Chicago and the entire Midwest have significant speed and cost advantages for e-commerce shipping and fulfillment. Not only is Chicago located in a centralized location that can be accessed throughout the United States (and Canada), but it is a bustling city with a major airport and an attractive environment for companies. Plus, Chicago typically costs less than its coastal cousins Los Angeles and New York. For all these reasons, Chicago has become a hub for e-commerce fulfillment companies. In this article, we'll explore how to choose a fulfillment center in Chicago and our favorite services.
Whether you're looking for a fulfillment center in Chicago or elsewhere, it really depends on where your customers are and where you plan to ship most of your products. Luckily, Chicago is often the middle ground to all parts of the US, so you can't go wrong. Not to mention, many ecommerce fulfillment services offer warehouses outside of Chicago (but still in Illinois or northern Indiana), so you might be able to find some cheaper fulfillment prices.
If you're interested in Chicago's enormous email list potential for ecommerce fulfillment, read on to learn about all your options.
Best Fulfillment Centers in Chicago
This list discusses the top fulfillment centers throughout the city of Chicago, as well as some options in the Chicago area (Chicago suburbs and outlying communities). We'll also mention some fulfillment centers in surrounding Illinois towns.
Notable choices are ShipBob (headquartered in Chicago) and the Shopify Fulfillment Network (if you use the Shopify ecommerce platform).
Every service/company on this list has at least one fulfillment center in Chicago or the surrounding area. But we also highlighted their other warehouse locations, as a wider network could speed up overall shipping. And there's a good chance you have customers all over the US (and other countries!)
Remember, choosing a fulfillment center in Chicago isn't always about price. That's why we outline everything from delivery speed, order accuracy and warehouse network capabilities. This way, you can partner with a third-party logistics company (3PL) designed for scaling small businesses.
ShipBob Chicago Fulfillment Center
ShipBob Chicago is full. Not only is it headquartered in the city center (West Loop), but it has three fulfillment centers in Chicago and two in the nearby Midwest (Wisconsin and Kentucky). This gives you access to the entire Midwest and Southern Canada, especially since ShipBob is known for its fast 1-2 day shipping.
As for logistics services and software, ShipBob touts a nifty inventory management tool, discounted shipping, and tracking all shipments. You also get free basic shipping materials and partnerships with major U.S. shipping companies such as USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Not only that, but ShipBob offers excellent customer support, so you can contact the company for quality control and questions via email, phone, or live chat.
Plus, ShipBob has the largest fulfillment network on this list, so you're not limited to Chicago and the Midwest. In fact, International Shipping is a specialty ShipBob, and you can choose one of dozens of other shipping centers in the U.S. or other countries.
Dozens of warehouses in Chicago, USA, Canada and other countries
2-day shipping option
Excellent carrier rates
Excellent onboarding process and top-notch customer support
Powerful tracking with tracking codes that can be sent to customers
Multi-channel fulfillment solution that integrates with Shopify, Bigcommerce, Squarespace, Walmart, Amazon, Target and eBay
In addition to the Chicago headquarters, here are the locations of the Chicago warehouses: