Platform Accounts

What is a Platform Account?

Marketplaces, e-commerce platforms, and third-party logistics providers often want to offer built-in shipping functionality to their customers. They may also need to track shipping data on a per-customer basis. Without a Platform Account, managing this process can require complex mapping and logic within your code.

A Platform Account allows you to customize the shipping capabilities that are offered to your customers by allowing you to configure headless Managed Shippo Accounts for each customer.

For more information about integration paths and different account types, review our guide on Paths for integrating your platform with Shippo.


Carriers including USPS, UPS, and Canada Post require e-commerce marketplaces to use Managed Shippo accounts for their merchants. If you run a marketplace with merchants, use a Shippo Platform Account.

What are Managed Shippo Accounts?

Managed Shippo Accounts are headless accounts (they do not have a Shippo website login) that represent your customers. You own your Managed Shippo Accounts and interact with them only through the Shippo API. Managed Shippo Accounts are opaque to your end customers, meaning they don’t need to create their own Shippo login or have a billing relationship with Shippo. Using Managed Shippo Accounts, you can control shipping settings for your customers while the shipping experience for your end users remains native and seamless.

Administering your customers as Managed Shippo Accounts allows you to do the following.

  • Customize multiple customers settings behind the scenes that simplifies managing customers at scale . For example, setting up specific carrier accounts to be used for each customer.
  • Accurately report on each customer’s activity. For example, obtaining each customer’s associated shipments and other relevant data.

Do not use Managed Shippo Accounts if you want your customers to self-manage their shipping settings on Shippo or have a direct billing relationship with Shippo. Instead, you should consider using an OAuth integration for a co-branded experience.

Who uses Managed Shippo Accounts?

Platform Accounts for e-commerce marketplaces

E-commerce marketplaces are platforms where multiple third-party sellers can list their products or services, and buyers can browse and purchase them. Popular examples include Shopify and eBay. E-commerce platforms use Platform Accounts to provide Managed Accounts for each of their merchants, giving merchants seamless access to shipping infrastructure. This also makes it easy to track and bill each merchant individually.

Platform Accounts for 3PLs

A third-party logistics service (3PL), sometimes referred to as fulfillment centers or fulfillment warehouses, are businesses that offer outsourced logistics services to other businesses. These services can include a wide range of functions related to the storage, transportation, and distribution of goods. A popular example of a 3PL is ShipBob.

3PLs use platform accounts to provide managed accounts for each of the businesses they support. This allows them the flexibility to offer customized shipping options for each of the businesses they support.