FreightWaves Ratings cuts through the noise of freight technology product reviews to make you a smarter buyer

What Is the Best Fulfillment Center? 

When you’re running an online business, you need efficient and effective order fulfillment services. Without these, it’s unlikely you’ll see return customers or growth in your business. Fulfillment centers are the hubs that allow online business owners to make a profit without the hassle of storing and processing inventory yourself. 

While shipping speeds and quality are important, working with software that will help streamline your operations is arguably an even more important factor to look at. Technology matters and the best fulfillment centers make it work for them and their customers. 

See growth from your online business when you find the best fulfillment center for your needs. 

Quicklook: Best Fulfillment Centers

  • Best For High-Volume Fulfillment: ShipBob
  • Best For Social Media Selling: Deliverr 
  • Best For Kitting Fulfillment Services: Red Stag Fulfillment 
  • Best For Subscription Fulfillment: ShipMonk
  • Best For International Fulfillment: Fulfillment.com
  • Best For New Ecommerce Businesses: eFulfillment Service 

6 Best Fulfillment Center Options

Which services you require from a fulfillment center will help you narrow down which one will best help you support your online business. 

ShipBob

With a Two-Day Express Shipping Program available in the continental U.S., you can help ensure your customers’ fast delivery with ShipBob. The company boasts an expansive list of warehouses throughout the United States, and it also offers reliable international shipping with warehouses in multiple European locations. 

This large network allows you to split your inventory while speeding up shipping times. Their Order Management Software comes with built-in tools made for managing and optimizing your online business. 

Best For: High-Volume Fulfillment

Location of Fulfillment Warehouses: 

  • Headquarters: 120 N Racine Ave, Suite 100, Chicago, IL 60607
  • Locations: 
    • Illinois
    • Kentucky
    • Wisconsin
    • New Jersey
    • Pennsylvania
    • Georgia
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Arizona
    • California
    • Nevada
    • Oregon
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Poland
    • Ireland
    • The U.K.

Contact Info:

Shipping Speeds: ShipBob offers Standard, Priority, and Expedited carrier options for both domestic and international shipments. These offer shipping times varying from 1-30 business days depending on the option chosen. 

Software Order Features:

  • Integrates with the following: 
    • Amazon
    • Walmart
    • eBay
    • Shopify
    • Other leading ecommerce marketplaces 
  • Inventory forecasting 
  • Reports and analytics 
    • Fulfillment cost per order
    • Storage cost per unit
    • And much more 

Packaging Options:  

  • Standard packaging options: 
    • Boxes
    • Bubble mailers
    • Poly mailers
    • Poster tubes
    • Bookfolds
  • Custom packaging options 
  • Send custom packaging materials to any fulfillment center 
  • Stock custom packing materials as items in your inventory

Return Management: 

  • Returned products can be restocked, quarantined, or disposed of
  • ShipBob handles the order according to your instructions

Pricing

  • An impressive pricing model 
  • Keeps your invoice simple
  • Only charged for receiving, inventory storage, and shipping
  • Picking and packaging aren’t added on to increase costs 

The following are included monthly for all ShipBob customers: 

  • $5 per month per storage bin
  • $10 per month per shelf
  • $40 per month per pallet
  • Fulfillment costs will vary in price 
  • Depends on the package’s dimensions and other factors
  • Standard picking and packing included at no extra cost 
  • Free 24/7 customer support 

Deliverr

Deliverr is a fulfillment center you can trust to help you see your business succeed. They have software features that can help you streamline your customer’s ordering and shipping processes. 

Not only will your customers appreciate fast shipping, but the ease of ordering through Deliverr is impressive. With clean invoices and advanced software, you’ll only see the numbers you need to help your business profit. 

Best For: Social Media Selling

Location of Fulfillment Warehouses: 

  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • More than 80 warehouses across the country:
    • California
    • Texas
    • Missouri
    • Pennsylvania 
    • Ohio 
    • New Jersey 

Contact Info:

  • Email: https://resources.deliverr.com/scheduleacall
  • Website: https://deliverr.com/

Shipping Speeds: 

  • 1-day shipping 
  • 2-day shipping 

Software Order Features

  • Badges help drive sales and support fast shipping 
  • Fast shipping tags
  • Seamless integration with social media shops

Packaging Options: 

  • Boxes
  • Bubble mailers
  • Poly bags

Return Management: Deliverr is currently working on their returns process. If items are returned to Deliverr, they may be put in unfulfillable inventory. These items cannot be put back into inventory and then be sold. However, you will be informed if your buyers return items without contacting you. 

Pricing: Another condensed pricing model, Deliverr only charges for fulfillment and storage fees. Shipping, picking, packing, and other costs are factored in to simplify your costs as well as invoices. 

