Uline Vs. Global Industrial: A Detailed Comparison

When it comes to finding industrial and shipping supplies, Uline and Global Industrial are two of the biggest names in the business. Both companies offer a wide selection of products for packaging, shipping, warehouse operations, safety equipment, and more. But how do these industrial supply giants really stack up against each other?

Here is an in-depth comparison of Uline and Global Industrial to help you determine which provider might be better for your business.

A Brief Comparison Table

CategoryUlineGlobal Industrial
Product Selection50,000+ SKUs, wide variety of niche industrial categories1 million+ SKUs, more general industrial supplies
PricingEveryday low pricing model, no discounts/promotionsFrequent discounts and coupons, dynamic pricing
Shipping Network10 distribution centers across North America for faster fulfillmentSingle distribution center in Georgia
SustainabilityStrong focus disclosed in reports and initiativesGeneral commitment to environmental practices
Brand ReputationVery well known name in industrial distributionLess brand recognition but solid reputation
Customer ServicePhone, email, chat, and account manager supportPhone, email, chat, and account manager support
Order Accuracy99% accuracy rate95% accuracy rate

Overview Of Uline

Founded in 1980, Uline is a family-owned distributor based out of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Privately held by the Uihlein family, Uline has grown into a leading industrial and shipping supply company. Some fast facts about Uline:

  • Product selection includes over 50,000 shipping, industrial, packing, and safety items.
  • Operates 10 distribution centers in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
  • Employs over 7,000 employees.
  • Reports annual revenues surpassing $5 billion.
  • Sells predominantly to businesses rather than the general public.

Uline’s massive product catalog includes everything from packaging materials like bubble wrap, boxes, and tape to warehouse and forklift equipment, janitorial supplies, and protective clothing. The company also sells popular name brand products in addition to its own Uline branded items.

Uline promises fast shipping from its many distribution centers. Customers can receive next-day delivery on qualifying orders made before the cutoff time. Uline also pledges a 99% order accuracy rate along with responsive customer service.

Overview Of Global Industrial

Founded in 1949, Global Industrial has grown from a small tool distributor to a leading supplier of over 1 million commercial and industrial products. Some background information on Global Industrial:

Global Industrial
Global Industrial
  • Offers MRO supplies, storage solutions, furniture, safety products, and more.
  • Operates a 1.6 million square foot distribution center in Georgia.
  • Employs around 1,100 employees.
  • Reports annual revenues of approximately $1 billion.
  • Sells to businesses, institutions, government agencies, and individuals.

Global Industrial carries a vast array of MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) supplies for keeping facilities running smoothly. Products range from cleaning chemicals and ladders to forklifts and shelving. Global Industrial also provides large quantities of safety supplies and equipment to help create OSHA-compliant work environments.

Customers can order online 24/7 or speak with sales representatives. Global Industrial provides fast shipping from its Georgia warehouse with some orders despatched the same day. The company also has a 95% order accuracy policy.

Now that we’ve provided a broad overview of Uline and Global Industrial, let’s take a deeper dive into how they compare across some key factors:

Product Selection

With its catalog of over 50,000 products, Uline boasts one of the largest selections among industrial distributors. Their expansive product lineup has solutions for packaging, shipping, warehousing, manufacturing, safety, and more. No matter what type of supplies your business needs, Uline likely has you covered. They continue adding new products regularly.

Despite its smaller size, Global Industrial still offers around 1 million SKUs – no slouch in the product selection department. Their catalog run the industrial gamut from cleaning and safety supplies to tools, equipment, and furniture. However, Uline edges out Global Industrial in terms of sheer variety and specialty industrial categories.

Order Fulfillment And Shipping

Both companies highlight fast order fulfillment and shipping to customers. Uline offers next-day delivery on qualifying orders made before cutoff times at their distribution centers. Global Industrial also provides next-day delivery on many standard orders received before 5 PM.

Where Uline really shines is their multiple distribution centers located throughout North America. This allows them to reach more customers with ground shipping faster. Many products can arrive within 1-2 days from Uline’s strategically placed fulfillment centers. Global Industrial has just the one distribution center in Georgia that services all of North America.

In terms of order accuracy and completeness, Uline and Global Industrial again share similarities with 99% and 95% accuracy rates respectively. When it comes to fulfilling and shipping orders quickly and correctly, both companies are reliable performers. The biggest advantage goes to Uline and its widespread distribution center network.

Also Read: Differences Between Grainger And Uline.

Pricing And Discounts

Uline is upfront about not offering sales, discounts, or promotions on their products. As a volume distributor, Uline focuses on competitive upfront pricing across their whole catalog. Contract options are available for high volume purchasers who can benefit from bulk pricing.

Global Industrial takes a more variable pricing approach. They frequently offer sitewide discounts, coupons, and seasonal sales in addition to contracted pricing. Global Industrial pricing often fluctuates more than Uline’s steady catalog prices. Price-conscious shoppers may be able to find better deals through Global Industrial promotions.

