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Whiplash Alternatives 2019: Top Services Offered by Competitors

Category: B2B News

Startups, crowdfunders and e-commerce retailers are better off tapping a third-party order fulfillment services than doing logistics on their own. There are many reasons, foremost these top three reasons:

They can scale the service. Third-party logistics providers or 3PLs have already the infrastructure including warehousing, order fulfillment system, fleet of trucks and the manpower, which, otherwise, would have been hugely expensive for a single business. And thanks to cloud systems, 3PLs can now serve even the needs of small retailers.

Special deals. Due to their ability to aggregate the logistics operations of various businesses, 3PLs can leverage volume discounts with couriers and shippers.

Insider knowledge. Learning logistics is a whole new ballgame and will waste your time that could have been assigned to growing your business, like sales and marketing. 3PLs have decades of experience, network and long-term relationships with other providers and they know the intricacies of custom clearance, documentation and government regulations.

Whiplash is one of the better order fulfillment services, which provides good integration with e-commerce platforms, scalable services and affordable price plans starting for monthly order volumes starting at 250 items. However, it isn’t necessarily the best in the lot.

In this article, we compare three Whiplash alternatives: FedEx Fulfillment, ShipWire and Fulfillment by Amazon. Specifically, we compared them around these criteria:

  • Scalability of services
  • Pricing
  • Warehouse management system
  • Unique proposition

Top 3 Whiplash Alternatives

1. FedEx Fulfillment

FedEx Fulfillment is no doubt one of the best Whiplash alternatives for fast-growing small businesses and mid-sized retailers. It is built on the solid shipping network of its mother company and designed to provide a shipping option to e-commerce retailers, notably competing head-on against Amazon’s FBA.

What we like

  1. The solid FedEx brand that resonates reliability and top service when it comes to international shipping. FedEx pioneered real-time order tracking, which is now a standard in the industry.
  2. End-to-end solution that includes warehousing, inventory, packaging, fufillment, transportation and returns
  3. 130 fulfillment centers in North America and the lis is growing
  4. Ability to ship to 220 countries via the FedEx Cross Border program

What we don’t like

  1. Pricing is by quote and the provider didn’t provide any details of scalability
  2. May pose a problem for Amazon sellers in light of the anticipated stiff competition between the two giants in fulfillment space.

2. ShipWire

ShipWire may not have the brand recall of FedEx, but it has a solid global order fulfillment network. It is built on the strong architecture of Ingram Micro, which it has acquired four years ago, allowing for enterprise-grade warehouse management system that ensures secure storage and same-day shipping.

What we like

  1. Smart order fulfillment system that helps you choose the best delivery routes, rates and packaging solutions
  2. Analytics and dashboard of the system, which helps you tack orders and generate sales insights
  3. Storage centers in China, Australia, Europe and Asia
  4. Same-day shipping option for products submitted before the daily cutoff
  5. Scalable integrations and system features with plans starting at $29.95 per month for single pallet
  6. Allows drop shipping

What we don’t like

  1. Added costs like shipping and non-conforming packaging fees, which forces you to meet a high monthly quota to offset costs
  2. U.S. network is not as strong as FedEx and Amazon’s FBA

3. Fulfillment by Amazon

Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA can easily dominate its niche, leveraging Amazon as its main customer base. Amazon sellers are better off hooking into its system and services for native integration. Like FedEx Fulfillment, it is one of the best Whiplash alternatives, no doubt.

What we like

  1. If you have a major customer base in Amazon, FBA is probably the wisest choice
  2. It can give you bundle deals like Amazon Prime for free shipping and 2-Day delivery
  3. Scalable, pricing is based on size and weight measured by cubic foot
  4. You can leverage Amazon’s numerous warehousing facilities worldwide in major cities and near airports.

What we don’t like

  1. It can be a case of putting all your eggs in one basket. Amazon has already considerable control over your marketplace; adding fulfillment to it may compromise your business.
  2. Additional fees like ordre handling, pick & pack per SKU and weight handling may bloat your monthly costs.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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