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 fulfilment.

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.

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 and ShipStation mobile do not support the 3PL feature)

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

  • At least one connected client's ShipStation store for which orders will be fulfilled by the 3PL.

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

Enable the ShipStation 3PL Add-On

To enable the ShipStation 3PL add-on:

  1. Select the Add-Ons link in the Subscription Plan section.

    the add-ons link is highlighted in the subscription plan section.
  2. Start a free 30-day trial by clicking the Enable button for the ShipStation 3PL add-on.

    The enable button is highlighted for the ShipStation 3PL add-on.
  3. You will be notified that the ShipStation 3PL add-on is now active and that you can begin to invite clients.


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 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.

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.

Your Active 3PL Clients will show listed with connected stores in the Selling Channel settings, where you can update client branding, notifications, and other store settings.

Available Actions for Connected Clients

  • 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 as that Client would no longer be in Pending status.

  • You can cancel an invitation to a Client still in the Pending status.

    However, if you wish to disconnect an Active Client, you must do so by setting that Client's store to inactive in the Selling Channel settings. Marking a Client inactive will stop the Client's orders from importing and remove the store from view in your account.

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 > Fulfilment Providers, click the Action menu Actions menu 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.
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

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

  • 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 Fulfilment Provider to automate the process of sending orders to be fulfilled by 3PL.

  • If sending shipments to a 3PL via Automation Rules, we recommend that you import orders at least once daily 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.

  • Clients can configure carrier sharing to specify which carriers and services can be used by the 3PL when fulfilling orders.