A shipper is the party that initiates the shipping process, usually the seller or supplier of goods. They are responsible for preparing the shipment, including packaging, labeling, and arranging for transportation, often via a third-party logistics provider or carrier.

Detailed Explanation

The role of a shipper in logistics and order fulfillment is multifaceted and extends beyond merely sending out packages.

Shippers are responsible for a range of activities, including inventory management, selecting appropriate packaging, generating shipping labels, and often tracking the shipment until it reaches its destination. They also liaise with carriers and may be responsible for negotiating shipping rates and ensuring compliance with shipping regulations.

In ecommerce, the shipper is often the business selling the product, and their effectiveness in fulfilling these roles can significantly impact customer satisfaction and overall business success.


Ecommerce Business: An online retailer acts as the shipper when it sells products directly to consumers. The retailer is responsible for packaging the product, generating a shipping label, and ensuring the package is picked up by a carrier.

Manufacturing Company: A manufacturing company may act as the shipper when sending bulk shipments of goods to a distributor or retailer. The company must prepare the shipment, including securing it on pallets and arranging for transportation.

Related Terms and Concepts:

Frequently asked questions about Shippers

What is the difference between a shipper and a carrier? A shipper initiates the shipping process and prepares the goods for transport, while a carrier is responsible for the actual transportation of the goods.

Is the shipper always the seller of the goods? Not necessarily. While the shipper is often the seller, it could also be a third-party logistics provider or even the buyer, depending on the terms of the sale.

What responsibilities does a shipper have regarding shipping regulations? The shipper is usually responsible for ensuring that the shipment complies with all relevant shipping regulations, including weight limits and hazardous material guidelines.

How does a shipper calculate shipping costs? Shipping costs are often calculated based on factors like weight, dimensions, destination, and shipping speed. The shipper may negotiate these rates with carriers.

What role does a shipper play in tracking a shipment? The shipper often provides tracking information to the consignee and may monitor the shipment until it reaches its destination to ensure successful delivery.

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