Split Shipment: A Comprehensive Guide with Real-Life Examples

Have you ever faced the challenge of shipping customers’ products from a single order in multiple boxes at different times? This scenario is known as a split shipment. This issue can lead to many problems like subpar customer experiences or can even result in significant costs when working with traditional 3PL providers. So how do we manage the split shipment? Has anyone managed it successfully yet? Well, we have your answers right below.

What is a Split Shipment?

what is split shipment?

Split shipment is when items from one order in different packages, which might arrive at different times. It’s like getting several packages on different days, even though you bought everything together.

For example, you’ve ordered something, but part of it is out of stock. Instead of waiting, the seller sends what’s available first, then the rest later. This split shipment can speed up processing and keep the seller competitive.

Why Does Split Shipment Happen?

While splitting shipments isn’t the best practice in the industry, it can cause more problems but there are reasons why it might be needed:

  • Products are in different locations: Sometimes, the inventory isn’t all in one place. If a product is out of stock in one place but available elsewhere, it’s better to send it from 2 places than not at all. Most customers would prefer getting two shipments than none.
  • Items don’t fit in a single box: Speed is crucial for many businesses. If an order is too big for one box, it’s better to send in multiple boxes than to wait for a bigger box, which would slow down shipping.
  • The customer wants items sent to multiple addresses: If a customer wants to send gifts to different people, like a Christmas gift to their mom and a birthday gift to a friend, it’s easier to select different shipping addresses than to make separate orders.

What is the Benefit of Split Shipment?

Benefit of split shipment

Split shipments benefit both customers and businesses. Let’s take a look at the advantages of each one.

Benefit of Customers

First and foremost, every business needs customers to feel happy. Indeed, it’s not by chance that they overlook the disadvantages of split shipments; they are striving to bring satisfaction and benefits to their customers. Here are the benefits customers receive from split shipments:

  • Time-saver: Instead of dealing with one huge package, customers get their stuff in smaller packages. It’s like getting mini surprises, unpacking and sorting a breeze!
  • Super convenient: Want your stuff sent to your home, office, or even your vacation spot? No problem! Split shipments let customers choose multiple delivery spots, making life easier.
  • Bye-bye lost packages: Worried about losing all your goodies in one go? With split shipments, that’s no longer a concern. By sending items to different places, customers can lower the risk of everything disappearing at once.
  • Delivery on terms: No more waiting around all day for a package! With split shipments, customers can schedule deliveries for different times and places, ensuring they’re there to receive every single one.
  • Money-saver: Splitting up shipments could actually save customers some cash. Shipping one big package can be pricey, but dividing it up can make shipping costs more affordable. It’s a win-win!

Benefit of Business

Many owners said split shipments are complex and annoying. But until now, many businesses still doing split shipments, because they offer benefits:

  • On-time delivery: Split shipments make sure products reach customers quickly by sending available items first and processing back-ordered ones separately. This can meet delivery deadlines and keep customers happy.
  • Convenience: Customers like split shipments because they get their in-stock items faster, making shopping easier and encouraging loyalty.
  • Better inventory management: With split shipments, businesses can manage their inventory more effectively. They can fulfill orders from multiple locations, reducing the risk of stockouts and ensuring that customers can still get their products even if some items are temporarily unavailable.
  • Reduced risk of damage: Sending items separately lowers the risk of damage during transit. Each package can be packed carefully, minimizing the chances of products getting damaged and reducing the need for returns.
  • Increased revenue opportunities: Split shipments can lead to more sales for businesses. By offering customers the option to purchase back-ordered items along with in-stock products, businesses can capture sales that might have been lost otherwise.

While split shipments offer these benefits, businesses should also be aware of potential drawbacks such as higher shipping costs and the need to manage returns effectively.

What Are Common Split Shipments Challenges?

While split shipments offer advantages for both customers and online businesses, it’s no surprise that they come with challenges:

Increased shipping expenses

Having to pay for shipping multiple times for the same destination can really add up. It’s like paying for the same trip several times! This extra cost might not always be needed, but it’s hard to avoid when shipments are split. Each time a shipment is sent out, there are fees to cover things like handling, packaging, and delivery. These costs can pile up over time, eating into the company’s profits

So, even though split shipments might be necessary, they can still lead to higher overall shipping expenses, which can be tough for businesses. That’s why finding ways to make shipping more efficient and reduce unnecessary costs is super important.

