Many e-commerce companies don’t want to spend their time picking, packing and shipping every order. That’s why e-commerce business owners outsource their shipping to a fulfillment company, which stores their inventory, picks and packs orders as they come in and ships orders to customers. Many factors come into play when choosing a fulfillment company, such as price, shipping speed and integrations.
ShipBob and ShipMonk are two popular fulfillment companies, so which one is best for you? Here’s a breakdown of ShipBob vs ShipMonk so you can decide which is best for your business.
And when you’re finished reading, check out the other articles in our ‘Subscription box fulfillment’ series:
- Guide to subscription box fulfillment
- Insourcing vs outsourcing subscription box packaging services
- Best subscription box fulfillment company
- ShipBob vs ShipMonk
What is ShipBob?
ShipBob is more than a third-party logistics (3PL) provider; it also provides key sales insights to help you understand your client base and grow your business. It operates warehouses across six countries and offers two-day U.S. shipping. It’s great for cross-channel dropshipping since it seamlessly integrates with many different marketplaces. ShipBob accelerated its growth/investment in product and engineering teams in 2022. The app store currently has 40+ direct, turn-key integrations and more are added all the time (like NetSuite!). ShipBob offers EDI-automated B2B and automated FBA prep orders in the U.S. and is always investing in updates to their API.
- 40+ global fulfillment centers in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Poland, Ireland, and Australia
- Omnichannel fulfillment including EDI-automated retail dropshipping and retail distribution
- Analytics and technology
- Customization suite
- Can be a more expensive option
What is ShipMonk?
ShipMonk is another 3PL boasting fast processing and quick shipping turnaround. It has warehouses across the U.S. as well as in Canada, Mexico and the U.K., with plans to open locations in Europe. It integrates with many large marketplaces, including Shopify and WooCommerce, among other tools. At this time ShipMonk offers no app store, no development API, and all integrations are manual.
- Mexico fulfillment centers in section 321
- Multi-channel fulfillment
- Inventory and sales reports
- No warehouses in Europe or Australia currently
- No dedicated account manager
- Lack of investment in innovation
- Only provides manual processes for integrations
- Hidden fees and surcharges
Comparing ShipBob & ShipMonk
Both of these companies have multiple warehouses, provide seamless integrations, and offer two-day shipping, so which is the better option? This comparison of ShipBob vs ShipMonk will examine pricing, location and shipping partner details.
Minimum order volume
Some fulfillment companies require e-commerce businesses to meet monthly minimum order thresholds or pick-and-pack fees.
ShipMonk’s minimum pick-and-pack fee is $250 per month. This means that even if a business only has enough orders to require $200 worth of pick-and-pack services, it’ll be charged $250 regardless. For larger e-commerce companies, this cost may not matter, but it can put added pressure on newer businesses and startups.
ShipBob offers a growth plan for newer businesses shipping less than 400 orders a month with fewer than 50 SKUs and no products weighing more than 49 pounds.
Having multiple fulfillment center locations across the country and the world is crucial to fast shipping. ShipBob has more than 40 locations around the world, with fulfillment centers across the U.S., Canada, Australia, Mexico and Europe. ShipBob’s vast physical presence makes it easy to expand your reach since your products can be stored in warehouses around the world.
ShipMonk also has numerous global warehouse locations, though its presence is smaller than ShipBob’s. Its 11 locations include numerous warehouses across the U.S., with others in Mexico, Canada and the U.K. With plans to soon begin operating in mainland Europe, ShipMonk’s network is able to provide fast shipping in many countries, but nevertheless currently falls short of ShipBob’s capabilities.
After your order is picked and packed, it needs to be sent to your customer with the fastest shipping partner. Both ShipBob and ShipMonk partner with the four major shipping providers in the US, including USPS, FedEx, UPS and DHL. Both companies match your order with the fastest shipping provider at discount prices.
ShipBob and ShipMonk offer comprehensive customer service included in the cost of services. They offer on-site support at all of their fulfillment centers. You can reach ShipBob and ShipMonk by phone or email, or submit cases online. They also have extensive support resources to help troubleshoot common issues that customers may encounter. ShipBob does offer 24/7 customer support, so it just barely beats ShipMonk in client support.
Pricing and fees
For ShipBob and ShipMonk, most charges are tied to fulfillment and storage requirements. Fulfillment costs are determined by how many orders you are shipping per month, their destination, size and weight. Storage costs also vary by amount of inventory and how much space it takes up (prorated on a monthly basis).
ShipBob has a straightforward pricing model, charging no fees for picking (for the first four picks; then it’s USD $0.25/pick) and no charge for standard packaging materials. Fulfillment costs depend on item size, and storage costs depend on your inventory. For example, it’s $5 per bin, $10 per shelf or $40 per pallet.
ShipMonk has more fluctuating fees than ShipBob. It charges a first-item pick fee that starts at $3 and decreases based on the number of orders processed. ShipMonk imposes an additional item fee starting at $.75 per item. It does have more storage options than ShipBob. Its pricing breakdown is
- $1 per month for a small bin
- $2 per month for a medium bin
- $3 per month for a large bin
- $4 per month for an extra-large bin
- $25 per month for a pallet
ShipMonk’s storage fees are cheaper than ShipBob’s, but it charges more fees and sets minimum requirements.
Choose the best provider for your business
Outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL provider can free up more time to focus on building your inventory and expanding your client base. However, you’ll want to choose the fulfillment company with the best pricing, customer support, integrations and partners. When comparing ShipBob vs. ShipMonk, two great companies to meet your shipping needs, ShipBob is a better option for e-commerce businesses of all sizes because of its pricing model, warehouse locations and resources.
ShipBob is a great company for retail drop shipping (where ShipBob fulfills an online retail order and ships it directly to the end customer), because of its numerous EDI retailer integrations, along with warehouse locations, enabling quick shipping times.
ShipMonk is a 3PL or third-party logistics provider. E-commerce companies outsource their inventory storage and fulfillment to ShipMonk.
ShipBob partners with many shipping providers, including USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL in the U.S.
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