Dropshipping and fulfillment services
Some services that you can use to source your products can also ship those products directly to your customers. Services such as on-demand printing typically both print and ship the product for you. Other services can store products that you made or purchased yourself. Services such as warehouses let you store products and will ship out your products to customers on your behalf
Generally, when a business uses a dropshipping or fulfillment service, they don't work directly with the shipping carriers but instead work with the service to determine shipping costs.
For example, some print-on-demand companies charge flat fees for shipping their products to certain parts of the world. If you use their service and receive an order for one of your t-shirts, then when you place the order with the print-on-demand service, they will charge you shipping, not a shipping carrier.
This also means that you don't need to purchase a shipping label for these types of orders, because the service is the one working with the shipping carriers and purchasing the label on your behalf.
There is also the Shopify Fulfillment Network, which has fulfillment centers across the US and Canada and integrates directly with your Shopify store and admin.
There are other services, such as Fulfillment by Amazon, that have a more complex integration with your business.
Apps with integrations
Some apps let you connect directly with their own shipping carrier accounts. This lets you charge your customers exactly what the service will charge you. Check with your service to see if they offer this option.
If your shipping settings use only the general shipping profile and doesn't have different shipping rates per location, then any fulfillment app is automatically added to your shipping settings. Otherwise, you need to manually add any shipping app into your shipping settings. For more information, refer to Add rates provided by an app.
Apps without integrations
Most apps don't have a shipping integration. This requires you to set up your shipping to mimic what a service will charge you if you want to pass on shipping costs directly to customers.
For more information, refer to Create flat shipping rates.
Shopify Fulfillment Network
Shopify can ship orders for you with the Shopify Fulfillment Network. Keep inventory close to customers in fulfillment centers across the US and save time by automating your fulfillment. For more information, refer to Shopify Fulfillment Network.
Fulfillment services through Amazon
Fulfillment by Amazon is a service where you send your products to an Amazon warehouse for them to use to fulfill your orders. Amazon has specific rules around how to set up their shipping names. To learn more, refer to Fulfillment by Amazon.
Custom fulfillment services
If you partner with a dropshipping or fulfillment service that doesn't have an app, then you can add them as a custom fulfillment service. When you mark an order as
fulfilled that contains a product from your custom fulfillment service, they receive an email requesting them to send that product to your customer.
Some custom fulfillment services let you connect with their shipping carrier account, such as with UPS or FedEx, which lets you charge your customer the same shipping rate that you are charged by the fulfillment service. If they don't provide this as an option, then you can ask for general shipping costs to various countries for you to base your own shipping rates off of.