1) Overview of eCommerce Shipping Companies
The eCommerce industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Although the sector operates even without physical stores, it has been able to capture a large part of the consumer market and incentivize convenience. This convenience, however, does not come easy. An eCommerce brand requires several parties to work in conjunction with each other to make the experience that is online shopping a reality.
One of the most important players involved in the eCommerce landscape is shipping companies. They are responsible for moving products from the online sellers and getting them delivered to the doorstep of customers. Since the entire business model is largely dependent on these companies, it becomes imperative that eCommerce businesses opt for the right partners. Therefore, in this article, we help you understand how eCommerce shipping works, who are the top players in the industry, and how to choose an ideal shipping partner.
2) How does eCommerce Shipping work?
The process of eCommerce shipping begins as soon as the customer places an order online. The seller or the seller’s system then verifies if the order can be fulfilled and accepts the request.
Once the order is accepted, the shipping process starts and generally comprises of the following steps:
Once the order is accepted by the seller, the information is forwarded to the warehouse. Here the product is picked from its designated location and packed in shipping boxes to be delivered to the end consumer. Packaging is necessary to ensure that the product does not suffer damage or loss of items during transit.
Once the product is packed, it is labeled in the storage facility. Here an air waybill is generated for the product, which contains all necessary information that is required for it to be delivered. The waybill includes information about the origin, the destination, tracking details to check the status of the order.
Once the product is packed and labeled, it is handed over to the shipping company. Then the product is moved through bulk transport vehicles such as a cargo ship or aircraft, trailers, railways, or trucks. The shipping process also includes the distribution of goods to smaller centers which are located closer to the final destination of an order.
2.4) Last-mile Delivery
Finally, the order enters the last-mile delivery stage. Here the product is received from the nearest hub or distribution center to be delivered to the customer’s doorstep.
3) Top 10 eCommerce Shipping Companies in the U.S.
Now that we understand how eCommerce Shipping works, here are the top 10 companies for shipping items for an online store in the U.S.
FedEx is one of the biggest ecommerce shipping companies in the U.S . It provides access to over 220 countries and employs more than 600,000 people. The company handles an average of 12.5 million shipments every day. It is known for its express shipping solutions, overnight delivery services, and international freight solutions. It also provides specialized shipping solutions for sensitive goods, dangerous items, and returning items.
UPS is one of the oldest shipping companies in the U.S. with access to over 220 countries. It is one of the largest ecommerce shipping companies in the world, with over 500,000 employees and a capacity of managing 5 billion packages each year. Apart from standard shipping solutions, it offers pickup scheduling, bulk shipping, and clearance services. Further, it provides land, air, and sea freight solutions as well as reverse logistics services.
DHL is a major shipping service provider in the U.S. founded more than 50 years ago. It has a massive workforce of 380,000 people and allows clients to reach over 200 countries. It handles an average of 1.8 billion shipments each year. DHL offers air, sea, and surface transportation services, bulk shipping solutions, shipping solutions for sensitive items, and more. It also allows consolidation of multiple shipments, pickup scheduling and offers tracking solutions.
USPS is an independent shipping company owned by the US government’s executive branch. The company is a major shipping service provider with almost 600,000 employees. The company is known for its affordable shipping services and offers order tracking and label generation solutions as well. Further, it provides insurance, proof of delivery as well as reverse logistics solutions.
3.5) Ceva Logistics
Ceva is an international shipping company with major operations in the United States. It is headquartered in Europe and operates in over 160 countries around the world. The company has over 1000 international fulfillment centers and is known for its 3PL services. It provides cross-border shipping services, third-party logistics solutions, custom clearance services, insurance, and more.
3.6) C. H. RobinsonH. Robinson is a major U.S. carrier founded over 100 years ago in North Dakota. The company handles an average of 19 million packages every year and has a workforce of over 15,000 people. It has a customer base of over 100,000 companies. The company provides a variety of truck transport solutions, 3PL services, warehousing, and last-mile delivery solutions.
