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Top 5 Shipping Solutions for eCommerce In 2022

Jan 2022
Top shipping solutions to choose for your ecommerce
Perhaps nowadays everyone who sells or buys something online knows that quality of delivery service is one of the most important components for any e-commerce. However not every store owner knows how to make this process efficient and clear. To understand this subject we have prepared this overview about 5 most popular shipping solutions that helps ecom business being more effective in 2022.
    Navigate directly to the shipping solution you would like to know more about

    What is a Shipping Solution for E-Commerce?

    A shipping solution for e-commerce is an extension, plugin, or app for your e-commerce platform (Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce and others) that provides you with the necessary tools to set up and manage the shipping process — from the shipping calculations at the checkout level to printing shipping labels. It can also include delivery dates management, shipping rules and restrictions set up, multi-origin shipping calculations, dimensional shipping, in-store pickup, live rates and landed cost from shipping carriers, order tracking, and more.

    Why You Should Consider Using a Shipping Solution?

    Control Over Your Shipping Storefront
    It is very important to run a cost-effective e-commerce business and not to lose money on shipping. Therefore your shipping methods and rates at the checkout need to be taken under control. The goal is to reduce the gap between the shipping rates displayed and the shipping costs you bear. It is also important to offer competitive shipping methods and rates to your customers as they significantly affect conversions and cart abandonment rates and therefore sales and profitability.
    Transparency and predictability
    In 2022 e-commerce shipping should be informative and predictable: customers want to know how the shipping method works, when they get their order and how they can track it. Including shipping costs into the product price is not a trend anymore — let your customers know what they are paying for.
    Efficient Order Management Process
    The order management process starts once the order is placed and the products need to be delivered into the customers' hands. For everything to run smoothly, you will need an efficient order management process. Order management ensures that shipping labels are generated properly and include correct tracking information. Efficient order management minimizes errors made by humans when turning manually made processes into fully automated ones. Fewer errors can help your business reduce costs and speed up efficiency in almost any operational area. By managing the flow of information between each team and system, managers can leverage this information to avoid bottlenecks, wasted costs and point out inefficiencies.
    Top 5 Shipping Solutions
    #1 Calcurates
    Bratislava, Slovakia
    Launched in 2019 by Amasty, a Magento extension builder since 2009
    Calcurates is a shipping solution that helps e-commerce to calculate and display the right shipping methods and rates to the customers at the checkout with zero coding. It streamlines the shipping process and makes it cost-effective, sales-stimulating, and eco-friendly by means of its calculation algorithms and powerful features.

    Top Standout Features

    Live Rates from major small parcel carriers
    Multi-Origin / Multi-Vendor Shipping
    Volumetric Weight
    Smart Packaging and Packaging Rules
    Rate Shopping
    International Shipping and Landed Cost
    Delivery Dates
    Table Rates
    Shipping Rules and Restrictions

    Shipping Labels and Order Tracking

    For now, Calcurates supports shipping label generation and order tracking from all major carriers only for Magento 2 e-commerce. It will be available for other platforms soon.

    Inventory Management

    Calcurates is not an order management software rather shipping software that helps you manage shipping options and methods at the checkout easily and with zero coding. Thus, Calcurates does not support any of the following order management functions — low stock alerts, inventory management and order fulfillment.

    Pricing Plans

    Calcurates has 3 different subscription-based pricing plans.

    “Basic" pricing plan is unlimited and free forever. Shipping from a single origin can be set up, 3 shipping options (Flat Rate and Free Shipping types) and 3 shipping rules are available for the set up.

    “Pro" plan is available for $49.00 per month or $499 if paid annually. With this pricing plan, you can set your shipping using up to 10 origins and 10 shipping options, including Table Rates in addition to Flat Rate and Free Shipping. A variety of advanced features such as Volumetric Weight, Delivery Dates, Multi-Origin Shipping, In-Store Pickup, and more are available for an extra subscription fee starting from $10 per month.

    “Pro+Carriers" is available for $99.00 per month or $999 if paid annually. In addition to all features available in the “Pro" plan, you may connect your own carrier accounts with this plan. There are 5,000 carrier credits monthly included in this plan, that you can spend on requesting and displaying live rates, landed cost at the checkout, generating labels, and order tracking. Extra credits can be purchased.

    Calcurates is also offering individual pricing plans upon request.

    Free Trial

    Calcurates offers a 30-day free trial that is in most cases enough for testing all features and configure, so you will have enough time to test all the features and check if Calcurates meets your shipping needs.
    Calcurates Pros and Cons
    Pros
    Multi-carrier integrations
    Powerful advanced features
    Affordable pricing
    Configuration and migration services
    Developed by Amasty
    Cons
    Shipping labels generation and order tracking are available only for Magento
    LTL carriers are not supported
    #2 ShipperHQ
    Austin, Texas, United States
    Founded in 2013
    ShipperHQ is a shipping management tool that shows shipping options for your customers at the checkout. ShipperHQ creates a precisely tailored shipping strategy based on your business needs by helping you save money on shipping, and offering fast delivery methods.