Your fulfillment fees will include your picking, packing, and shipping costs. These fees will vary based on the item dimensions and weight, number of items in the order, and the service level of the item. 

Storage fee rates start at: 

  • $0.025 per cubic foot
    • Per day for January through September
    • Equates to $0.75 per cubic foot per 30 days 
  • $0.080 per cubic foot
    • Per day for October through December
    • Equates to $2.40 per cubic foot per 30 days 

Red Stag Fulfillment 

Red Stag Fulfillment aims to help their clients save money. Whether it’s discounted shipping rates or package consolidation, you’ll appreciate the logistics Red Stag offers your business. 

With a free 30-day trial, you can experience all Red Stag has to offer without the commitment. Love what they have to offer but still not looking for a long-term commitment? Red Stag offers month-to-month billing options, meaning you can get the services you need without a strict contract. 

Best For: Kitting Fulfillment Services 

Location of Fulfillment Warehouses: 

  • Headquarters: 
    • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Warehouse locations:  
    • Knoxville, TN 
    • Salt Lake City, UT 

Contact Info:

  • Email: https://redstagfulfillment.com/contact-us/
  • Website: https://redstagfulfillment.com/

Shipping Speeds: 

  • 1-day shipping
  • 2-day shipping 
  • 3-day shipping 

Software Order Features

  • Cloud-based system
  • Real-time monitoring and data available 
  • Error-proof systems and processes 

Packaging Options:  

  • Cardboard boxes 
  • Corrugated or double-walled overboxing available 
  • Tyvek envelopes and padded envelopes  
  • Custom mailers available 

Return Management: 

  • Red Stag Fulfillment proudly handles returns seamlessly 
  • Returns can be sent to the seller or to Red Stag directly 

Pricing

  • Warehouse storage costs: 
    • $2 per bin per month
    • $15 per pallet per month 
  • Receiving costs:
    • May be charged per pallet
    • Typically $13.25 per pallet  
  • Pick and packing services:
  • $2.25 to $2.65 for the first item 
  • Plus $0.30 for additional items 

Return Management: 

  • Return and restock fees vary depending on your returns plan. 
  • Special kitting and packaging services available as well.
  • Prices will vary. 

ShipMonk 

ShipMonk is proud to boast 99.9% picking accuracy and for anyone running an Ecommerce business, this is an appealing number. With a first-class returns process, they have a customer support team ready to help in any area. Their software is user friendly and with their support team helping, onboarding is sure to be a breeze. 

Best For: Subscription Fulfillment 

Location of Fulfillment Warehouses: ShipMonk is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They have warehouses located in Florida, California, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kentucky, Mexico, Canada, and the UK. Warehouse locations in Texas and Europe are coming soon. 

Contact Info:

  • Email: info@shipmonk.com
  • Website: https://www.shipmonk.com

Shipping Speeds: 

  • Average low-cost shipping speed of 2 to 5 days 

Software Order Features

  •  More than 70 integrations
  •  Automated claims portal 
  • Delivery protection

Packaging Options:   

  • Boxes
  • Bubble Mailers
  • Clear Poly Bags
  • White Poly Mailers
  • Pallets
  • Custom packaging available 

Return Management: 

  • ShipMonk offers 5 options for returns: 
    • New Inventory
    • Rework
    • Return to Vendor 
    • Donate
    • Dispose Of
    • Remarket or Liquidate 

Pricing

  • Picking fees will vary depending on the number of orders you have each month.
  • Between 0 and 500 orders each month
    • $3 for the first item picked 
    • An additional $0.75 per additional item per order
  • $250 minimum for picking-and-packing each month
  • Promotional inserts for $0.20
  • Fragile or heavy items may have additional costs

Returns are $2.00 per item and an additional $0.50 for additional items. 

Storage fees are: 

  • $1 per month per small bin
  • $2 per month per medium bin
  • $3 per month per large bin
  • $4 per month per extra large bin
  • $25 per month per pallet
  • Additional fees for special projects may apply. 

Fulfillment.com

International shipping that comes with a 2 to 7 day delivery window is notable. They may not have the largest number of fulfillment center locations, but they were wise to place them well so they can still provide fast delivery to customers throughout the world. Accuracy is the name of the game when you choose Fulfillment.com. 

Best For: International Fulfillment

Location of Fulfillment Warehouses: 

  • Headquarters: Savannah, Georgia
  • Warehouse locations:
    • Georgia 
    • Pennsylvania
    • Missouri
    • Utah 

Contact Info:

  • Email: info@fulfillment.com
  • Website: www.fulfillment.com

Shipping Speeds: 

  • Next-day ground delivery available to 68% of the continental U.S. 
  • 1- to 2-day ground delivery available to 99.97% of the continental U.S. 

