What Is the Difference Between Shipping & Delivery?

Major diff between the shipping and delivery

Do you often use the terms ‘shipping‘ and ‘delivery’ interchangeably? You’re not the only one. But in reality, they are pretty different. When we say an item has been shipped, we typically mean that the item has left the warehouse. On the other hand, when we talk about delivery, we refer to the date when the package will arrive at the doorstep of the end customer.

Major diff between the shipping and delivery

Since the inception of eCommerce and its gradual boom, the terms shipping and delivery have often been used synonymously. The concept of eCommerce has opened up new dimensions of marketing and sales for customers and sellers. For the items you had to walk up to the store, you can now order them online in a few clicks.

What Is Shipping?

In eCommerce, shipping refers to everything that is required to physically transport the products purchased from an online store to a customer’s delivery destination. Primarily, this includes receiving an order, processing it, and preparing it for delivery.

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What Is Delivery?

Delivery is what begins after shipping. It is the final leg of the supply chain process when a shipment is moved from a transportation hub to the customer’s doorstep. The goal is to ensure that the order reaches its destination timely, accurately, and efficiently.

How Are They Different?

Both the words may seem similar to you as they are believed to be synonymous. However, they are not. For example, when you are shopping online, the seller will provide you with two dates: the shipping date, when the item will be shipped from the warehouse, and the delivery date, which denotes when it will be delivered to you. 

However, the other side of the coin is that these terms are sometimes also used to describe the nature of the products that are required to be transported. “Shipping” denotes the processing, packaging, and dispatching of small items that can be sent quickly and easily, typically through a local courier service.

“Delivery”, on the contrary, refers to the transportation of relatively large items like electronics and furniture from a warehouse to a customer’s address.

You see, the two terms have two different meanings in two different contexts. Therefore, it is critical to understand the meaning of these terms and their differences as you step further into the world of eCommerce. Let’s make a comparison:

ComparisonShippingDelivery
Meaning 1Small items that can be shipped through the local postal serviceLarge items that need installation or a delivery person
Meaning 2The date on which a shipment leaves a seller’s warehouseThe date when a package arrives at a customer’s doorstep
Is it Controllable?YesNo
Original DefinitionShipping is originally referred to as any package sent using a ship or transportation via seaDelivery is originally referred to as the distribution of any kind of goods: physical goods as well as specialized goods (water, electricity, etc.)
SynonymsDispatchDistribution
StageFrom receiving an order to preparing it for deliveryFrom order pick-up to last-mile delivery
ImportanceMore important for the sellerMore important for the customer

Now that you understand the difference between shipping and delivery, you must also know that both of them are immensely important for your business. Whether it’s first-mile logistics or last-mile delivery, choose the right partner that not only delivers your orders on time but also helps to keep your shipping costs low.

Calculate Your Shipping Costs Now

Srishti Arora

Content Writer at Shiprocket

Srishti Arora is a Senior content specialist at Shiprocket. She has written content for many brands, now writing content for a Shipping aggregator. She has knowledge on a wide gamut of topics related ... Read more

1 Comment

  1. van clark

    Hello, I am looking for shipping from China also, do you ship from China also?