At ShipBob, we’re always aiming to help our customers be more successful through best-in-class logistics solutions. As we celebrate our 8th anniversary today, we reflect on the progress we’ve made over the last year — all of which comes after raising USD $200 million in our Series E funding round just after we celebrated our 7th anniversary in June 2021.
The last year has been full of challenges for the ecommerce logistics sector. Brands of all sizes have experienced raw material shortages and manufacturing delays, backed-up ports, trucker and container scarcity, closures and capacity strains across the supply chain due to COVID outbreaks, inflation, trade restrictions, and cross-border shipping challenges such as Brexit and the Russian invasion of Ukraine — the list goes on.
Despite these challenges, brands are navigating the ever-changing landscape with creative ways to expand even faster this year. It’s this optimism and focus on growth that has me so excited about ecommerce over the next 8 years, and fuels our drive to innovate for all of the brands using ShipBob to deliver delightful shopper experiences to their customers.
Below, I recap a few initiatives that are very near and dear to me, and have even been key pillars for our business over the last year.
In today’s convenience economy, more brands are looking to grow globally and reach a wider audience. In our first annual State of Ecommerce Fulfilment Report, we found:
- Nearly 56% of brands plan to either ship to new countries or fulfil orders from new countries in 2022.
- Nearly 32% of brands plan to start physically fulfiling orders in new countries in 2022.
International shipping gives you a platform to reach customers all over the world. With cross-border solutions and a physical presence in 3 continents, ShipBob is helping thousands of brands do just that.
Over the last year, our operations touched down in the following locales:
- Our first fulfilment centre in Australia
- Our first fulfilment centres in the EU: Ireland and Poland
- Our second fulfilment centre in Canada
- 13 new fulfilment centres in the US
Additionally, we launched a couple new global capabilities, including:
- Worldwide shipping from any fulfilment centre (in addition to domestic shipping), including standard and expedited shipping options
- Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) shipping for international orders to charge the exact duties and taxes at checkout and prevent surprises
FreightBob & Inventory Distribution
With an abundance of supply chain issues plaguing businesses around the world, we saw the need to reduce transit times and increase visibility for freight coming to the US from China. We launched FreightBob to help our customers get products to their customers faster, cheaper, and with greater precision and transparency.
FreightBob is an end-to-end managed freight and inventory distribution program that includes:
- Ocean freight powered by Flexport, where we charter boats specifically reserved for our customers’ goods
- ShipBob’s cross-docking service for unloading inbound goods and loading them directly onto outbound vehicles
- Automated inventory distribution and goods transfers across ShipBob’s fulfilment network
While this solution is currently for delivering shipping containers directly from China to the West Coast and East Coast of the United States, it will be expanded worldwide in 2022.
ShipBob’s customers with Shopify stores can now leverage 2-day shipping badges and estimated delivery dates pre-checkout on product pages to acquire more customers. Powered by ShipBob’s 2-Day Express shipping (that can cover 100% of the continental US from just 1 fulfilment centre) and ShipBob’s Shopify app CartBob, these badges appear when the ship option is eligible.
EDI-Compliant B2B Fulfilment
ShipBob now supports EDI fulfilment for over 60 retailers, including Target, Chewy, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Ulta, Nordstrom, Petco, and many others for EDI-automated online orders (retail dropshipping) and/or in-store purchases (retail distribution). And our team is making new retailer connections every week to support even more channels for B2B order fulfilment.
Our State of Ecommerce Fulfilment Report also found more brands are aiming to meet customers where and how they shop by selling on more than one channel:
- More than 70% of brands will add a new sales channel in 2022.
- More than 73% of brands sell on 2 or more sales channels.
- Just under 48% of brands sell on 3 or more sales channels.
- Just under 15% of brands sell on 5 or more sales channels.
Not only does this offer benefits such as acquiring new customers, increasing brand awareness, and generating more sales, but ShipBob also centralises orders, inventory, and shipments across all sales channels for a cohesive, connected approach to managing omnifulfilment.