Software Order Features:  

  • Use their interface or modify your own CRM while still allowing for integration
  • Backorder management
  • Account managers assigned to each customer 

Packaging Options:   

  • Boxes
  • Bubble Wrap Envelopes
  • Kraft Mailing Tubes

Return Management: 

  • Offers comprehensive reverse logistics program for returns 
  • Quick, painless return process 

Pricing

Storage fee rates are:

  • No more than $0.47 per cubic foot per month 
  • January through December

eFulfillment Service 

eFulfillment Service 

While they may not be the ideal fulfillment center for large volume businesses, eFulfillment Service is the company to turn to when you’re looking to get started. They may only have one warehouse, but they can still deliver in a timely manner to those in the continental United States. Due to their size, they can still offer great prices with high quality solutions. 

Best For: New Ecommerce Businesses 

Location of Fulfillment Warehouses: Headquartered in Traverse City, MI, this is also where their only warehouse is currently located. 

Contact Info:

  • Email: https://www.efulfillmentservice.com/contact-us/
  • Website: https://www.efulfillmentservice.com/

Shipping Speeds: They aim to ship anywhere in the continental US within 3 days. 

Software Order Features

  • Manage shopping cart integration
  • Forecast inventory needs and inventory alerts
  • Manage returns

Packaging Options:  

  •  More than 20 box sizes available 
  •  Multiple sizes of plastic envelopes available 

Return Management: 

  • The returns process will depend on your account 
  • Customers can return items directly to their warehouse 

Pricing: With a free 30-day trial, you can test their service before you commit. Their costs will vary, but they do boast the following offers: 

  • No long-term storage fees
  • No setup fees
  • No order minimums
  • No integration fees
  • No long-term contracts
  • No hidden fees 
  • Get your quote today!

What Is a Fulfillment Center?

A fulfillment center receives, stores, processes, picks, packs, and ships products that your customers have ordered. This is generally a third-party logistics provider (3PL) that provides warehouse and shipping services for ecommerce businesses. Any order fulfillment needs you may have will be completed at the fulfillment center of your choice. 

How Do Fulfillment Centers Work?

Fulfillment centers are able to operate by being set up to receive and store inventory for their online merchants. With your inventory stored in their warehouses, they can then pick, pack, and ship your online orders in a timely manner. 

Features of Top Fulfillment Centers

Know what features to look for when choosing a fulfillment center and help your online business succeed without the hassle. 

Transparency 

Dependable order fulfillment is a must have when you’re looking to see profit in your online business. The fulfillment center you choose should be transparent and communicative. 

By staying in contact with clients, you can build stronger relationships and help your business grow. With two-way communication, you can know what your customer needs when they need it. Don’t let time be the reason you lose a customer. 

Being transparent with pricing and policies is critical. Hidden fees, even small ones, can quickly add up and take away from your business’ profit. Compliance and other policies can make or break the relationship you have with your customers. Know your fulfillment center has your back. Transparency with cost is a must. 

Costs

Comparing costs of different fulfillment centers is a necessity when looking around. You started an online business to see a profit. If you’re paying too much, you’ll never see your business succeed.

Varying storage, shipping, picking, and other costs will affect your end price. Be sure to review all prices and policies to be sure you know your costs upfront and aren’t surprised down the road. 

Software Features

Thanks to technology, starting an online business can be easier than ever. That being said, different fulfillment centers will offer different operating software. 

What you are looking to automate in your business will help you decide on which software features will help optimize your business. With inventory management, package tracking, and a plethora of more data tracking options, the right software can help you grow your business with ease. 

Grow Your Online Business With Ease

The fulfillment center you choose to support your online business will have a direct impact on your online business. With the right software, warehouse locations, packaging services, and more, the best fulfillment centers will help you see growth without the hassle. 

While you will need to put in the work to ensure you’re offering your customers a product they want, you shouldn’t have to exhaust yourself after you’ve done the setup. Cue the right fulfillment center. Consider where your customers are and what you want to get out of a fulfillment center and let one go to work for you. 

FAQ

What are the different types of fulfillment centers?

There are three different types of fulfillment centers: distribution centers, public warehouses, and private warehouses.

How profitable is a fulfillment center?

With the right business model, fulfillment centers can be highly profitable. You can make money while saving other online business owners money on storage and overhead costs.

Are fulfillment centers and warehouses the same thing?

A fulfillment center will hold products as they await shipment to customers while a warehouse simply provides storage of goods.

Streamlined Fulfillment & Warehousing

Known as the best-in-class fulfillment service, ShipBob streamlines your business with warehousing solutions, robust integration software, improved transit times, and reduced shipping costs!

Streamlined Fulfillment & Warehousing

Known as the best-in-class fulfillment service, ShipBob streamlines your business with warehousing solutions, robust integration software, improved transit times, and reduced shipping costs!