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Easyship began as a shipping software company which provides shipping solutions for small businesses to handle all their shipping functions in-house. Their cloud shipping software platform allows businesses and merchants to import orders, create custom shipping rules to streamline processes, generate shipping labels and other required shipping documents, integrate shipping costs into online web store platforms for real-time shipping quotes, and track and manage shipments and returns.
In addition, Easyship claims to offer its customers up to 91% off standard shipping fees through pre-negotiated shipping partnerships, allowing small businesses to pass on better small parcel shipping rates to customers. Currently, Easyship’s shipping software service represents the largest portion of their overall operations.
Once the fulfillment industry started to take off in recent years, however, Easyship decided to expand into offering outsourced fulfillment services themselves as well. Many businesses have expanded into the fulfillment niche recently because of the perceived attractiveness of capitalizing on a growing consumer based that has shifted more and more towards online ordering rather than in-store purchasing.
While expanding service offerings is a perfectly normal business practice, the fulfillment and third-party logistics industry is a peculiar one – operating on razor thin margins and life-or-death consumer delivery expectations. In the case of Easyship, it appears that they have encountered some of the pain points of pivoting into a challenging niche, and time will tell if they are able to turn the corner on consistent quality of fulfillment operations which will result in A+ reviews from users of their service.
Easyship offers full-scale fulfillment, shipping, and returns services to its customers.
Easyship operates is fulfillment division for the most part utilizing a network of outsourced 3PL warehouses. Currently, the network consists of six companies in Asia, five companies in North America, four companies in Europe, and one company in Australia. Because Easyship does not operate its own fulfillment warehouses, the company is subject to the performance of the 3PLs in terms of meeting customer’s expecatations – which can be an extremely complicated set of circumstances to manage. This type of setup is more commonly referred to as a 4PL scenario, since cutomers are employing Easyship to perform fulfillment services but other suppliers are managing the day-to-day fulfillment tasks.
Customers of Easyship’s fulfillment division look to Easyship for overall performance metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) in this 4PL relationship. Because Easyship doesn’t run the actual warehouses and pick and ship the orders with its own employees, a number of factors can easily strain the overall relationship:
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As you can see, creating a high level 4PL relationship is extremely challenging and offers hurdles that aren’t experienced on a direct 3PL or fulfillment relationship. As a result, it’s understandable to assume that performance issues could be rampant and unbridled, resulting in an expected consumer review assessment lower than the mean.
Easyship has had many complaints about their warehousing, and it looks like much of it can be attributed to the outsourcing of fulfillment to the companies they partner with which have different shipping standards, procedures, requirements, etc. Additionally, because of this outsourcing, Easyship does not seem to bear any responsibility for lost or damaged packages because Easyship is not the company taking care of your package. This is why Easyship customers are often frustrated with the lack of customer service quality being received from Easyship.
Accessing Easyship’s outsourced fulfillment pricing is challenging without requesting more information via their online quote utility. While their shipping software pricing is extremely transparent, their fulfilment pricing is not readily available online – which isn’t necessarily an uncommon practice in the industry.
However, some pause must be given in terms of analyzing Easyship’s fulfillment pricing and comparing it to other options. First, potential users of Easyship fulfillment must be aware of the tendency of software providers to package a seemingly enticing “flat-rate” fulfillment fee into their pricing structure. This seems fantastic at first, but is challenging to implement. Unless high volume shipping metrics are met, pricing can easily be adjusted upwards at a moments’ notice in order to keep from operating at a less than profitable level.
Second, 4PL pricing offers its own set of challenges. How much profit is Easy making itself and how much profit is passed to the 3PL warehouse? Is the 3PL being paid fairly for their services, or is there any chance they earn more from their direct customers? Is the value provided by Easyship worth the additional layer of cost, or is a more direct relationship better for your business? These are all questions you should ask Easyship and explore yourself before making a final decision.
