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The typical UK costs of order fulfilment services

Is 2022 the year you search for the perfect fulfilment partner for your eCommerce business? You may have already started browsing at what fulfilment services in the UK will cost and how often that price will incur. It can still be an overwhelming amount of information to comb through - so let's break it down for you.

Cost to set up

For some fulfilment providers in the UK, there are zero set up fees, which is great news if you are an eCommerce company who is just starting to gain traction. However, many 3PL services will have a standard set-up fee that can start at anywhere between the region of £100 - £200; and can go up to as much as £800. 

How much you will be charged to set up with the order fulfilment provider of your choice, is completely dependent on your current set-up situation; which includes your eCommerce website, the size of your business as previously mentioned, and your current order volume.

Storage costs

This is essentially the glue that keeps your order fulfilment costs together. How you ask? Well, storage fees account for the cost of housing your stock within the 3PL warehouse of your choice. Of course, the exact cost of this depends completely on the provider themselves - yet how this cost is calculated is slightly ambiguous, as this is dependent on how much space your inventory takes up your 3PL provider's warehouse.

Sometimes, fulfilment providers will charge you for each pallet; equating to every one cubic metre of space. Alternatively, other providers believe that you should only pay for the actual space that your inventory takes up. This can be defined as charging for each individual item or bin that you use to store your stock.

Picking and Packing costs

As soon as your orders fly through your fulfilment providers' processing system, warehouse staff immediately get on with selecting the item(s) needed for your customer's order and then bringing it over to the packing team who will pack your order to you exact specification. These processes also involve paying a small fee.

Shipping costs

Shipping rates are difficult to predict since they are dependent on so many factors, including not only the carrier's fees, but also the size, weight, and type of the goods you're transporting. Although, even if you do outsource your order fulfilment, you can still utilise your own delivery carrier. Though this option provides more transparency and control, some 3PL suppliers are often able to deliver the lowest and fastest shipping.

Ultimately, before you sign a contract with your chosen fulfilment provider, you should shop around and find which carrier offers the cheapest and easiest delivery. 

Return costs

Return fees cover the expense of labour associated with processing any returns. Receiving your returned product, inspecting any damage (if any), and (if possible) preparing it for resale are all part of this process.

When you outsource your fulfilment with us, we handle all returns from £1.20 per item - which includes the receiving, inspection and processing of the returned item in question. 

Our order fulfilment pricing at the Crowd

Of course, when it comes to choosing the right fulfilment provider for your eCommerce business, how much they charge you throughout the order fulfilment process will be a key consideration for you.

We have a subscription pricing structure here at fulfilmentcrowd which is charged per week and per country. This subscription fee includes a technology pack that offers unlimited access to our mobile app, eCommerce essentials and integration tools, including:

  • Unlimited user access
  • Unlimited website and marketplace connectors
  • Unlimited API and Webhook support
  • Returns portal

Interested? We have a dynamic cost-calculator on our fulfilmentcrowd website that enables you to see each cost you will incur for each fulfilment service we offer - such as storage and pick, pack and dispatch - that applies to your eCommerce business and your distinct fulfilment needs. Happy with your downloaded quote? Get started and join the Crowd in just 5 easy peasy steps.

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