Shipping is one of the most significant aspects of businesses requiring to deliver their products to their customers on their doorstep. Especially when it is about eCommerce business, shipping can make or break a business. Delay in shipping an order or delivering a damaged product to the customer can drive away your customers.
Also, even if you have a brick-and-mortar store involved in shipping products, you need the best shipping software. It can help you in overcoming the challenges pertaining to shipping & delivery ultimately helping in retaining loyal customers.
Some of the common shipping problems which businesses come across include -
These are the reasons why shipping software is considered as an invaluable tool for businesses that require to ship products. Let's have a look at what is shipping software, and how it can help in streamlining the entire process from order received till order delivered.
What is Shipping Software?
Shipping software is a tool that automates the entire process of delivering a product starting from the order received, selecting the most affordable shipping carrier, printing shipping labels and documents with correct information, sending the package through the preferred shipping carrier, providing tracking information, to delivering the package. The right shipping software ensures that the order has been delivered quickly & accurately at the right place, time and at a minimum cost with utmost care and safety.
Why Use Shipping Software?
If you are using shipping software, you are not losing sight of your order for even a second. You are aware of when the order was received, which shipping carrier would deliver, and when would it be delivered. Having a 360-degree overview of every order placed at your store helps you in providing better customer service, improve customer loyalty, ultimately leading towards increased sales and ROI.
Before we move onto the benefits of shipping software, let's have a look at how using a shipping software is better than following a traditional process of shipping orders.
Benefits of Using a Shipping Software
Now, if you are planning to execute a shipping software for your business, let's have a look at the features you should look for while selecting one -
Features to Look for in a Shipping Software
Multiple Shipping Carriers Integration
The shipping software you choose should be able to integrate multiple shipping carriers so that you can compare the shipping rates and choose the cheapest and best shipping carrier for fulfilling your orders easily.
Bulk Label Printing
In a situation where you have a huge number of orders to deliver, bulk label printing can save your time and manual efforts to a great extent. The shipping software should facilitate you to print customized labels in bulk so that you can deliver your orders accurately.
Once the order is received, it requires efforts to pick, pack, and ship the items. The shipping software you choose should automate inventory management, and warehouse management, to ensure that all orders are delivered as soon as possible.
Tracking the Shipment
Providing the facility for tracking the shipment to your customer is important for enhancing your business reputation and winning customer loyalty. The shipping software you choose should help you and your customers to track the shipments accurately.
Many eCommerce vendors don't store the products; instead, they get them shipped from third-party directly to the customers. The shipping software you select should help in streamlining this specialized process.
Reporting and Analytics
The shipping software you select should provide historical data including information like average shipping cost for each product, or lowest and highest rates charged by shipping carriers, etc., as that can help you in making smart decisions helping your business to grow exponentially.
To help you further with the selection of shipping software, we have come up with brief details about the best 9 free and open source shipping software which you can consider deploying for your business with minimum or no investment at all.
The Best 9 Free and Open Source Shipping Software
Openboxes is a free and open source shipping platform that can improve your workflow, and provide better visibility over your stock and performance. It is a highly flexible software that can be customized as per your business requirements. It eliminates the risk of stockouts and provides access to data which helps you in planning and forecasting for the future easily. It can be hosted on-premise and cloud and can support an unlimited number of users.
- Helps in managing inventory located at multiple warehouses across different regions
- Stores the data relating to stock of all types of items, including cost, manufacturers, suppliers, etc
- Records the stock movements from the warehouse to delivery accurately
- Tracks inventory on a real-time basis and sends notifications when the stock goes below the specified threshold
- Includes an intuitive dashboard that provides information about the current situation about stock and shipments on a real-time basis.
- Organizes stock located at multiple locations
- Supports multiple languages
- Allows assigning permissions to users depending on their roles and responsibilities
- Sends email notifications to the users relating to stock, order delivery, etc
- Allows assigning custom attributes to the stock items
- Can organize items by formulary or catalog
If you have already used Openboxes, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Openshipping is based on open standards and frameworks having capabilities of bringing efficiency to the supply chain. It helps logistics and shipping companies to digitize their shipping operations and grow their business and profitability. It provides seamless integration with other software as well to get the functionality required to make the tasks relating to shipment and order delivery easier.
- Allows to create and enter information for shipments and edit this information within 7 days
- Automates the shipping label printing process
- The membership of openshipping is available to all carriers, forwarders, shippers, and service providers in the shipping industry
- Helps in staying compliant with the shipping related rules and regulations set by the local Government
- The standards frameworks and supported documents are free to use by all the registered users
If you have already used Openshipping, please feel free to share your reviews here.
XPS Ship is a Prestashop integration that can streamline and enhance your shipping experience. It helps eCommerce businesses to run seamlessly and works towards delivering the products quickly. It is free to download and deploy to your eCommerce store. You can create and assign rules for customer shipping preferences. Also, it provides live chat support, email, or phone whenever you are having a query while using this software.
- Provides multi-carrier shipping options with discounts
- Allows you to print labels for different marketplaces from a single interface
- Enables your customers to track the shipment on a real-time basis
- Can integrate with multiple eCommerce stores, shopping carts, and marketplaces
- Helps in comparing the prices offered by different shipping carriers from a single interface
- Compatible with all modern internet browsers
- Allows automated real-time order retrieval
- Email, Phone, and Live Chat support available
If you have already used Prestashop Shipping Software, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Order Manager is a free and open source order management system just perfect for small to medium-sized online retailers looking forward to scaling their business. It includes abundant and flexible features that can be configured and easily customized as per your business requirements. It is the best option, when you are looking out for shipping software with rich features with no investment.