Pros of Easyship
Trustpilot has 442 reviews for Easyship and gives Easyship a 4.4 out of 5 star rating at the time of writing. Most of these positive reviews are in regard to the software that Easyship provides. When it comes to the fulfillment side of their business, many of these reviews may be misleading because they do not address this side of the business and when they do, it is most often negative. One user from Hong Kong said in December 2022, “Wrong drop off address and they then blame their shipping partner when it is their responsibility to make sure their integration is right. They didn’t even notice until a month later and won’t make it right by compensating us for the time lost.” This miscommunication is a common one when working with 4PL outsourcing providers like Easyship. The fact that Easyship did not notice it was the wrong address is surely because it was not Easyship that delivered the shipment.
Another user said in December 2022, “This was easy as you can get experience. I used their service for private matters to send parcel from the USA to Serbia. The UI and response of customer service were the next levels. The service and the pricing they have was 50% less than I get doing it on the public app of DHL and UPS. I recommend Easyship.” This positive review is one of the few that mention the fulfillment capabilities of Easyship. Most all of them refer to the software capabilities of Easyship, which is not the subject of this article.
Shopify has 365 reviews for the Easyship app and when you visit Shopify’s review page for Easyship’s app, you will see that they have a 4.3 out of 5-star rating at the time of writing. Again, most of the positive reviews are for Easyship’s software and are not related to their fulfillment capabilities. One user from Romania who used the app for about a month said in October 2022, “I removed it after struggling so much with the shipping. It won’t ship anything, anywhere and it’s just bad business for small and new stores who try to grow up!”
One user from Australia who has used the app about two months said in March 2022, “By installing the Easyship app on my store I’ve opened up a whole new world of possibilities for positive customer engagement, seamless shopping cart experiences, reliable warehousing, logistics and shipping.” This is one of the few positive reviews found that directly addressed the fulfillment capabilities of Easyship. The other positive reviews related primarily to the software capabilities of Easyship.
Google only has 15 reviews for Easyship, but the situation is similar, with Google giving Easyship a 4.1 out of 5-star rating. One user said in 2020, “The worst shipping company ever, I started Shipping with them 2 months ago during that time I lost over 20 international packages and the company won’t help to recover anything. They won’t respond or react. Stay away from thieves.”
Of course, Easyship could have gotten better over the course of these two years, but there have not been many negative reviews for Easyship posted on Google recently and the more recent reviews regarding Easyship’s fulfillment capabilities have expressed similar issues. No positive reviews were found on Google that directly addressed the fulfillment capabilities of Easyship. The positive reviews were primarily about their software capabilities.
In reviews overall, there are more positives being said about Easyship than negatives, but there are still a substantial number of negative reviews, and many of them are similar. Furthermore, the lion’s share of positive reviews are for the software division rather than the outsourced fulfillment division. The common complaints are about customer service and faulty logistics, both of these likely being due to the outsourcing of warehousing and fulfillment to other 3PL warehouses which is outside of their immediate control. Others have a fantastic experience with customer service and logistics.
Many people have greater experiences with Easyship than some, but Easyship has a lot to work to do on with their service levels and how they treat their customers in certain circumstances. With Easyship’s software solution, it is more positive than negative but risking your own fulfillment and logistics business by relying on a company with spotty customer service and logistics may not be the best course of action.
Easyship is not dissimilar from many companies that entered into the fulfillment world over the last few years – trying to capitalize on a growing niche and increase market share. But success within the fulfillment industry is more than making money. This hyper-critical business operation requires iron-clad processes and procedures, top-notch people, great control, and robust technology in order to meet customers’ expectations. Easyship is challenged as any 4PL to overcome the inherent challenges and prove value for being an added layer in the equation. The reviews do indicate some cause for pause, concern, and further probing. And at the end of the day, as with any other 4PL relationship, getting candid about true costs is important to ensure that the best cost structure is maintained.
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