Fulfillment Services Pricing: How Much Does A Fulfillment Center Cost?

Wondering how much it costs to use a fulfillment center? This article breaks down the pricing structure and what you can expect to pay.

Fulfillment Services Pricing: How Much Does A Fulfillment Center Cost?

Like most business owners, you want to keep your costs down while still providing high-quality products and services. When it comes to fulfillment services, though, how do you know what's a fair price? In this blog post, we'll break down the cost of using a fulfillment center so that you can make the best decision for your business.

What Fulfillment Services Pricing Looks Like

Pricing for fulfillment services can vary significantly based on the size and scope of the project, as well as the business's specific needs. That said, most fulfillment services will charge a per-item fee and a fee for storage and handling.

To get an accurate estimate, it's essential to provide the fulfillment service with as much information as possible about the project. This includes the number of items that need to be processed, their dimensions and weight, and any special requirements or instructions.

That being said, here is a general overview of what you can expect to pay for different types of fulfillment services:

Small-scale order fulfillment: $0.50 - $2.00 per order

Medium-scale order fulfillment: $2.00 - $5.00 per order

Large-scale order fulfillment: $5.00+ per order

When choosing a fulfillment service provider, many factors can influence the final cost of your project. Some key considerations include the following:

  •  the scope and size of your order (including the number of items being fulfilled)
  • The types of materials that need to be included in your package (e.g., packaging, inserts, etc.) and the level of customization and branding required for your project. Some fulfillment services may charge a flat monthly fee or require a minimum order volume, while others may provide bulk discounts if you are shipping large volumes at once.

How To Find The Best Fulfillment Service For Your Business?

You must consider a few crucial factors to assist you in choosing the best order fulfillment service for your business's needs. These are the essential points to consider while making your choice.

1. Shipping Speeds: Selecting a fulfillment service must involve an eCommerce fulfillment service capable of getting your company's product to your client in a speedy shipping time, with Amazon's two-day delivery being the new industry standard.

2. Warehouse Locations: Your warehouse's location is crucial to the supply chain. Without strategically placed warehouses, the supply chain would be unnecessarily drawn out and complex. This might cause significant delays and higher logistics costs that could have been easily avoided.

3. Order Fulfillment Software And Automation: It is essential that the fulfillment service you choose has integrated software and uses automated technology for its inventory if you want your company to stay ahead of the competition. 

4. Branding And Packaging: You must provide unique branding and packaging options to cater to the customer experience. Every company should want to increase brand recognition, and branded packaging is one way to do it. 

Related: Fulfillment Center vs. Distribution Center: What is the Difference?

Factors That Will Affect Your Order Fulfilment Pricing

The following elements are taken into account by providers when fulfillment center pricing is the estimated price:

1. Setup: Order fulfillment companies generally charge a setup fee when you first sign up for their services. Depending on the size and complexity of your company, this fee may be higher.

2. Receiving, Intake, And Storage: Your logistics provider will charge you to receive and process new shipments to their facility. They will also charge a fee for storing your inventory, which may increase depending on the time your goods sit unsold in their facility.

3. Order Fulfillment, Kitting, And Return: You might anticipate paying a certain amount of fees to cover the expense of packing or assembling each item. You can receive an eCommerce fulfillment pricing cheaper if you fulfill more monthly orders. You will also pay for each return that needs to be handled and either put back into inventory, shipped to the manufacturer or demolished.

4. Shipping: The cost of sending your products to your consumers will be charged to you, but your overall shipping expenses could be cheaper or higher than what you currently pay.

Tips For Reducing Your Fulfillment Costs

You can consider a few different options if you're looking for ways to reduce your 3PL fulfillment costs. This article will cover some of the most common cost-cutting strategies and explain how they work.

Negotiating better rates with your 3PL provider

One popular method for reducing costs is negotiating better rates with your 3PL provider. Suppose you have an established relationship with your warehouse and delivery company. In that case, asking if they can provide lower pricing in exchange for more significant volumes or a longer contract term never hurts. You may be surprised by how much wiggle room there is in these negotiations – especially if you can offer a more significant order volume or commit to working with them long-term.

Choosing a smaller warehouse

Alternatively, you can reduce your 3PL costs by choosing a smaller warehouse. This approach works well if most of your orders are for small, light items that don't take up much space in the warehouse. Additionally, you'll want to ensure that your current volume can support a smaller facility and remain profitable. Lastly, you should also be able to handle storage issues like shrinkage without costing yourself an arm and a leg.

