inventory tracking?

    The best order fulfillment services support your supply chain with frequent cycle counts and accurate inventory management. You can also ask about software that makes it easy for you to manage your orders, shipping, and inventory storage.

    How does your customer support work?

    Some ecommerce businesses want to set up their ecommerce fulfillment process and then leave the rest to the professionals. Others want to be more involved while getting hands-on account management help from their 3PL. Talk with your prospective partner about the level of support you can expect and how to get it. 

    How much do your fulfillment services cost?

    When you talk to a 3PL about storage fees, fulfillment costs, and shipping rates, make sure to get the full picture. The best fulfillment companies give transparent pricing guidance so you can forecast landed costs. 

    It can be tempting to choose the least expensive option, but the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Balance cost considerations with the level of service and reliability your customers and your business require.

    10 best ecommerce fulfillment companies of 2023

    With these considerations in mind, take a look at our recommendations for the best ecommerce fulfillment companies of 2023. You can use the table below to make broad comparisons or click on company names to jump to a company that interests you.

      Parcel weight limits  Order volume minimums Accuracy rates Warehouse location in the US SKU breadth requirements
    Red Stag Fulfillment None Flexible – ideal 200+ 99.98% 2 Evaluates on a case-by-case basis
    eFulfillment Service 50 lbs  None 99.9%  2 None
    FBA 50 lbs  None Undisclosed 110 Undisclosed
    SaltBox 45 lbs None 99% 4 Undisclosed
    ShipBob 50 lbs  $275 minimum 99.95% 40 Less than 5,000 SKUs: 4:1 monthly shipment to SKU ratioGreater than 5,000 SKUs: 5:1 monthly shipment to SKU ratio
    Shipfusion 50  500+ 99.9% 3 Undisclosed
    ShipHero 20  500+ 99% 5 10:1
    ShipMonk 50  $250 minimum 99.9% 8 2:1
    ShipNetwork 30  250+ 99.9% 11 None, but will ask during onboarding 
    Whitebox 50 lbs  1000+ 99.9% 3 Undisclosed

    Red Stag Fulfillment

    (A quick note: In case you didn’t notice, you’re reading this guide on the Red Stag Fulfillment website. Maybe we’re biased, but we like seeing our name at the top of the list.) 

    At Red Stag Fulfillment, we have a reputation for shipping heavy, fragile, oversized, and high-value merchandise. It’s a tough niche to serve, but we like to think we’re pretty good at what we do. 

    We also have the best fulfillment services guarantees in the entire industry:

    • Accuracy guarantee: If an order is shipped with the wrong item or the wrong number of items, we’ll fix the mistake. You won’t pay for that shipment, and we’ll pay you $50 for the inconvenience.
    • On-time fulfillment guarantee: 100% of your orders will be shipped according to your chosen service level (same-day fulfillment with a 3:00 pm or 5:00 pm cutoff), or else you won’t pay for that shipment—and we’ll pay you $50.
    • Zero-shrinkage guarantee: If any of your inventory is damaged or missing after we receive it in our facility, we will pay you the wholesale cost of that item. Guaranteed.

    While Red Stag Fulfillment doesn’t have order minimums, we work best with partners who are shipping hundreds to thousands of orders per month. We also specialize in heavy and bulky items, primarily shipping packages weighing five pounds or more, including high-value merchandise.

    We look at SKU breadth to assess your unique situation and build a customized plan to meet your needs. And, with two U.S. fulfillment centers—in Knoxville, Tennessee and Salt Lake City, Utah—we can reach most customers in two days or less.

    • Parcel weight limit: None
    • Order volume minimums: None
    • Error rate: < 0.02%
    Red Stag Fulfillment fulfillment warehouse locations

    eFulfillment Service

    Located in Traverse City, Michigan, eFulfillment Service is best for new sellers because it has no minimum order requirements or long-term contracts. It doesn’t consider SKU breadth either, but it does have size requirements. It limits package sizes to 36 inches or less and must be less than 50 pounds.

    • Parcel weight limit: 50 lbs
    • Order volume minimums: None
    • Error rate: < 0.01%

    Fulfillment by Amazon

    Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) offers dedicated order fulfillment and shipping for Amazon sellers, and it may be the best ecommerce fulfillment for those who rely on Amazon as their primary marketplace.

    FBA doesn’t have minimum order minimums, making it accessible to sellers of all sizes. They ship packages up to 50 pounds, but the service is most cost-effective for smaller, lightweight parcels.

    Every FBA order is eligible for Prime and shipped from Amazon’s vast network of 175+ warehouses and fulfillment centers across the U.S. for fast delivery to nearly every customer.