Poor customer service management

When customer service isn’t up to par, it can cause a lot of problems. If it takes longer than usual to process and ship orders, customers might start reaching out with questions and concerns. Without a way for them to easily track their shipments, they’ll end up contacting your staff for updates. This can overwhelm your customer service team, leading to longer response times and unhappy customers

To avoid this, it’s important to give customers the tools they need to track their orders themselves and keep them informed about any delays or issues. This helps ease the burden on your customer service team and keeps customers happy.

Potential delivery delays

Sometimes, deliveries can get delayed because of things like bad weather or heavy traffic. These are things that businesses can’t control. But to keep customers happy, it’s important to let them know about any delays as soon as possible. So here is the tip: always give customers updates and alerts about their deliveries, so that customers can adjust their plans and understand what’s going on. This helps to avoid frustration and keeps everyone on the same page, even when things don’t go as planned.

Environmental Impact

According to Forbes, consumers of all ages, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, are now more willing to pay extra for sustainable products. In 2020, only 58% of consumers were open to spending more on sustainable options. Today, nearly 90% of Gen X consumers are willing to pay 10% or more for sustainable products, compared to just over 34% two years ago.

So, split shipment creates not only waste from packaging but also increases carbon emissions from transportation. This can make customers see the brand as not being eco-friendly. To appeal to environmentally conscious customers and lessen the impact on the planet, businesses should find ways to ship items more efficiently and use eco-friendly packaging. This shows they care about the environment and can attract more customers who share these values.

In the face of these challenges, keeping customers informed throughout the shipping process and consolidating orders under one roof can help maintain satisfaction and success.

How Can Businesses Best Manage Split Shipments?

What can brands do to keep split shipments from affecting their revenue? Businesses can best manage split shipments by implementing strategies to reduce the need for them in the first place. Here are some suggestions:

Make sure inventory goes to the right places

Managing inventory across multiple locations can be tricky. When you have different spots to ship from, like warehouses in different cities, it’s important to keep track of what’s where.

Imagine you’re running a clothing brand with customers all over the country. What folks in Arizona want might be very different from what’s popular in New York. So, to avoid hiccups like sending swimsuits to snowy places, it’s crucial to know where each item is stored.

Keep an eye on purchasing trends

Understanding your customers is key to figuring out why split shipments happen and how to avoid them.

For example, which warehouses are often used when only part of an order is shipped? Does it make sense based on where the order is going? How often do split shipments involve items that are usually bought together? And how many shipping zones do these split orders usually cross?

Also, keep an eye on trends. Fast-moving products like clothes and makeup can change what people want to buy.

Partner with a 3PL

Managing split shipments can be a handful without the right tools and know-how. If they happen a lot, it can eat up time you could spend improving the customer experience.

Instead, think about working with a third-party logistics (3PL) company. They’re pros at handling orders, so they can help you come up with a smart plan for processing and shipping.

For example, if your problem is management, tracking and communication with customers, you can try Synctrack Order Tracking, an ultimate order-tracking app on Shopify. You can integrate this app directly into your store. This app will give you real-time tracking updates for orders with tracking numbers. So, both you and your customers can keep an eye on packages and know exactly where they are. It’s like having a virtual GPS for your shipments!

Omega Tracking order website - third party app for split element

On top of that, the app comes with an impactful dashboard – a control center where you can see all your orders in one place, color-coded and easy to understand. So, you can quickly see what’s going on with each order and spot any issues that need fixing.

And here’s the best part: the app sends out automatic emails to your customers at every step of the shipping process. They get updates on their order confirmation when it’s shipped, and when it’s delivered. It’s a nice touch that keeps them in the loop and reduces the chances of them bugging you with questions.

Lastly, the app gives you some neat analytics. It shows numbers like how many orders you’re getting, how long it takes to fulfill them, and how happy your customers are. This helps you make smart decisions to make your shipping process even better over time.

