“Oh Ship” Moments Series: Sloppy 3PL Errors and In-House Shipping Blunders

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Mistakes, mishaps, errors, failures, blunders, or disasters - we’ve received submissions talking about all of these “Oh Ship!” moments from online retailers working with our competitors. While working with the wrong shipping partners and being overwhelmed by increased demands from consumers, these three eCommerce businesses paid the price for horrific shipping and order fulfillment fiascos.

“Our 3PL infested our packages with ants.” - Retailer

eCommerce CEO, Kallum Dina, shared about an “Oh Ship” moment with another fulfillment company that turned into a disgusting disaster. Here’s what he said:

“At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic when things were heated, we switched fulfillment agents. We received an email from a shocked customer who found hundreds of ants in their package! They were extremely worried and sent pictures of the little horrors eating away at the product. We calmed them down and assured we would send another, free of charge. We immediately switched fulfillment agents again as soon as this happened.”

Dina quickly learned how imperative it is to choose a shipping and eCommerce order fulfillment partner that treats your business as their own.

“Amazon FBA removed all of my products from the warehouse.” - Health and Wellness Retailer

Many retailers flock to Fulfillment by Amazon to take care of their eCommerce shipping and order fulfillment needs. This health and wellness retailer, however, experienced his worst “Oh Ship” moment while partnering with Amazon. Here’s CEO Eduardo Oliver’s story.

“Amazon FBA created a removal order for all of my inventory! 6,200 bottles of supplements ended up in our office. After waiting for hours to talk to a supervisor, we were told there was nothing that could be done. Support claimed the removal order couldn’t be canceled once it’s in processing because the system wouldn’t allow it. It was a nightmare!”

Oliver quickly learned the significance of having a supportive third-party logistics company. It’s clear that this retailer will be looking elsewhere for order fulfillment

“We accidentally shipped 95 products to the same customer.” - Beauty Retailer

When using in-house shipping and order fulfillment methods, it’s easy to make mistakes. This beauty retailer was so overwhelmed by the influx of orders that they made dozens of major shipping failures. 

“We sell beauty products and started receiving a large number of orders. Our increased demand was hard to keep up with. As a result of trying to fulfill all of the incoming orders, we ended up shipping over 95 orders of the same product to one customer! To add to an already messy situation, a bottle leaked in one of the boxes and damaged several of the other shipments. Not only did we have to cover the cost of returns we also had to deal with an enormous amount of unsellable products. It was too embarrassing.”

Lesson learned, use an outsourced partner to ensure all of your orders make it to the right customer undamaged and on time.

We’ve received numerous “Oh Ship” horror stories like these from retailers that couldn’t handle customer demand and turned to an unreliable shipping partner. Do you have a story worth our $5,000 grand prize?

Submit your “Oh Ship” moment for a chance to win!

Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is the leader in eCommerce order fulfillment services and freight brokerage. RSL offers national fulfillment services and a network of 15 US fulfillment centers located in Anaheim (CA), Atlanta (GA), Austin (TX), Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Miami (FL), Olean (NY), Reno (NV), Salt Lake City (UT), and Scranton (PA). Their state-of-the-art technology allows for integration with popular shopping cart platforms and online marketplaces including Amazon, Big Commerce, Channel Advisor, eBay, Magento, ShipStation, Shopify, Volusion, Walmart Marketplace, and WooCommerce. RSL offers modern fulfillment solutions for leading eCommerce retailers focused on reducing shipping costs, improving order accuracy, decreasing shipping times, and increasing customer satisfaction.