ShipBob is one of the top order fulfillment companies in the U.S. It has almost two dozen U.S. locations and six international fulfillment centers, and the company provides a range of services for many eCommerce clients. However, ShipBob isn’t the best eCommerce fulfillment choice for every brand despite its size and reach. Here’s what the 3PL does well and when you should look for ShipBob alternatives.
Fulfillment isn’t a one-size-fits-all service
Picking a fulfillment partner for your business isn’t as simple as choosing a company with excellent reviews. You need a 3PL that can offer services tailored to your business.
Many fulfillment companies are experts at order handling for small and lightweight products because those are the most common products sold online. However, if your product falls into a different category or you want special services, you need a 3PL that can meet your needs.
Here are some of the products and services you won’t find at every 3PL:
- Cold storage for perishable products
- Certification for handling food items
- Processing heavy or oversized goods
- Kitting and customization in the warehouse
- Handling fragile or high-value merchandise
- Hazmat shipping
- CBD shipping
Every warehouse is designed to process specific sizes and weights of merchandise. So, you should choose a 3PL that has experience handling packages of a similar weight to yours. Ask a prospective fulfillment company for its typical parcel weight (not the average weight) to determine where its expertise lies.
Using ShipBob for order management
While some companies will have a better experience with ShipBob alternatives, the company provides excellent third-party logistics for many clients. At Red Stag Fulfillment, we often refer clients that aren’t a good fit for our company to ShipBob, and we included ShipBob in our list of the best 3PL companies.
ShipBob is an excellent eCommerce fulfillment choice if your eCommerce brand has a high SKU count and high sales volume. If you need to ship smaller products (under 20 pounds), you will likely find the services you need at this 3PL. Also, ShipBob’s many U.S. warehouses, plus international warehouse locations, give you many options for storing your inventory close to your customers and expanding your distribution. ShipBob also provides some specialized services, including FDA-certified food products handling.
Which eCommerce businesses are a good fit for ShipBob fulfillment services?
So, if you sell items that fall within ShipBob’s sweet spot, it could be a suitable 3PL choice for your brand. However, if your products don’t meet those criteria, you might want to consider a ShipBob alternative.
When to look for ShipBob alternatives
Many 3PLs market themselves as the right order fulfillment warehouse for any and every eCommerce business. However, that approach is neither realistic nor helpful. Signing with a 3PL is a big commitment. You will go through the onboarding process, integrate with their systems, and ship your inventory to their warehouses. All of that takes time and costs money. If you discover after the fact that the company can’t properly handle your products, moving to a fulfillment center that can provide the services you need is a hassle.
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we turn down most of the companies that approach us because we know we’re not the right 3PL for their products. It doesn’t serve them or us to take on clients for whom we can’t provide excellent service.
If you sell oversized, bulky, or heavy products, you should consider ShipBob alternatives. The 3PL accepts products that weigh over 20 pounds and reports a typical parcel weight of up to 20 pounds. However, if your products are heavy, you should consider a ShipBob alternative such as Red Stag Fulfillment.
Inventory management, fulfillment, and shipping for bulky and heavy items
At Red Stag Fulfillment, our warehouses and processes are designed to facilitate heavy products. If you sell oversized goods, you need a 3PL that understands how to store and ship them for several reasons.
- Heavy items can get damaged in the warehouse if they’re not handled properly. For example, Red Stag Fulfillment has processes that use two floor workers to lift and move heavy items. If one person tries to move a product that’s too heavy to carry easily, they could damage it.
- The warehouse has pick and pack processes designed to move heavy items, so your orders don’t require special handling in the warehouse. Red Stag Fulfillment’s warehouse pickers fill orders for oversized products all day long, and we have processes and equipment to make that fast and efficient.
- You can save money on shipping by using a fulfillment company that understands dimensional weight charges. Dimensional weight is a shipping surcharge on light but oversized packages. At Red Stag Fulfillment, we work with our clients to find ways to eliminate or reduce DIM charges.
A ShipBob alternative for heavy and bulky fulfillment
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we know the value of quality pick and pack services, so we want every eCommerce brand to have the best fulfillment experience possible. If your product line is a good fit for ShipBob, it’s an excellent choice.
There were a few things about Red Stag Fulfillment that stood out to us immediately, specifically the customer service and transparent pricing model.”– Kyle Marquardt, Co-founder, Homestead Brands
However, if you sell items that need special handling because they are heavy, high-value, or fragile, Red Stag Fulfillment might just be your optimal fulfillment partner. We have one of the highest accuracy rates in the fulfillment industry, a zero shrinkage policy, and unmatched fulfillment guarantees. We can reach 96% of U.S. addresses in two days or less from just two national fulfillment locations, simplifying your inventory management.
If these sound like the services you need, let’s talk and see if we’re a good fit.
More about Red Stag Fulfillment’s optimal fulfillment services:
- Red Stag Fulfillment vs. ShipBob
- Case Study: Pop-A-Shot, The Original Arcade Basketball Game
- Case Study: Homestead Brands: How a Product Grew Into a Portfolio with Red Stag Fulfillment