    Top Standout Features

    Live rates from carriers, including LTL
    Multi-Origin Shipping
    Dimensional Weight Shipping
    In-store Pickup
    Rate Shopping
    Estimated Delivery Dates
    Address Validation
    Shipping Rules and Restrictions

    Carrier Integration

    ShipperHQ integrates with over 50 carriers worldwide including all the major US-based carriers like UPS, FedEx, USPS. To carry out deliveries in Europe ShipperHQ offers DHL and GLS as main carriers. For Australian and Canadian deliveries, you can choose from Australia Post, StartTrack, Canada Post, Sendle, and Purolator.

    Shipping Options

    Maximum shipping flexibility can be unlocked with shipping options ShipperHQ offers for its customers at the checkout. The main shipping options are Table Rates shipping, Flat Rates shipping, In-store Pickup, and Free shipping. Shipping options can be used in combination with more advanced shipping features like Shipping Rules and Dimensional Packing.

    Shipping Labels and Order Tracking

    ShipperHQ is not an inventory management tool, thus it does not interfere with any post-order processes. Its main focus is the storefront. With ShipperHQ you can not generate shipping or return labels.

    Inventory Management

    ShipperHQ does not support any inventory management or warehouse management-related processes. With ShipperHQ you can only receive order details which include information about the carrier, price, shipping method, and expected delivery date and time.

    Pricing Plan

    The ShipperHQ pricing plans are very straightforward and easy to comprehend. However, all of ShippperHQ's pricing plans might seem a bit expensive for smaller and medium-sized e-commerce stores.

    The user can choose from 3 pricing options.
    The first plan, called the “Essentials", includes accurate shipping rates from up to 2 carriers, 1 advanced shipping feature, and 2 Shipping Rules. The plan is available from $45.83 per month.

    The second pricing plan, called “Standard", is the most popular and includes shipping with up to 4 carriers, unlimited Shipping Rules, and 2 advanced shipping features. Pricing begins at $91.67 per month.

    The last pricing plan is called “Advanced" and includes shipping with up to 8 carriers, unlimited Shipping Rules, and 4 advanced shipping features. The price starts at $275.00 per month. This plan includes phone support and same-day response within the central US time.

    Free Trial

    ShipperHQ offers a 15-day free trial. You can also request a demo to get introduced to the shipping software logic before starting subscription.
    ShipperHQ Pros and Cons
    Pros
    Live rates from LTL carriers
    Powerful advanced features
    Adress validation
    Cons
    Pricing plans are unaffordable for SMB
    Short trial period
    No shipping labels generation
    #3 ShipStation
    Austin, Texas, United States
    Founded in 2011
    ShipStation is software with a strong focus on order management. The software helps you streamline and automate your order fulfillment processes. With ShipStation you can automate shipping, as well.

    Top Standout Features

    Rate Shopping
    Shipping Labels Generation
    Integration with Order Management software

    Carrier Integration

    ShipStation integrates with 57 carriers worldwide. Overall, it can be said that ShipStation has good coverage of carriers across the globe. Starting with the US-based FedEx, UPS, USPS to Canadian carriers as Purolator, Canada Post, and Europe’s DHL, Royal Mail, DPD, and much more. For Australia, you can choose from Australia Post, Aramex, or Sendle.

    Shipping Options

    Since you connect your own carrier business accounts, there are only shipping options offered by your carrier available.

    Shipping Labels and Order Tracking

    ShipStation helps with tracking orders, including in-transit packages.
    Printing shipping labels and return labels are also included. The big benefit is that you can track, and generate labels for your personalized packages, as well. The customers can choose to be notified about their package location via SMS or email.

    Inventory Management

    ShipStation has advanced features when it comes to inventory management. These features promise to organize and manage the inventory in a better manner for any e-commerce store. These include Inventory alerts when inventory stock falls beyond a certain set level, Allocation and Deallocation Stock functions that helps to reserve inventory for orders that are still awaiting shipment. The last features include Viewing Inventory Levels, Management of Inventory, and the Pick & Pack Faster feature which makes orders packing and picking easier.

    Pricing Plan

    ShipStation offers in total 6 pricing plans. The cheapest one, called “Starter" starts at $9 per month, and the most expensive pricing plan, “Enterprise", is $159 per month. The main difference between pricing plans is the limited number of shipments per month, the number of allowed users, and whether you need branded or personalized shipping labels for your e-commerce stores.

    Free Trial

    ShipStation offers a 30-Day free trial, there is no need to pre-pay for anything.
    ShipStation Pros and Cons
    Pros
    Easy to generate and print labels
    Compare shipping rates across multiple carriers
    Strong focus on inventory management
    Cons
    No storefront shipping management
    #4 Shippo
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Founded in 2013
    Shippo is a shipping software that offers carriers real-time rates and everything companies need to set up professional shipping. With Shippo, you can obtain discounted shipping rates, create shipping labels and track shipments.

    Top Standout Features

    Pickup Scheduling
    Address Validation (US and Global)
    Discounted Shipping Rates
    Shipping Labels Generation
    Branded Tracking Pages

    Carrier Integration

    Shippo partners with over 85 carriers worldwide. From carriers, Shippo offers all the major carriers including UPS, FedEx, USPS, Canada Post, Australia Post, and DHL. There are more options for smaller local US-based carriers. So far from all the shipping solutions mentioned in this article, Shippo has the biggest coverage of carriers. They do not support multiple UPS accounts within a single Shippo account.

