Why sell in the UK?
In 2019, ecommerce revenue exceeded £693 billion in the UK, which is arguably the most advanced ecommerce market in Europe. If you’re looking to grow your ecommerce business internationally, selling across the UK is a great place to expand.
Located in England
Our United Kingdom fulfillment center is in close proximity to the Port of Liverpool and is located in the same distro park as our carriers - DPD and Royal Mail. It runs on ShipBob’s warehouse management system, SLAs, and support team to provide the same level of world-class fulfillment and transparency through our dashboard. There are two UK locations:
Address: Unit P6 Heywood Distribution Park Heywood, UK OL10 2TT
Receiving hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm WET
Address: Unit 4, Heathrow Logistics Park, Bedfont Road, Feltham, TW14 8EE, UK
Receiving hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm WET
Shipping Times & Carriers
The average transit time to all of the UK is 1-4 business days using Royal Mail and DPD. We will continue to add more carrier options and shipping destinations!
Customs, Duties, & Freight
Along with customs, duties, and becoming a non-resident importer, ShipBob will walk you through the process of sending freight to our UK fulfillment center. We'll work with your current carrier or freight partners, or you can leverage ShipBob's relationships with cross-border freight specialists.
CHECKLIST: Ecommerce Success in the United Kingdom
Expanding into new markets may seem like a daunting task. With ShipBob’s expertise and global fulfillment solution, it’s easy to start selling and shipping within the United Kingdom. Just follow a few simple steps to get started!
✅ Confirm your products can be sold and shipped to the UK market
While product restrictions are largely the same across US and UK markets, you should always ensure that your products can be sold and shipped within the United Kingdom.
To check, visit Royal Mail guidelines for more information.
✅ Complete business requirements to sell in the UK
To sell within the UK, you need unique VAT and/or EORI registration numbers.
✅ Request access in the ShipBob Dashboard
To activate the fulfillment center within the ShipBob dashboard, simply request access in-app (on the Locations page).
You should also review pricing and shipping zones with your direct ShipBob contact, or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
✅ Secure a freight partner to move inventory
If you don’t already have a freight partner that can ship your goods into the UK, you’ll need one.
Finding the right partner is important because it gives you the peace of mind that your goods will enter the UK, as a freight forwarder will help manage and transport your shipment from you or your manufacturer to our UK facility.
✅ Send inventory to ShipBob
If you’re sending inventory from your manufacturer or elsewhere, simply follow instructions for our standard WRO process.
If you’re a current ShipBob customer and want to transfer inventory from another ShipBob fulfillment center, you can work with your ShipBob contact or email email@example.com to set up an internal transfer.
✅ Start shipping orders!
Once our UK fulfillment center receives your inventory, please allow the standard 5 business day receiving SLA before we fulfill your first order.
All order information will be found on the same pages in your ShipBob dashboard.
✅ Optimize your UK ecommerce strategy
Tell your UK customers that you’ll be fulfilling locally. Reduce cart abandonment previously attributed to the perceived pains of international shipping like expensive shipping, long delivery times, and having to pay customs and other import duties.
Update your checkout to show local rates and estimated delivery times, and make sure your UK store is in local currency (GBP). Mitigate consumer confusion and increase conversion by making sure product pricing and shipping rates in your UK store are shown in local currency.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I contact somebody to learn more or get started?
To request a meeting with a ShipBob fulfillment expert, visit this page and complete the "Request Access" form, and we'll get in touch shortly. If you’re a current client, you can also reach out to your primary ShipBob contact or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How does Brexit impact selling within the UK?
While the full impact of Brexit is still unfolding, we do know that the changes will result in net new regulations, customs, and duties and will require merchants to set up unique VAT and EORI registrations for the UK. Furthermore, Brexit may negatively impact cross-border time in transit to the UK. Analysts expect that due to Brexit changes in 2021, cross-border ecommerce in the UK will decline year over year. This is why it is important to adopt a UK-specific ecommerce fulfillment strategy.
Do I need a VAT and/or EORI to fulfill in the UK?
Which carriers will ShipBob use in the UK?
We are starting with Royal Mail and DPD. For Royal Mail, we will leverage their premium, fully tracked services. We will add more carriers throughout 2021 and beyond.
What shipping options are available in the UK?
ShipBob is offering both standard and expedited services for UK to UK shipments.
What is the average time in transit?
The average transit time within the United Kingdom is 1-4 business days. Standard is typically 2-4 business days and expedited is 1-2 business days.
Can I ship from the UK fulfillment center to the EU (or anywhere outside of the UK)?
Our UK fulfillment center will only fulfill orders that are shipped within the UK. We recommend using our Ireland-based fulfillment center in the EU to ship orders to EU locations. We also plan to support shipping to EU-based locations from our UK fulfillment center later in 2021.
What is the pricing for UK fulfillment?
Pricing is calculated the same way across all fulfillment centers, according to standard ShipBob pricing. If you’re a current ShipBob customer, reach out to your ShipBob contact to review your pricing for the UK location.
If you’re not a current ShipBob customer, you can request a quote and work with one of our fulfillment experts to build out a pricing plan based on your unique needs.
What are the standard operations at the UK fulfillment center?
We are committed to consistency across all of our fulfillment centers globally. All of ShipBob’s fulfillment centers adhere to the same standard operating procedures.
Is B2B and wholesale fulfillment supported at the UK fulfillment center?
Yes, our UK fulfillment center shares the same capabilities as our other fulfillment center locations. While we still primarily fulfill DTC orders, if you need help with small batches of B2B orders, we will support B2B at the new location but do not support EDI at this time.
Are returns supported at the UK fulfillment center?
Yes, our Ireland fulfillment center can process returns for orders that originated from that facility and using return labels that were generated from within Europe. Customers cannot currently purchase EU return labels directly from ShipBob, but we hope to support that in the future.