Enable & Use ShipStation 3PL

The ShipStation 3PL feature allows 3PL companies to connect their ShipStation account to their client's ShipStation account for faster and easier shipment fulfillment.

Once the 3PL add-on has been enabled on a 3PL ShipStation account, the 3PL can invite Clients to delegate orders into their account as well as fulfill orders from their own connected stores. Both will appear as Clients in the 3PL ShipStation account.

Additionally, 3PLs can use the Client's carrier accounts to ship the orders if they have arranged to do so with the Client.

Once a Client has accepted the invitation from a 3PL account, delegated orders can import from the Client the same as they would from a connected store by clicking the Import icon Import icon, or Refresh-stores icon. Grey circular arrow symbol (clockwise), inside of a black square in the top right toolbar. Client orders will appear in the Awaiting Shipments status in the Orders Grid.


  • The latest version of ShipStation (ShipStation Legacy does not support the 3PL feature)

  • The 3PL add-on enabled in the 3PL's ShipStation account.

  • A client's store with a ShipStation account to fulfill orders for.

  • At least one Ship From Location set up for the client.

Connecting to a Client Account

Before a 3PL can import client orders into their ShipStation account, they must first invite the client account to connect.

Once the invite is sent, any admin user in the Client’s ShipStation account can accept the invitation. Once accepted, the Client will appear as a selling channel in the 3PL ShipStation account and can begin delegating orders.

To invite a Client:

  1. Choose Selling Channels from the left-hand sidebar, then select Clients.

    ShipStation left sidebar menu open to Channels with Clients settings selected.
  2. Click the Add New Client button.

    "Add new Client" button highlighted by red box on Clients settings page.
  3. Enter the Client's name, Client-Facing Company name, and email address. Then click Add Client.

    Invite Client pop-up window with Client Name, Client-facing Company Name, and Email entered. "Add Client" button selected.
    • The Client Name can be a nickname, as this is only used within the 3PL's ShipStation account to identify the Client.

    • The Client-facing Company Name is what the client will see associated with the 3PL in their ShipStation account.

    • The Email address must be one the Client used to create their ShipStation account.

The Client will show as Pending in the Client list until they have accepted the invite. See the following section about how a Client can enable 3PL access.

New client shows status of Pending on Clients settings page.

Clients in Pending Status

You cannot send another invitation to a Client that is in a Pending status.

If the client rejects an invite, you can then send another invite since that Client would no longer be in Pending status.

Once the Client has accepted the terms and connected their account, the Client moves into the Active status.

Client shows status of Active on Clients settings page.

Accepting a 3PL Invitation

When a 3PL invites a Client to connect, the Client can accept the invitation in 2 ways:

  • Via the invite email: The client will receive an email that includes a link to accept the invitation. Your client can simply click the Connect button in the message body.

    Example email that new client receives with "Connect" button to accept invitation.
  • In the Client's Fulfillment Providers settings: Your client can go to Shipping > Fulfillment Providers, click the Action menu Gray ellipsis and select Review Connection.

    Actions menu open for Fulfillment Provider with Review Connection option selected.

The Client must confirm they understand the agreement, then choose Approve Connection.

"Approve Connection" button highlighted on Connect to Fulfillment Provider pop-up window.

Once the invitation has been accepted, a message will appear confirming the Client carriers are being connected with the 3PL account.

Notification in the upper right corner of ShipStation confirming that new Fulfillment Provider has been added.

Orders can now be delegated to the 3PL from the Orders grid:

Ship From Location set to 3PL in Order Details window.

Shipment Notifications

When the 3PL creates a shipping label for a delegate order, the 3PL account will send a Shipment Notification to the Client account.

Additional Details About Connecting a Client

  • A 3PL can use its own carrier accounts to ship Client orders or can use the carriers shared by the client.

  • The Client service list in the Configure Shipment Widget is a general list of all services connected across all connected Clients. If a service is selected that is not connected to a connected Client, you will see an error message that reads, "The shipping service is not valid because the Client does not have a carrier account that supports it."

  • By default, a notification will be sent when the shipping label is created from the 3PL account.

  • You can remove a Client from your Selling Channel settings if they are in the Pending status. However, it is important to follow up with them regarding any outstanding fees or leftover products.

  • All order notes from a Client account will appear in the 3PL account once the order has been delegated.

  • Clients can use the Automation Rule action Set Fulfillment Provider to automate the process of sending orders to be fulfilled by 3PL.

  • If sending shipments to a 3PL via Automation Rules, we recommended that you import orders at least once a day to avoid missing any incoming orders from your store. Learn how to set your stores to auto-update for regular importing.

  • Clients can view Inventory counts for 3PLs who use ShipStation inventory.

Configure Shipment Widget
Configure Shipment Widget