    Shipping Options

    Shippo's available shipping options are only the ones that are offered by the carrier you ship with. Shipping services vary from carrier to carrier but the majority of bigger carriers like UPS or DHL offer at least discounted shipping rates. At the moment, Shippo is offering up to 90% off USPS rates.

    Shipping Labels and Order Tracking

    Shippo offers shipping labels from the majority of known carriers and also more local country-based carriers. Return labels can be requested from major carriers like USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL and are for free with Shippo.
    Shipments Tracking is available for larger carriers like Aramex, DHL, DPD, New Zealand Post, and for some local carriers.

    Inventory Management

    For inventory management, you will need to select one of Shippo’s partner companies to help you with the necessary. Those fulfillment partners include ShipBob, Wizmo, GrothJet, and more. Shippo itself does not offer any order fulfillment or inventory management tools.

    Pricing Plan

    The pricing plan is very simple, you pay for the cost of shipping plus 5 cents per shipping label. There are 3 pricing plans to choose from.

    The “starter" plan is free, and the user does not pay for shipping labels if Shippo's default carriers are used. These are UPS, USPS and DHL Express. For their own connected carriers, users have to pay an extra 5 cents per shipping label.

    The “Professional“ pricing plan is available from $10 per month. For this price, you may generate up to 60 shipping labels. There is no additional per-label fee.

    The “Premium" pricing plan offers unlimited shipping labels, the price is available upon the request.

    Free Trial

    There is an option to sign up for free to try the service.
    Shippo Pros and Cons
    Pros
    Multi-carrier integration
    Global address validation
    Supports 85 carriers
    A free pricing plan
    Cons
    No storefront shipping management
    #5 Sendcloud
    Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Founded in 2012
    Sendcloud is a shipping platform that connects with over 35 carriers. Sendcloud's shipping automation allows you to generate shipping labels, track orders and create shipping rules to avoid manual errors.

    Top Standout Features

    Shipping Labels Generation
    Schedule of Pickups
    Delivery Dates

    Carrier Integration

    Sendcloud offers a selection of around 35 international and local carriers. The most popular carriers include DPD, DHL, UPS, GLS, and FedEx. Sendcloud mostly operates within Europe, thus some carriers specific for the US like USPS are missing. Other carriers missing are Canada Post, Sendle, and Purolator to cover Canadian territories. Also, Australia Post is missing for deliveries to Australia.

    Shipping Options

    Sendcloud integrates with e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce or Shopify to offer shipping options to its clients. In this case, it is more important to look at shipping options available for each e-commerce platform rather than Sendcloud itself.

    For WooCommerce stores the following shipping options are available: Flat Rate, Free Shipping, and In-store Pickup. For Magento e-commerce websites all four basic shipping options are available: Flat Rate, Table Rates, Free Shipping, and In-store Pickup. For Shopify users, Table Rates is not included.

    Shipping Labels and Order Tracking

    Sendcloud can automate a shipping labels generation for all of their 35 available carriers. You can print and ship labels in bulk directly from the dashboard. Use return labels to ensure a smooth return process and handle returns without any hassle.

    Inventory Management

    Sendcloud does not cover any inventory management-related features. Thus, does not support any order fulfillment, inventory management, or low inventory alert features.

    Pricing Plan

    There are 4 pricing plans with Sendcloud.

    The “Free" plan supports a maximum of 2 shop integrations, 1 branded tracking email, and Sendcloud's discounted rates.

    The “Small Shop" pricing plan supports 5 shop integrations, includes all branded tracking emails, branded return labels, and up to 5 Shipping Rules. A maximum of 400 shipping labels per month is allowed. The price is billed yearly and costs 40€ per month, which is around 45 USD.

    The “Large Shop" pricing plan includes an unlimited number of shop integrations, an unlimited number of Shipping Rules, and a Pack & Go scan and print feature. There is a maximum of 1000 shipping labels allowed. The price for a “Large Shop" plan is 89€ per month which is around 100 USD.

    The last pricing plan is called “Business" plan. It includes all the advantages of the “Large Shop" pricing plan, in addition to access to the Customer Success Manager and 2500 shipping labels per month. The price is 179€ per month (roughly 204 USD).

    Free Trial

    There is no free trial but you are encouraged to start with a free pricing plan to get to know the functionality of the software better. You only pay for pre-negotiated shipping rates as you would for any shipment. If you want to try more features, all paid Sendcloud plans are included with the free plan unpaid period.
    Sendcloud Pros and Cons
    Pros
    Bulk shipping labels generation
    A free pricing plan
    Cons
    Some major carriers are missing
    Limited shipping flexibility at the checkout
    In this article, we have given you detailed information about the most popular shipping solutions at the moment. We told you about the features, advantages, and disadvantages so if we were looking for the right solution for ourselves.
    The choice is up to you, as always, and we hope that this text helped you make it!
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