Middle-Mile Logistics Services
As an ecommerce business owner, managing logistics can be time-consuming and challenging.
Fortunately with ShipBob, you can store inventory in multiple distribution centers while also leaving fulfillment up to the experts.
ShipBob operates several fulfillment centers within the US and aboard to enable 2-day shipping across the country, as well as international fulfillment locations to reach customers across the globe.
Learn more about ShipBob’s middle-man logistics services.
“By shortening the transit distance, we get to shorten transit time and reduce the amount of pollution produced in the shipping process. Even in the final stages of fulfillment and last-mile delivery, ShipBob enables us to stay true to our mission!”
Director of Operations at Food Huggers
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What is middle-mile logistics?
Middle-mile logistics refers to the phase in the ecommerce supply chain that moves inventory from one distribution center to the next.
Having the flexibility to move inventory across a distribution network makes it possible to optimize inventory levels based on customer demand in certain areas. With access to multiple warehouse locations, you can transfer inventory easily and affordably to create a more an agile supply chain.
It also allows businesses to scale more efficiently by distributing inventory into additional warehouses over time.
What are differences between middle-mile logistics vs. last-mile logistics?
Middle-mile logistics refers to movement of inventory from a distribution center or a warehouse to optimize inventory at different locations based on demand.
Last-mile logistics refers to the shipping phase when an order has been handed over to a shipping carrier, so it can be delivered to its final destination.
ShipBob’s omnichannel fulfillment services
ShipBob offers a network of fulfillment centers to help businesses strategically expand into new distribution locations based on where customers are located and/or where demand is on the rise.
This not only speeds up order delivery and reduces shipping costs, but it also helps mitigate risks in case of unexpected warehouse closures or inability of carriers to pick up from the facility due to bad weather.
Additionally, with a network of fulfillment centers, you can provide customers with affordable 2-day shipping in the US (and affordable international shipping with global locations) while handing off fulfillment to experts.
“For us, changing from a 3 week lead time to 3 days through ShipBob is what drove our sales. Even now, one of the primary reviews we get on Etsy is, ‘My order arrived really quickly!’
Having the stock locally in the US means that lead times and shipping times are minimal, and that you’ll get higher conversion rates because you’re offering better lead times.”
John Greenhalgh, Co-Founder of A Year of Dates
Once ShipBob receives inventory, orders placed will be routed to the nearest fulfillment center. Throughout the fulfillment process, you can manage inventory, view data and analytics including insights on future demand, and manage SKUs all from one single dashboard.
“Right now, in terms of all inventory and sales channels, ShipBob is our main hub. You can have stock in 2 fulfillment centers for 10 channels and know the totals. We recently had to send stock between two facilities and that was really easy. I remember talking to other 3PLs who said if you have two warehouses, you’d need to have separate logins or ways to manage the inventory in each warehouse.
That type of thing is a walk in the park for ShipBob. We have 10 different ways people can purchase the product so everything is on a different platform. ShipBob is the only one where we can see all-in-all what has occurred. The analytics are amazing.”Jordan and Anouk Rondel, Owners of The Caker
With ShipBob’s network of fulfillment centers, you can strategically split your inventory across our locations to get your products from point A to point B more quickly and affordably. Storing inventory near your customers helps reduce the shipping zones and costs associated with shipping orders to faraway destinations.
Distributed inventory also helps you stay competitive by offering fast shipping to your customers. When an order is placed, ShipBob’s algorithm automatically selects the warehouse and carrier that will give you the quickest turnaround at the best price. This strategy has helped our merchants bring 13% savings to their bottom line.
100% Coverage Across the Continental US
If you’re looking to expand into the United States, ShipBob has 2-Day Express Shipping that provides 100% coverage in the continental US from even just one fulfillment center.
You can also distribute your inventory across ShipBob’s fulfillment centers across all regions of the United States. We leave it up to you to decide where you want us to store your inventory.
At ShipBob, we track your orders from A to Z. Filter orders by status, search for specific orders, see a quick timeline view of where your order is in the fulfillment process (e.g. when an order is picked, packed, or shipped), easily find shipping-related information (e.g., weights, dimensions, or carrier service), and get a quick snapshot of any orders that require action.
With order management software for your direct-to-consumer and wholesale shipments, you can manage subscriptions, make changes to your orders post-purchase, map your store’s shipping options to ShipBob, and automatically share tracking information with your customers.
At ShipBob, we empower merchants to manage their inventory with the right tools and guidance. It’s easy to view the status of inventory and quantity on hand across locations at any point in time, identify slow-moving inventory with high storage costs, and gain insights into the performance of units sold over time by channel.
Our inventory management software helps you set reminders to proactively replenish inventory with reorder notifications, bundle your products for promotions, make inventory transfer requests, and much more.
Reporting and analytics
To provide you with visibility into our operations and performance, and also hold ourselves accountable, ShipBob’s free analytics tool is packed with charts to help you with everything from year-end reporting, to better supply chain decision-making.
Data can be a competitive advantage, and our reports show an analysis of which fulfillment centers you should stock, days of inventory left before you run out, impact of promotions on stock levels, each shipping method’s average cart value, shipping cost, and days in transit, your fulfillment cost per order, storage cost per unit, and much more.
End-to-end customer experience
We care about the customer experience as much as you and strive to be an extension of your team. From custom branded boxes to free plain packaging, ShipBob works with you to provide the unboxing experience you want. We also help you offer the fastest, most cost-effective shipping options to meet your customers’ expectations.
As soon as an order ships, tracking is pushed back to your store. We also offer return management services, allowing customers to generate return shipping labels and track returns, while getting your products processed and back into your available inventory as efficiently as possible.
How ShipBob improves your fulfillment and logistics
Save on fulfillment costs
Coffee creamer brand Prymal joined ShipBob in 2019 and was quickly able to save $8,000 per month on fulfillment costs, while at the same time achieving 4x growth.
Improve your conversion rate
Not only was BAKblade able to scale internationally by partnering with ShipBob, but they found adding 2-Day Shipping increased their conversions as well.
Store, ship, and grow internationally
Sunglasses brand Ombraz distributed their inventory across 3 fulfillment centers in two different countries. This has allowed them to ship to 55 countries on seven continents.