Related: Amazon Pallet Buyers Guide: What You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Pallet

Minimizing order complexity

Another strategy for reducing your fulfillment costs is minimizing order complexity. By this, we mean setting up guidelines for how different products are stocked on shelves or pallets and ensuring all the necessary shipping documentation is included with each order. This way, your employees will only have to handle each order once, and it won't require more than the necessary amount of work to get it out the door.

Cutting back on order frequency and duration

Another way to reduce your fulfillment costs is by reducing the number of orders you receive and how long they take to send out. For example, if you manage an eCommerce site that sees a lot of seasonal sales spikes, try to avoid sending out large numbers of orders in the weeks leading up to this peak period. Not only will this save you money, but it can also help improve your overall customer experience by ensuring everyone's orders are processed quickly during these busy seasons.

Related: 5 Easy Steps To Improve Order Fulfillment

Questions To Ask A Potential Fulfillment Service Provider

  • Where are you located right now? Do you operate in several places?
  • Do you provide an Oder processing guarantee?
  • Would you pay the penalty if you fail to deliver an order by the deadline?
  • Do you guarantee that no data will ever be lost?
  • Will the order be delivered within one business day?
  • Do you have an ERP system that can be customized and integrated?
  • Can the company integrate the systems for free?
  • Do you provide services for returned items?
  • What do you charge for things that customers return?
  • Do you guarantee a secure Order Processing system? 

Related: What's the Difference Between Warehousing and Storage

How To Negotiate Better Pricing With A Fulfillment Service

Whether you're running an online store or a multi-million dollar company, negotiating with fulfillment services is often necessary. Dealing with better pricing isn't always easy, and it takes careful planning to avoid damaging your business relationships. This guide outlines some of the top tips for negotiating better pricing with a fulfillment service.

1. Do Your Research

The first step in any negotiation is figuring out what you want to accomplish. Before starting negotiations, take some time to research your options and learn more about the specific services offered by different fulfillment houses. This will help you know what rates you can expect and give you a good idea of how much flexibility you have in your negotiations. Having this knowledge will help you be more prepared when it comes time to negotiate.

2. Get Multiple Quotes and Compare Rates

Once you know what types of rates you're working with, you can start contacting different fulfillment providers to get quotes for the services that interest you most. Be sure to ask about any fees or added costs that may pop up along the way, such as shipping and handling charges or storage fees. This will ensure that you receive accurate estimates from each provider so that you can compare them side-by-side before making a decision.

3. Talk About Your Current Situation and Goals Frequently During Negotiations

When talking with potential fulfillment partners, it's essential to be clear about your company's current situation and goals. For example, if you're a startup just starting with e-commerce sales, you might need lower-volume fulfillment services to start. Or, if you have ongoing sales needs and want a partner who can do more than just store and ship your products, let them know up front so they can give you better quotes based on this information.

4. Consider Any Additional Services You Need

In addition to primary storage and shipping tasks, some fulfillment companies offer other services that can help streamline your logistics processes. Examples include:

  • Integrated inventory management tools.
  • Online customer order tracking.
  • Even business consulting services that help improve your overall sales practices.

If you know that your company could benefit from these additional services, bring them up in your negotiations so you can receive quotes for everything under one roof.

Related: USPS Flat Rate Boxes & Pricing: eCommerce Businesses

5. Consider the Quality of Customer Service

Fulfillment companies are more than just storage and shipping organizations; they're also customer service providers, and often their most important job is to ensure customer satisfaction. Before signing a contract with a fulfillment house, take some time to research their reputation online or ask other business owners what they think about their fulfillment partner's customer service skills. A good track record in customer care will also help you provide better support to your customers when using that provider.

Related: How to Use Order Fulfillment to Get Repeat Customers

How Simpl Fulfillment Pricing Works

We have a minimum charge of $40 per Inbound. We can offer free receiving, shipment creation, and everything else involved. This is not a fixed fee. In basic terms, we'll never bill you less than $40 for any Inbound you send us.

We do not charge any startup fee. We'll only bill you for our work. Included in our pricing is 

  • Essential shipping boxes (we try to recycle when possible)
  • Basic Inspection
  • All dunnage
  • Amazon shipment plan creation
  • Receiving
  • Amazon Inventory Syncing
  • A week of storage
  • Inventory tracking

Here's a quick calculator to help you estimate how much prep will cost. 


 So, what does all of this mean for business owners? If you're looking for a fulfillment service, it's essential to do your research and understand the cost involved. Remember that not all services are created equal – some may be more expensive but offer better quality or faster turnaround times. And if you need help fulfilling orders for your home-based business, don't hesitate to contact Simp Fulfillment. We'll work with you to find the right solution at a price that fits your budget. 

Recommended: Dropshipping Versus Third-Party Fulfillment

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