Costs of 3PL Order Fulfillment

The cost of order fulfillment in Canada can be separated in 3 categories: one-time or set-up charges, monthly and recurring charges, and per-order charges. All companies have different pay schedules, and of course amounts differ based on the company, your volume and other factors, so this list doesn’t pretend to be exhaustive. Rather, it wishes to expose, in broad strokes, what it costs to outsource your order fulfillment department, so that you can make an informed decision when the time comes to take the plunge.

One-Time Costs

Set-up Charge – Setup fees are charged by order fulfillment companies at the start of the business relationship, and usually range from $100 to $700. This fee covers shopping cart integration (if required), training as well as other administrative tasks relating to your account.

Per-SKU Set-up Charges – These fees are charged every time a new SKU is added to the system. They usually rage from $0.20 to $0.40 each.

Recurring Costs

Account Management Fees – This fee, normally from $50 to $150 per month, covers the administrative tasks relating to your account, as well as labels, paperwork, shipping materials and more.

Storage Fees – Usually charge by the square or cubic foot, this fee is assessed to cover the charges associated with keeping your inventory in storage. A normal charge would be from $0.25 to $1 per cubic or square foot.

Receiving Fee – This fee is charged when new inventory is received. It is charged by the hour (plus or minus $40 per hour) and covers the cost of receiving your product and entering it into inventory.

Per-Order Fees

The most significant per-order fee is the shipping charges. If you use UPS to ship your products (it is recommended that you do so, for your and your customer’s sake), you can expect a discount up to 20% of published UPS rates. Please note that some order fulfillment company offer no discount whatsoever on UPS rates. If you ship by Canada Post, it is normal not to get a discount.

Pick-and-Pack Fees – This is the fee charged by your 3PL to pick and pack your order. It can range from $2 per order or more, depending on the nature of your products and the number of items per order.

Most order fulfillment companies offer additional services such as custom packaging, digital product photography, call center services or even long term storage. All these services are charged separately.

Charges for returned order, inventory checks and more are normal and to be expected, and should be in line with other fees by the same company, based on hourly rates, pick and pack fees, etc.

To get exact pricing and quotes, fill out the form to the right. One of our expert agents will be in touch with you with quotes based on your needs.