ShipMonk started their e-commerce fulfillment center in 2015 and has grown exponentially over the past six years. In 2020, ShipMonk raised $290 million to fund further growth. Most recently, they acquired Ruby Has, and plan to acquire more 3PLs in the near future. Oftentimes, companies that experience growth quickly struggle to keep up with customer service and service levels, so bigger is not always better with 3PLs.
ShipMonk Pricing: Pick & Pack Rates
Comparing ShipMonk's base pick & pack rates to OTW Shipping, OTW Shipping came out up to $0.50 cheaper per order. For both companies you are able to obtain a custom quote which may be cheaper than the base rates provided here.
ShipMonk Pricing: Shipping Rates
As for shipping, ShipMonk's rates are confidential and require strict vetting of your company before they will disclose them so we were unable to compare our rates.
ShipMonk Pricing: Services
ShipMonk has a very similar volume-based model to OTW Shipping in terms of pricing. Both ShipMonk and OTW Shipping allow for custom quotes based on your business that can potentially allow you to negotiate better rates based on your business needs so it’s best to contact them for the most accurate rates.
Both OTW Shipping and ShipMonk offer free receiving to all clients regardless of volume. ShipMonk relies on what they call "Good Faith Receiving", where they are only responsible for receiving master cases. OTW Shipping has a similar program used at the client's discretion, but they also offer verified receiving at $0.10/unit. OTW Shipping will count and inspect every unit we receive to make sure your shipment arrives undamaged and with the expected number of units which can save you in the long run by minimizing inventory shrinkage.
You do have the option to enroll in ShipMonk's "Verified Inventory" program which increases liability to $250/unit, but this is really only for extremely expensive items as the verification fees are extremely expensive themselves and it greatly increases your pick fees as well.
ShipMonk Service Level Agreement Fine Print
To dig a bit deeper, when you get free receiving from ShipMonk, you are not obtaining the same level of quantity or quality control as if each unit was physically counted. They do not have a verified inventory option suitable for inexpensive items, so you are really only left with their "Good Faith Receiving" which has stringent guidelines. Here is their policy below:
“Due to good faith receiving (i.e. not counting each individual unit) and relying on supplier information noted on the inbound shipments, ShipMonk cannot ensure accuracy of inventory counts. Although inner cartons are not opened to account for every unit, cases and pallets are counted as an additional level of verification. ShipMonk will limit its liability up to $10/unit for full cartons that are missing after they were received and accounted for in our system. A valid purchase order and proof of payment must be provided before any credit is issued.”
In layman's terms, ShipMonk is not opening your boxes to check your inventory at any point. Thus, they are only liable when full cases go missing. This could be a big red flag for your business if inventory accuracy is important. As suppliers are notorious for sending miscounted inventory, proper receiving does play a huge part in mitigating losses and not overselling your available stock. As mentioned before, you can use ShipMonk's "Verified Inventory" program, but this is not feasible unless you have a high-dollar product. We did some deeper digging into their service level agreement as well and this was their policy on risk of loss:
“Company hereby agrees that at no time during the period that Products are held by ShipMonk as Inventory in the Warehouse will ShipMonk carry the risk of loss in the Inventory. Risk of Loss in Inventory will continue to be held by Company until such time as the Products are delivered to the End-User. ShipMonk shall exercise commercially reasonable standards of care for all of Company’s Products in its possession but specifically disclaims liability of loss except for instances of Gross Negligence by ShipMonk.“
It’s important to note that ShipMonk restricts liability to gross negligence in their policy. Most 3PL contracts are based on ordinary negligence, not gross negligence. This could put you at a higher level of risk so be sure to do your own due diligence.
ShipMonk is a newer 3PL that has grown exceptionally fast over the past few years. This has allowed them to invest in multiple warehouse locations across the country and become one of the bigger names in the 3PL space. The size of the 3PL does not always determine pricing/quality however and it is important to find ShipMonk fulfillment reviews on sites such as Google, Reddit, and TrustPilot. As always, make sure to compare multiple 3PLs before picking a partner as pricing and pricing models may differ.
Did You Know?
The average eCommerce brand goes through at least two 3PLs before they find the right fit? Until it happens, most companies don't realize that moving to a new warehouse can be costly. It can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars. We know you want to find the right 3PL, but focusing solely on cost is a surefire way to turn into the average eCommerce brand we just described. Don't make the same mistake the average eCommerce brand does.
If you need help comparing fulfillment centers, we've created a helpful 3PL Comparison Template that calculates your total fulfillment costs with different fulfillment partners and outputs weighted rankings based on the most important factors to you.
We designed OTW Shipping to emulate in-house fulfillment. This means you'll have your own personal channel with direct access to our warehouse, support, and leadership.