Question

What are the best logistics tools, the best services to ship stuff?

It's been a crazy year for logistics—enough to make you figure out new ways to move your products around the globe. What are your favorite logistics services? Do you have any shipping services or logistics APIs you recommend more than others? Have you found modern delivery services better than the older shipping services? Or have you cut out handling real stuff altogether, relying on Amazon FBA or services that make and ship cards and products for you instead?

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EytanBuchman's avatar
10 months ago

So disclaimer is that this my bread and butter. Definitely seeing more e-commerce sellers shifting from FBA to 3PLs like Deliverr and ShipBob. On the global freight side, we run the world's largest digital freight marketplace at freightos.com and this year has just been gangbusters for e-commerce importers.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @EytanBuchman )
10 months ago

@EytanBuchman Thank you for sharing, this is exactly what I was wondering. On the shift away from FBA, do you feel like that's typically a cost-saving measure, or an attempt to keep Amazon from having intel on their products and shipments?

On the import side, have the travel restrictions this year changed freight shipment and how goods are imported? Locally (Bangkok) our postal system had either no package delivery or slower mail to some locations earlier this year; everything's closer to normal now, but still not the same as last year.

2 points
EytanBuchman's avatar
@EytanBuchman (replying to @maguay )
10 months ago

The shift away from FBA was definitely accelerated this year by Amazon imposing restrictions on inbound freight in early COVID days, then exacerbated on newer limitations on total units for newer sellers. Most of our customers have multiple sales channels, combining FBA with their own website, brick and mortar (once upon a time) or other channels. I think the new fulfillment shift is just an extension of that.

3 points
osbennn's avatar
@osbennn (replying to @EytanBuchman )
10 months ago

Really interesting stuff, @EytanBuchman. What percentage of your new clients are D2C brands based in the West ordering small batches from manufacturers in the East? I might be reading too many ecommerce blog posts, but I picture that sector being a big deal when it comes to new logistics demand.

1 point
EytanBuchman's avatar
@EytanBuchman (replying to @osbennn )
10 months ago

Definitely double digit are D2C brands, or at least multi-channel vendors. Bear in mind that most will start slow and then scale, so it typically will start with express shipping samples and then slowly scale up to importing full container loads.

3 points
maguay's avatar
10 months ago

Among the postal service changes this year due to decreasing air travel, suddenly DHL and other major shipping services were some of the only ways to ship orders internationally—but at prohibitively expensive rates compared to traditional airmail. There always seemed to be an option of getting bulk rates with DHL but only if we shipped a consistent quantity to specific areas.

Turns out, the better option can often be shipping price comparison services. Shopify offers their own for sellers in the US and Canada, with varying discounts on shipping depending on your Shopify plan. Otherwise, services like ParcelMonkey can help you compare rates to find the cheapest shipping service for your package size, and ShipStation among others offers an API to figure out shipping options (and get bulk rates) automatically. Those are US-centric, but there are often localized options as well. In Bangkok, one that’s worked well is FastShip, which gets bulk rates for DHL among others, shows the shipping price for all carriers that can deliver to a location, and lets you get the package to their distribution center via a local delivery to the standard post office even if it’s not the final logistics service that’ll be used.

Now I just wonder if someone will tie all the local, last-mile deliver services together to build a new shipping service that’s even more locally customized but with global reach.

1 point
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