    • Parcel weight limit: 50 lbs
    • Order volume minimums: None
    • Error rate: Undisclosed

    Saltbox

    Saltbox is a great option for small ecommerce stores and those doing in-house fulfillment. But what makes it unique are the “workspace” office suites it offers to businesses that use the warehouses. You can opt for just a workspace, including access to the warehouse space, or couple it with fulfillment services, too.

    Saltbox doesn’t have order minimums, but it’s unable to accept products over 45 pounds. While there are 12 locations across the U.S., only four of them include fulfillment. The other eight are strictly workspaces.

    • Parcel weight limit: 45 lbs
    • Order volume minimums: None
    • Error rate: < 1%

    ShipBob

    ShipBob is a self-described omnichannel, ecommerce fulfillment services company serving small-to-mid-sized businesses that ship smaller products. With fulfillment centers across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia, it has a strong national and international presence. 

    While ShipBob doesn’t have order minimums, it does have a minimum fulfillment charge of $275 per month and works best with packages under 50 pounds.

    It’s also worth mentioning that ShipBob is one of the order fulfillment companies that has specific SKU breadth requirements. Sellers with fewer than 5,000 SKUs will have a 4:1 monthly order-to-SKU ratio, while those with more than 5,000 SKUs will have a 5:1 ratio.

    • Parcel weight limit: 50 lbs
    • Order volume minimums: None
    • Error rate: 0.05%

    Shipfusion 

    Shipfusion is a 3PL that focuses on scaling ecommerce companies. It stands out for serving businesses with sensitive cargo. It has three U.S. locations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Chicago and has plans for new locations coming to Texas and New Jersey in 2024. They may have the best fulfillment centers for you if you need FDA-compliant, food-grade storage. 

    Shipfusion has a monthly order minimum of 500, with a 50-pound parcel weight limit. 

    • Parcel weight limit: 50 lbs
    • Order volume minimums: 500+
    • Error rate: 0.1%

    ShipHero

    ShipHero is a top ecommerce fulfillment provider for enterprise-level sellers and ecommerce businesses with at least 10,000 orders per month and a monthly shipment-to-SKU ratio of 10:1 across five U.S. fulfillment centers. It also has a relatively lighter parcel weight limit of 20 pounds.

    • Parcel weight limit: 20 lbs
    • Order volume minimums: 10,000
    • Error rate: 1%

    ShipMonk

    ShipMonk is a startup-friendly, ecommerce fulfillment company well-suited for shipping subscription boxes. It has no order volume minimums but does impose a monthly minimum pick-and-pack fee of $250.

    With eight locations across the country, ShipMonk allows parcels up to 50 pounds, but it’s best for shipping small packages and lightweight goods. It also has a 2:1 monthly shipment-to-SKU ratio.

    • Parcel weight limit: 50 lbs
    • Order volume minimums: $250 min. fee
    • Error rate: 0.1%

    ShipNetwork

    ShipNetwork (formerly Rakuten Super Logistics) works mostly with enterprise-level shippers with high order volumes. However, its order volume minimum is only 250 per month. Packages of all sizes ship from its 11 locations across the U.S. with a 99.9% accuracy rate. 

    But it works mostly with lighter-weight goods. There are no SKU breadth requirements, although ShipNetwork will want to know your SKU-to-volume ratio during the onboarding process.

    • Parcel weight limit: 30 lbs
    • Order volume minimums: 250+
    • Error rate: 0.1%

    Whitebox

    Whitebox Commerce has warehouse locations in Las Vegas, Memphis, and Baltimore. It may be the best order fulfillment provider for high-volume sellers with smaller products who need additional marketplace management services. It has a minimum monthly requirement of 1,000 orders and a parcel weight limit of 50 pounds. 

    • Parcel weight limit: 50 lbs
    • Order volume minimums: 1000+
    • Error rate: 0.1%

    Ready to choose your fulfillment provider?

    Hopefully, you now have a short list of fulfillment providers to evaluate. For quick reference, here are the best ecommerce fulfillment companies to consider based on your company size and the products you ship:

    • If you exclusively sell on Amazon, FBA may be your best choice.
    • If you are a high-volume seller, WhiteBox or ShipHero might be better.
    • If you ship heavy parcels, Red Stag is likely your best option.
    • If you sell sensitive cargo, Shipfusion may be the way to go.

    We’d love the chance to help you find the best fulfillment service provider for you—even if it’s not us. Seriously, reach out with any questions.

     

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    Nothing in this article is meant to imply a legal relationship between Red Stag Fulfillment, LLC, and any company mentioned. Red Stag Fulfillment, LLC, does not own any other company’s trademarks referenced or included in this article. Information gathered for this article came from a mix of publicly available news and websites, websites of the companies mentioned, and direct communication with named companies.

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