Food & Beverage Logistics

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers suddenly found themselves relying on ecommerce businesses to get food and drinks delivered.

It’s not surprising that direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that sell food and beverages are seeing a rapid increase in demand.

But there are common challenges to selling food and beverage products online, including storing perished items safely, shipping orders quickly, and delivering orders safely.

To take the complexity out of food and beverage logistics, many fast-growing online brands outsource fulfillment to ShipBob. ShipBob offers expertise in food and beverage fulfillment.

Read on to learn how ShipBob serves food and beverage brands.

When I switched to ShipBob, it was game over! I could finally start growing my business. They made the move from my prior 3PL fast and easy, and I saw the benefits of working with them right away.

Courtney Lee,

founder of Prymal

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What is food and beverage logistics?

Food and beverage logistics refers to outsourcing the ecommerce supply chain to a third-party. This includes warehousing, inventory management, pick and pack, and automated shipping.

Unlike other products, logistics for food and beverage have an extra level of complexity.

For one thing, storing perishable items requires proper storage and inventory management to ensure first-in, first-out processes are followed to ensure inventory doesn’t expire before it’s picked.

Third-parties like ShipBob can provide the fulfillment infrastructure and technology needed to support DTC brands selling food products, so they can meet customer expectations around fast, affordable shipping while keeping costs low.

Why choose ShipBob for food and beverage logistics

Food and beverage logistics require extra attention to inventory management and warehousing, making it a more complex supply chain.

That’s why so many ecommerce businesses turn to trustworthy tech-enabled 3PL like ShipBob to support a strong logistics strategy.

“Our fulfillment is on autopilot. ShipBob saves us so much effort, and the opportunity cost savings has been substantial.”

Yannick Crespo, Co-Founder & President of Pot d’Huile

Here is an overview of ShipBob’s food and beverage fulfillment solutions:

Inventory management

ShipBob team stays on top of expirations dates using lot management processes.

Lot tracking is an important inventory management process that helps businesses trace products, most commonly by expiration date, manufacturer, or production date, to comply with regulations and to act promptly in case of a recall.

ShipBob also uses the first in, first out (FIFO) inventory allocation logic designed to identify shelves that contain items with an expiry date first and always ship the nearest expiring lot date first.

If you have items stored in different bins — one with no lot date and one with a lot date — we will always ship the one updated with a lot date.

“We have easy ways to manage subscription orders as well as expiration dates and lot numbers, so inventory goes in First In, First Out (FIFO).”

Leonie Lynch, Founder & CEO of Juspy

FDA-certified warehouses

Owners and operators of domestic or foreign food, drug, and most device facilities must register their facilities with the FDA, unless an exemption applies.

A benefit of outsourcing fulfillment is working with a 3PL company that already holds a Certificate of FDA Registration.

hipBob has a network of FDA-certified warehouses, and you can utilize several of our FDA-registered fulfillment centers to reduce shipping costs and transit times.

Distributed inventory for fast, affordable delivery

If you’re only shipping from one location, you’re limiting your business’s reach in key markets where your customers reside — and probably paying too much for shipping.

Working with a 3PL that has multiple fulfillment centers lets you split inventory across locations, meaning packages travel through less shipping zones and therefore cost less for you and your customers.

“From expanding into a second ShipBob fulfillment center, we are excited to be able to offer 65% of our customers with 2-day shipping, up from 32% by only having a single West Coast facility.

Soon, this will be 100%. Not only is this better for our customers but we also gain a 13% savings to our bottom line.”

Pablo Gabatto, Business Operations Manager at Ample Foods

Distributed inventory

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.

Order management

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.

Inventory management

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.

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.

Learn more about Prymal’s 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.

Learn more about BAKblades’s growth

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.

Learn more about Ombraz’s growth