When comparing specific products head-to-head, Uline tends to be the price leader on many common industrial items. But Global Industrial coupons can occasionally bring their pricing below Uline’s prices. Wise buyers will compare both when seeking the best value.

Customer Service And Support

Both distributors provide customer service by phone, email, live chat, and through account representatives. Uline offers support 6 days a week from 7 AM to 7 PM Central. Global Industrial service is available on weekdays from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern.

Uline maintains an expansive database of product support content in their Solutions Center. Videos, product manuals, and detailed comparisons help customers pick the right items. Global Industrial also provides specs and support materials, but not to the same comprehensive level as Uline.

When it comes to responsiveness and resolving issues, Uline and Global Industrial offer comparable customer service. Uline’s extended hours may offer greater convenience for some. But both companies demonstrate a commitment to serving their customers.

Company Reputation

Uline has built up an excellent reputation in the industrial distribution space. They earn high marks for order fulfillment, wide product selection, and quality branded items. As a family-owned company, Uline prides itself on a ‘people-first’ culture.

While Global Industrial does not match Uline’s brand recognition, they maintain a solid reputation as well. Reviews praise Global Industrial’s extensive product catalog, discounted pricing, and personalized customer service. Their Midwestern roots and made in America focus appeals to many buyers.

Ultimately, both companies are well-regarded names in the industrial and shipping supply space. Uline claims better brand awareness as the larger distributor. But Global Industrial also offers a compelling value proposition and quality service.

Sustainability And Social Responsibility

Environmental practices and social responsibility matter more than ever to today’s corporations. Uline reports a strong focus on sustainability efforts in their supply chain and operations. Some initiatives include:

  • Optimized routes and packaging to reduce waste.
  • Recycling programs across facilities.
  • Energy-efficient buildings with reduced emissions.
  • Charitable support for diverse community organizations.

While Global Industrial shares fewer details, they state a commitment to environmental stewardship in their operations. The company also partners with charities supporting children, education, and disaster relief.

In the area of social responsibility, Uline discloses more about their sustainability and community outreach initiatives. This transparency appeals to eco-conscious corporations. Global Industrial lags a little behind Uline based on available information.

Key Differences And Similarities Summarized

Looking at Uline and Global Industrial side-by-side, we can break down the key differences and similarities:


  • Product Selection: Uline offers more products and industrial-specific categories.
  • Fulfillment Network: Uline ships faster from a wider distribution center network.
  • Pricing Approach: Uline uses everyday low pricing while Global Industrial relies more on promotions and discounts.
  • Sustainability Focus: Uline discloses more about their environmental and social initiatives.


  • Order Accuracy: Both deliver 99%+ order accuracy.
  • Brand Reputation: Both are well-respected industrial distributors.
  • Customer Service: Support options and responsiveness are comparable.

Also Read: Comparison Between Shred-It And Iron Mountain.

Which Company Is Best For You?

Which industrial supplier is best ultimately depends on your specific business needs:

  • Large Variety of Niche Industrial Products – Uline’s massive catalog cannot be matched. Their specialty industrial focus makes Uline ideal for manufacturers and other operations with targeted supply needs.
  • Rush Delivery Requirements – Uline’s broad distribution reach allows for faster ground shipping to more North American addresses.
  • Lower Volume Purchasing – Global Industrial’s discounts and promotions can help smaller buyers stretch their budgets further.
  • Sustainability Focused Purchasing – Uline places greater emphasis on environmentally friendly business practices.

For most small and midsize industrial buyers, either distributor can supply all the basic products needed. Global Industrial may offer greater savings depending on purchasing volume. But Uline’s superior selection and fast fulfillment give them an edge with serious industrial users.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who are the competitors of global industrial company?

Some of Global Industrial’s biggest competitors in the MRO and industrial supply space include Uline, Grainger, Fastenal,Applied, HD Supply, and McMaster-Carr among others. Each offers similar products for maintenance, repair, operations, safety, and more.

Who does Global Industrial sell to?

Global Industrial sells industrial and MRO supplies to businesses of all sizes, government organizations, institutions like hospitals and schools, and also individual consumers. Their wide range of products serves many end users.

Is Global Industrial a US company?

Yes, Global Industrial is an American company. Founded in 1949, they are headquartered in Port Washington, NY and operate their main distribution center in Georgia. Most products Global Industrial sells are sourced from American manufacturers and vendors as well.

How many employees does global industrial company have?

Currently Global Industrial employs approximately 1,100 people. Many workers are based at the company’s Georgia distribution center which handles order fulfillment and shipping for Global Industrial’s customers.

Also Read: Is Quill Better Than Staples?


In summary, when choosing an industrial and shipping supplier, companies should examine their product needs, purchasing preferences, delivery requirements, and sustainability objectives. Both Uline and Global Industrial are great options with national reach.

This detailed comparison highlights the key factors that differentiate the two leaders and their strengths. Examining the pros and cons in areas like selection, pricing, fulfillment speed, and service allows buyers to determine the best fit.

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