Apps & APIs
ShipBob’s App Store lets brands seamlessly connect their commerce channels and apps to deliver elevated customer experiences. Highlights from the last year include:
- Walmart Marketplace integration and Walmart’s free TwoDay delivery program that includes 2-day badging
- Linnworks integration to connect, manage, and automate commerce operations
- CartBob, ShipBob’s checkout app for Shopify, to improve conversion and reduce cart abandonment including real-time courier rates and 2-day shipping
- SPS Commerce, Cymbio, and Logicbroker integrations for EDI-compliance to connect with retailers like Chewy, Target, and dozens more
- ShipBob DDP launched, powered by our partner FlavorCloud
- Gorgias integration to bring ShipBob data into your help desk to answer tickets faster, without having to leave Gorgias
- Klaviyo integration to personalise the customer experience across marketing channels based on ShipBob’s unique fulfilment data, including vital pre-tracking information, tracking numbers, and recipient information
Creating an unforgettable unboxing experience can help your brand stand out from the competition and leave a lasting impression. We rolled out a new suite of tools to make this happen:
- Branded packaging: To use a merchant’s own custom boxes and mailers, and ensure optimal sizes are always chosen using our proprietary box algorithm and triple Cubiscan process to input product dimensions and weights
- Kitting: To customise how a merchant’s inventory is prepared for customers, and expedite fulfilment with ready-to-ship kits
- Marketing Inserts: To use inserts as a promotional opportunity, from discount codes for future purchases to special offers as a thank-you
- Customizable gift notes: To enable customers sending gifts to add their own heartfelt notes to their recipients when checking out
New Faces Within the Leadership Team
We made several key leadership hires to the ShipBob team across industry-leading companies like Amazon, CDW, Radial, and Flipkart, including:
- Brittany Smith: CFO
- Harshal Wanjari: CTO
- Enda Breslin: General Manager of Europe
- Pramod Jajoo: SVP Technology and India Country Head
Collectively, these four bring decades worth of vast executive experience to ShipBob.
New Technology Innovation Hub
We built out our Technology Innovation Hub in New Delhi, India — the first of its kind outside of the United States. The Hub will focus on building platforms in the areas of global inventory management and optimisation, integrations, and transportation logistics. We plan to hire more than 150 technology professionals in India across engineering, product management, platforms, data science, and analytics.
Corporate Social Responsibility
There are a number of initiatives we’ve started up, a few of which are listed below:
- GreenBob: ShipBob fully offset all of the carbon emitted from our headquarters and global fulfilment network. We achieved this through our partnership with Pachama with whom we also partner to allow our merchants to offset the last-mile delivery (with FedEx, UPS, etc.) of their shipments automatically.
- ShipBob Giving Fund: Since creating this fund during the onset of the pandemic to give contributions to those experiencing financial hardship by unexpected tragedies, we’ve given over 150 grants to more than 100 individuals with amounts ranging from $300 to $1,200.
- ShipBob Gives Committee: Our employee-run committee allocates contributions to go towards charitable causes and helps spread awareness on topics that are close to the employees, donating thousands of hours and over USD $1 million to various causes.
- Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Serving as a forum for employees to make their voices heard and provide perspective on diversity and inclusion initiatives, ShipBob has established several ERGs including ShipBob United (Black and Hispanic employees), Out at ShipBob (LGBTQ+), Women’s Resource Group, and Veterans Resource Group.
- Mental health and well-being initiatives: From employee feedback, we adopted several practices, including meeting-free Fridays, minimum time off, quarterly wellness days, and much more.
We’re honored and humbled to be recognized by the following awards and rankings:
- No. 105 on The Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies list that captures the resilience of businesses as they adapted to the initial onslaught of the pandemic
- The Retail Tech 100, CB Insights’ annual ranking of the 100 most promising B2B retail tech companies in the world
- 1871’s Momentum Awards, recognizing distinguished companies for their contributions and commitment to the Chicago technology and innovation community
- No. 683 on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America
- No. 37 on Inc.’s Regionals 2022: Midwest US list
We are very excited about the year ahead and look forward to the future of commerce and logistics.