How Much Does Order Fulfillment Cost?

The cost of order fulfillment services depends on a variety of resources such the size of items being sold and where it is being shipped. Still, if you’re at least a medium-size business, it’s likely that you’ll end up saving money through the lack of warehouse fees, employees and more.

The 4 Primary Order Fulfillment Costs

Many ecommerce startups and small sellers outsource order fulfillment rather than handling it in-house. This way, they focus on business growth and leave stock storage, order packing, and shipping tasks to the pros. If you decide to outsource fulfillment, here are four primary services and costs you’ll see working with a third party logistics (3PL) company:

1. Inventory Receiving Costs

Most 3PL companies charge for accepting and verifying a delivery of your inventory. Some charge per shipment, some per pallet or per box. We’ll explore specifics below.

2. Inventory Storage Costs

Most 3PL services charge for stock storage space in their warehouse. Charges range from palletized bulk storage to individual bins or shelf spaces for per-SKU storage.

3. Order Pick & Pack Costs

Some fulfillment centers charge a per-order pick & pack fee based on the number of items being picked from storage and packed into each box. Others roll this cost together with shipping into one order fulfillment fee.

4. Shipping Costs

Fulfillment companies pass shipping costs on to you, but these costs can be far lower than what you’d pay handling fulfillment in-house. Due to their volume, fulfillment centers get deep shipping discounts, both inbound (inventory coming into the warehouse) and outbound (orders to your customers).

Check out all the other costs and tips from the original post at http://fitsmallbusiness.com/order-fulfillment-costs/ 

Each year, WarehousingAndFulfillment.com surveys its 600+ network of warehousing and fulfillment providers to find out their average costs to run their warehouses and average pricing they charge their customers. We had a record response this year and just released our results here:


This yearly survey has become a go-to industry resource for warehousing and fulfillment costs and pricing information.