3.7) Kuehne + Nagel
Kuehne + Nagel is a leading international shipping company and a major carrier in the United States. The company has presence in over 109 countries and more than 80,000 employees. K + N has a customer base of 400,000+ business clients. The company is known for its sea freight services and has been one of the leaders in the sector. It offers international shipping, rail, air and surface transportation, warehousing services, and more.
3.8) Schneider Logistics
Schneider Logistics is an American ecommerce shipping services provider that was founded in 1935. It manages a fleet of 9,000+ tractors and approximately 36 thousand trailers with help from 15,000 employees to cover over 180 facilities around the world each day, completing nearly 10 million miles. The company offers a variety of surface transportation solutions, bulk shipping services, customs brokerage services, and more.
3.9) XPO Logistics
XPO Logistics is a U.S.-based shipping company. It has a major presence in over 700 cities in 20 countries throughout the world. The company employs over 42,000 people and has a customer base of more than 50,000 businesses. It is a leading provider of surface transportation solutions such as FTL, drayage, and more. IT also offers 3PL services and international shipping solutions, along with freight forwarding and last-mile delivery.
3.10) J. B. HuntB. Hunt is another American logistics company that is known for its surface transport services. It has a workforce of 24,000 people along with a fleet of over 12,000 trucks through the U.S. The company offers intermodal logistics services, FTL and LTL trucking solutions, specialized delivery solutions for temperature-sensitive items, and more.
4) How to choose the right eCommerce Shipping Companies for your business in the U.S.?
The market for ecommerce shipping companies is filled with service providers. Consequently, it becomes difficult to choose an ideal partner. Here are some factors to consider when choosing an ecommerce shipping company for your business.
4.1) Cost of services
The cost of services is a key consideration directly impacting the revenue. Before choosing a shipping partner, businesses must consider the pricing structure. Although it might be tempting to partner with the cheapest provider in the industry, however, that is likely going to result in poor quality of services.
An ideal way to factor in the pricing structure is to assess affordability, margins, requirements, and future plans. After such assessment, a business can choose a budget-friendly provider with high-quality services which provides scope for growth.
4.2) Area serviced by the provider
One of the biggest challenges to shipping operations is serviceability. It is important to reach existing customers efficiently while also having enough margins to expand the customer base. Therefore, when choosing a provider businesses must consider the area covered by the shipping company.
A larger coverage ensures that products are delivered to customers efficiently, while also ensuring that businesses are able to grow without any hindrances.
4.3) Services offered by the provider
The type of services offered by a shipping company is critical to choosing a provider. The provider must offer relevant solutions, as well as add-on services to be able to add value to the business. Although a popular provider is generally a great choice, a partner must possess the necessary bandwidth and expertise to cater to the specific needs of an enterprise.
Therefore, when businesses search for shipping partners, they must understand their requirements and what services they require to succeed in their business. When companies are able to identify their needs, they are better equipped to choose their shipping partners.
4.4) Customer Support
Customer support is a key factor when choosing a shipping company. The shipping process is composed of several moving parts and different entities. This makes the process prone to damage and hindrances. Therefore, when companies face trouble with their shipments they must be able to get in touch with their provider to resolve such issues in due time.
It is important for businesses to get a good understanding of the quality of service provided by a shipping company. One of the best ways to ensure this is to get reviews of the shipping company from previous clients. A comprehensive understanding of the historical performance of a company allows businesses to understand its capabilities and helps them judge if it is a suitable engagement.
Shipping companies are the backbone of the eCommerce industry. Without the existence of brick-and-mortar stores, online sellers rely on the services of shipping providers to connect with their customers and run their businesses. Therefore, it is important to choose the right shipping partner for an eCommerce enterprise since it directly impacts its ability to fulfill orders.
1. Which is the best ecommerce shipping company for eCommerce in the U.S.?
The U.S. is a diverse market and is home to several leading international shipping companies. Some of the best shipping companies for eCommerce in the United States are FedEx, UPS, DHL, Ceva, and USPS.
2. How to choose the best shipping company for eCommerce?
Some of the key considerations to bear in mind when choosing a shipping company are the pricing of the services, serviceability of the company, types, and quality of services offered by the provider, quality of customer support, and reviews from previous customers.