So if you can not avoid split shipments, then here are a few tips for you to make it a smooth ride and save some cash along the way:

Communicate with your customers

Believe it or not, not everyone is in a rush to get their stuff right away. According to CI&T’s 2022 Connected Retail Report,  just 9% of customers expect same-day delivery, the other 91% folks are cool with waiting a few days for their goodies.

Some customers actually prefer to wait a bit longer if it means all their items arrive together. Giving them the option to choose at checkout whether to combine everything into one shipment can make things smoother and cut down on split orders.

Imagine waiting for one big package and getting two smaller ones instead. That can be a letdown! If customers aren’t expecting split shipments, it can be confusing and frustrating.

So, whenever you have to split an order, give your customer a heads-up in their order confirmation. Tell them about the split and give estimated delivery dates for each part. This way, they know what’s coming and when. Being upfront and clear after they buy stuff helps them trust your brand more.

Make split shipments smart and cost-effective

If you’re splitting up a shipment, think about the best way to do it to save money and get stuff to customers quickly.

For example, if you’re tossing in free samples with orders, it doesn’t make sense to ship those separately and pay extra for shipping on freebies. Instead, set up all your warehouses to handle sample stuff, so they can be added to orders no matter where they’re sent from.

Match recommendations with what’s in stock

When you suggest other products to customers, it’s a big deal for online stores. But recommending stuff that’s in a different warehouse than what’s in their cart can lead to more split shipments.

Using smart software that uses AI can help. It can suggest things based on where items are stored, making split shipments less of a headache.

Case Studies: Successful Implementation of Split Shipment Strategies


ASOS is an awesome online fashion store that sells clothes and accessories for people all over the world.

asos split shipment case study


ASOS faced challenges in efficiently managing split shipments, resulting in longer delivery times and increased shipping costs. With a wide range of products and varying customer preferences, optimizing inventory allocation and shipping logistics posed significant rubs.


To crack the code, ASOS turned to clever tech tools. They used fancy algorithms to predict what people would want and where they’d want it. Plus, they added magic trackers to keep customers in the loop about their orders every step of the way.


Thanks to these changes, They slashed delivery times and saved bundles on shipping costs, spreading smiles across the globe. Happy customers came back for more, boosting sales and making ASOS shine even brighter.

Key Takeaway

ASOS shows us that using smart technology and keeping customers in the loop can make online shopping super easy and fun. By guessing what people want and using special trackers, businesses can deliver orders faster and make everyone smile.


Zappos, a leading online retailer specializing in footwear and apparel, is renowned for its exceptional customer service and hassle-free shopping experience.

zappos split shipment case study


Zappos encountered challenges in effectively managing split shipments and communicating with customers regarding order fulfillment. Split shipments often led to customer confusion and dissatisfaction, impacting overall brand perception and customer loyalty.


Zappos implemented proactive live-chat strategies to keep customers informed about split shipments. They introduced clear and transparent messaging in order confirmations, providing customers with detailed information about the status of their orders and expected delivery dates for each part of the shipment.


Customers loved this! They felt better knowing what was happening with their orders. Zappos also saved time and money because they got fewer calls and emails asking about orders. As a result, Zappos saw higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, contributing to sustained business growth and success.

Key Takeaway

Communication is the key! Zappos’s case highlights the importance of effective communication in managing split shipments and enhancing the customer experience. By keeping customers informed, businesses can make them happier and save time.


1. What does the split package mean?

Split shipment package means that one order with multiple products is sent to the customer in separate packages.

2. What is cargo split?

Cargo split is when a purchase is divided into multiple deliveries because the total weight is too much for the shipping policy’s limit.

3. What is split booking in shipping?

Split booking is a booking for one or more containers which can be split into several bookings. This can happen either because the customer asks for it or because there’s not enough room on the ship.

Final words

Splitting shipment can be a bit of a hassle at times, but with all the benefits above, it is still worth trying.  To make this process smoother, tools like Omega Order Tracking can come in handy. They help retailers keep track of all orders in one place, boosting efficiency and keeping customers happy. With this tool, it’s easy to spot any mistakes or delays in split shipments and fix them quickly. Plus, your customers can also track it, having all the order info in one spot can help improve future operations and make customers really happy with their experience.