- Includes direct integration to UPS, FedEx, USPS, and more
- Prints shipping labels with just one or two clicks
- Supports electronic scales and barcode scanners
- Can build a list of orders required to pack
- Even if packing is done elsewhere, the shipping process can be done from here
- Automatically updates the status of each order after it is shipped
If you have already used Order Manager, please feel free to share your reviews here.
You can connect Shippo with your eCommerce platform to automatically sync order information. Also, you can create shipping labels and documents for domestic and international orders. It helps you in customizing the user experience through personalized emails and tracking information. It makes it easy for you to create return labels, and print in bulk quantity.
- Creates shipping labels and all the documents relating to order delivery
- Allows designing branded tracking pages
- Facilitates to send shipping notification emails
- Allows adding multiple users per account
- Helps in minimizing costs by requesting refunds for unused labels
- Allows partial fulfillment
- Can generate reports providing information about shipping efficiency and expenses
If you have already used Shippo, please feel free to share your reviews here.
ShipAny is an open shipping platform that can connect to different shopping cart software like Magento, Shopify, opencart, etc. Merchants can easily login to ShipAny Merchant portal and explore different shipping choices, shortlist the shipping companies, print shipping labels & manage shipping orders. It helps merchants minimize shipping overheads easily and improve sales at the same time.
- Allows exploring and shortlisting shipping choices
- Automates label printing
- Manages shipping orders
- Includes mobile app for individuals
- Provides domestic & outbound courier choices
- Can connect worldwide couriers
If you have already used ShipAny, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Trackhive is a software used to track multiple shipments dispatched by various service providers like USPS, UPS, Australia Post, FedEx, Delhivery, and access the accurate status of your shipment from a single interface. It is a shipment tracking platform with rich features helping online retailers to eliminate their shipment hassles and allow them to focus on growing their business.
- Allows sending proactive shipment notifications on a real-time basis
- Provides delivery status as and when the shipment moves from one place to another
- Can handle multiple shipments in a day by different service providers
- Can customize shipping collaterals
- Responsive interface allowing you to access the system from any device and any place
- Allows you to ship and track all your eCommerce orders from a single interface
- Easy integration with other tools to provide high-end functionality
- Enables setting reminders to for scheduled shipments
- In-depth reporting showing the exact situation of your business
If you have already used Trackhive, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Shiptheory helps in connecting your eCommerce business with your shipping carriers easily. It can integrate several eCommerce platforms and shipping carriers to provide a platform that makes shipping and tracking the parcels accurate and easy job. It is a smart way of automating shipping and save your time and effort required to track shipments constantly.
- Automates barcode scanning and printing shipping labels
- Allows creating simple and complex shipping rules
- Can print shipping labels from different carriers from one place
- Integrates with other tools to automate all the tasks relating to shipping and tracking
- Provides access to real-time shipping metrics
- Support available 24/7
If you have already used Shiptheory, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Shipping Easy is a powerful yet user-friendly platform that not only automates the shipping processes but also empowers the inventory management tasks and marketing strategies. It is a shipping software that makes the best use of the data you collect while shipping the orders. That data is then used for enhancing inventory management and marketing strategies to grow the business. You can use it for free for 30 days and then decide whether to deploy it for your business or not.
- Access the discounted rates provided by multiple shipping carriers
- Integrates with all major eCommerce platforms, shipping carriers, and marketplaces
- Can print shipping documents from a single interface
- Automatically maps shipping carriers based on the customers’ preferences
- Can make tracking and returns easy
- Provides advanced reporting showing the current situation of the business
Still, confused about which one to select among these free and open source shipping software? The below comparison chart can help you in selecting the software that is right as per your business requirements.
If you have already used ShippingEasy, please feel free to share your reviews here.
The Best 9 Free and Open Source Shipping Software Comparison Chart
Besides, these Free and open source shipping software, we would also like to suggest another popular software that is trending these days, known as Orderhive. Let's explore the details of Orderhive here.
Orderhive is a multi-channel eCommerce inventory management software that can help you in accessing your sales orders, send stock updates & order updates, buy shipping labels, and accept payments. It helps in automating tasks within your operations and across your apps easily. You can take 15 days trial of Orderhive, and experience the difference it makes to your business before purchasing it.
- Integrates with multiple eCommerce platforms and shipping carriers saving your time and manual efforts
- Can manage the entire order fulfillment workflow from warehouse management, pick, pack, and ship to delivery
- Enables you to track inventory on a real-time basis
- Manages shipping through 200+ shipping carriers
- Can scan the barcode system, create purchase orders, and allows multiple-currency transactions
- Automates warehouse workflows and streamlines the task of locating order items, and shipping them
- Facilitates invoicing & payments through softwares like QB & Xero
- Manages returns with a reduced turnover time
- Provides access to real-time reports providing complete information about the current situation of orders, shipments, inventory, and delivery
If you have already used Orderhive, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Choosing the right shipping software is crucial for your business. If you don't deliver the right products in proper condition at the right time, your customers can easily go to your competitors for their purchase requirements.
We hope that the details mentioned above about shipping software have helped you in selecting the best one for your business easily. But, if the budget is not a constraint for you, we would also suggest you look into freemium and paid shipping software like Multiorders, Shipstation, Stamps.com, ShipRush Web, Stitch Labs, ShipRocket, and Shiphawk.
For more options, you can go through the complete list of shipping software here.
And if you are looking for software used for other business sectors as well, just browse all software categories here.
Have you experienced any of the software mentioned above? If yes, please leave your valuable feedback here.
Jemimah Rodriguez is a content marketing specialist having 8+ years of experience in content writing, SEO, and social media optimization. At present, she is working with GoodFirms – a reliable platform helping businesses in selecting right Software Companies & Products. For further information, you can get in touch with her on [email protected]
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