Average Cost Per Order From A Fulfilment Company in Australia?

There are several factors which you should consider when choosing an order fulfilment provider in Australia, and obviously cost is one of those factors. After all, you’re not in business to lose money or to prop up any specific fulfilment company. However, did you ever stop to think about the ecommerce fulfilment pricing is calculated, or the costs which retailers encounter, and which force them to charge the rates they do to customers? Assuming that fulfilment costs are one of your chief criteria for choosing an order fulfilment company, you’ll be interested to know just how the average fulfilment cost per order is calculated. Read on to be enlightened.

How much does order fulfilment cost? There are four main costs which order fulfilment companies must bear in order to offer a service to companies which need their goods shipped.

1. The first of these costs is that of inventory receiving, wherein the fulfilment company applies charges for the acceptance and verification of a shipment you send to them. These charges might be a flat rate per shipment, or they might be applied by the box or carton, but in any case they are part of the overall charge which goes into the order fulfilment calculation.

2. The next cost borne by a fulfilment company is the cost of storing inventory, and almost all companies charge for the use of their storage space. This cost can be figured by the pallet of goods, or it might be applied per storage bin, and for low-volume storage, simply by shelf space. The next cost which must be included in the calculation is the cost to a fulfilment company to pick and pack your order.

3. In some cases, these charges are based on the number of items which must be picked and packed, and other companies simply roll this cost into a fulfilment fee. Regardless of how you are charged for this, you will certainly have to pay for it, because it takes time for a human to pick and pack those items, and those workers have to be paid for their services.

4. The last cost which must be included into the overall cost of order fulfilment is the shipping cost, which all fulfilment companies will pass along to the customer. These costs are generally a lot less than you would have to pay if you arranged for your own shipping, because fulfilment companies ship goods in volume, and consequently are entitled to volume discounts from shippers. This is true whether it’s an inbound shipment of your inventory being sent to the fulfilment company, or whether it’s an outbound shipment of your goods being sent to your customers.

So, when asking the question, “How much do fulfilment companies charge?”, keep in mind that the cost will be based on these four factors identified above.

In a recent poll of several of the largest order fulfilment companies, the costs described above were identified and a value was associated with them. As you might guess, the rates are different across the range of companies sampled, and this is entirely normal. Remember that the order fulfilment solution which is right for your company may not work at all for another company.

For receiving and verification charges, some companies charged around $300 per inbound shipping, while others charged between $5 and $10 per inbound less than container load pallet depending on the rework required. For warehouse storage on their premises, all companies sampled charged between $2.50 and $5 per pallet per week, $0.50 to $2 per bin, or $1.25 per pickable location. Picking and packing costs ranged from $1 to $5.50 per pickable item, although some companies included picking and packing costs in their aggregate fulfilment charge.

Inbound and outbound shipping costs is where the biggest differences were encountered, especially with outbound shipping rates, which are often negotiated with customers, based on volume and frequency of shipping requirements.

There are in some cases, additional fees charged by order fulfilment companies, when extra services must be provided to clients. These extra services which must be added into the order fulfilment charge, include the cost of order kitting, custom packaging or printed boxes, batch fulfillments, and returns handling. It’s also necessary at times to charge customers extra for items which are unusually heavy or bulky, items which require any kind of assembly, and items which require special storage considerations such as temperature controls or low-humidity storage.

If you’re only talking about a simple, uncomplicated order which needs to be fulfilled, it might only cost $1, whereas a more involved order could cost closer to $10 – before shipping costs are applied. So if you were trying to calculate the average order fulfilment costs for a given company in Australia, probably the closest you could come would be to guess in the neighbourhood of $5 per order, prior to adding in shipping costs. However, it’s good to keep in mind that this average cost is one which involves no extra services, and would still need to have the shipping cost applied.

Now that you know all the components which go into the quoted cost given to you by an order fulfilment company, you’ll know just where you might be able to save money on your fulfillments costs. All fulfilment costs are made up of receiving, storage, picking and packing, and shipping costs, so if you can somehow reduce these costs for your fulfilment company, your own costs should dip correspondingly. How can you save money for your company by reducing order fulfilment costs to your chosen fulfilment company? That’s where we come in. 

If you should have any questions about order fulfilment in Australia, please call ShopKongCo at 1300 851 450. We have a very friendly and knowledgeable team, and we can provide the answers to all your queries. We also love talking shop, so if you’d just like to call and talk to us about supply chain logistics, we’ll be more than happy to do that.