With third-party order fulfilment services enabling cheaper shipping costs, faster delivery times and increased efficiency, it is certainly a route worth exploring for your online business.
The problem is, with an increasing number of global fulfilment services available to you, knowing where to get started can be a daunting process.
For example, what are the best eCommerce fulfilment companies to use in the UK and internationally? And how much does it cost to outsource fulfilment to a third-party (3pl) logistics provider?
While this list hasn’t been created with the intention of comparing each service, we have done our best to provide as much information as possible for some of the leading fulfilment services across the globe.
As always, we would recommend that you do thorough research and read existing customer reviews before deciding on which fulfilment service to use.
- 3P Logistics (3PL)
- Adstral Fulfilment
- eFulfillment Service
- FedEx Fulfillment
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
- James and James
- Pro FS
- Rakuten Super Logistics
- Red Stag Fulfillment
- Sprint Logistics
Regardless of whether you're an eCommerce startup or a multi-national business, 3P Logistics (3PL) is a fulfilment company worth consideration.
Offering everything from warehousing, to freight forwarding, right through to multi-channel and drop ship fulfilment, all from their central UK warehouse, 3PL has a proven track record of taking businesses to the next level.
In fact, with a global warehouse network spanning the UK, China, New Zealand and the US, 3PL caters for both domestic and international deliveries. Their 3PL Fusion technology also provides you with full visibility of your supply chain, at any time and from anywhere in the world.
That's not all though.
With flexible, pay-as-you-use warehousing, they could be a cost-effective solution for your eCommerce fulfilment needs. For a bespoke quote, however, you will need to contact them directly.
Adstral Fulfilment is a UK and international fulfilment and distribution service, offering flexible and cost-effective solutions to businesses with more than 100 daily orders.
From their UK-based warehouse, they provide a gateway to Europe and trans-continental shipping, easily enabling the fulfilment of overseas orders.
What’s also great about this fulfilment service is that there are no set-up fees or monthly management fees. They will also take care of any fulfilment and shipping costs in the event that something goes wrong.
In addition to this, Adstral Fulfilment will also store your inventory ready for immediate shipping as soon as your orders are placed, helping you speed up your delivery times and increase customer satisfaction.
BoxMe offers an eCommerce fulfilment network across South East Asia, with warehouses in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and China, as well as the United States.
Working with businesses of all sizes, BoxMe could be a good option if you’re looking to sell into the above markets, regardless of whether you sell tens or thousands of monthly orders.
Another selling point is their temperature-controlled warehouses which enable different storage conditions - both normal (for conventional products) and cool (for goods such as cosmetics).
Another benefit to using BoxMe is that there are no long-term storage fees or penalties, and they won’t charge you any storage fees for the first 30 days of using their fulfilment service.
Should you need support with duties and taxes, or even a local presence in these Asian markets, this is also something that they can help with.
With a fulfilment warehouse strategically located between the East and West Coast of the United States, eFulfillment Service could be a great option for UK or European sellers looking for US fulfilment.
Not only do they provide inventory storage and fulfilment services to online sellers of all sizes, they also have no setup fees, minimum order requirements, long-term storage fees or long-term contracts.
They can also assist cross-border sellers with freight and customs, further offering a dedicated customer service team with dedicated 24/7 support via their ticket system.
For added piece of mind, the fulfilment service also offers a 30-day test drive program, which promises not to charge you if you’re not happy with their service at the end of the 30 days.
Despite having only launched as recently as 2017, FedEx Fulfillment is fast becoming a fulfilment service of choice for sellers wanting to reach the US and Canadian markets.
In fact, with 130 warehouses across both countries, they are able to dispatch the majority of shipments via two-day ground services.
FedEx Fulfillment specifically provide warehousing, fulfilment, packaging, transportation and reverse logistics for small and medium-sized online businesses.
A distinct advantage to using this service is that as a seller you can package your products in custom boxes with your brand’s own logo, as opposed to the FedEx logo. This in itself can be a powerful way to drive customer engagement and retention.
With regards to FedEx Fulfillment's pricing, they don’t actually publish their costs online and you will need to request a quote directly from them.
With eCommerce order fulfilment services and warehousing in Australia, Fulfilio could be an ideal choice to meet your fulfilment needs down under.
In fact, with a national network of warehouses spanning Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, Fulfilio gives you means to reach customers across the country, far quicker than would be possible if shipping from overseas.
Aside from their own fulfilment service, Fulfilio are also the only eBay fulfilment partner in Australia, enabling eBay sellers to take advantage of significant cost-savings, amongst other benefits.
Fulfillment.com is a global fulfilment service that can handle all aspects of order fulfilment.
With seven climate-controlled fulfilment centres worldwide, spanning the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia, the company can easily ship to over 150 countries, with same-day order fulfilment.
Alongside their use of cutting-edge technology, their warehouses also operates 24/7 product monitoring, ensuring the security and safety of your inventory.
So, what about cost?
While Fulfillment.com’s pricing is not published on their website and you will need to contact them directly for a quote, do keep in mind that to use this service a non-refundable deposit of $500 must be paid before they can create your account.
This is due to the fact they operate a prepaid service, with this deposit specifically covering picking, packaging and shipping charges. That said, they don’t charge setup fees.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that by opting to use this fulfilment service, you won’t be tied into any long-term contract and your agreement can be terminated at any point with a 30-day notification.
Although Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is the marketplace's own fulfilment service, what you may not know is that you can in fact use it to fulfil products from your other eCommerce platforms and marketplaces.
Now while there are some huge advantages to using FBA as an Amazon seller – Prime Eligible Status, a higher chance of winning the Buy Box, global reach – many benefits of using FBA apply regardless of which channels you sell on.
In fact, with Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF), a programme that sits within FBA, you can still leverage Amazon’s extensive supply network to fulfil European orders that originate from your own website and other online marketplaces, all the while benefiting from their world class multilingual support and the ability to hand over fulfilment of orders to customers in all 27 EU countries.
So, what does it cost to use Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfilment service?
Well, to start with it will depend on the type of product you’re selling, whether that be non-media, media or an oversized product.
Multi-Channel Fulfilment fees will also vary depending on whether you are fulfilling orders from the UK to another UK destination, or whether you’re fulfilling them from the UK to another EU member state.
Regardless of your product type and shipping destination, there will be three specific fees – a pick and pack fee, a weight handling fee and a storage fee.
Pick & Pack Fee
This is a flat fee per unit, starting at £1.20 for media products, £1.80 for non-media goods and £4.50 for oversized products.
Weight Handling Fee
While you can see the exact cost breakdown here, it’s worth noting that the total outbound shipping weight will equal the unit weight and Amazon’s packaging weight, the latter of which will be dependent on the product’s dimensions.
Prices will also be dependent on whether you require standard shipping or expedited shipping.
The final element of your Amazon FBA multi-channel fulfilment fee will be the cost of storing your products.
This fee will be based on the cost per cubic foot or cubic metre per month. Your storage will specifically be calculated on a per foot basis and rounding variances may occur.
Do keep in mind that FBA storage costs increase between the months of October and December. You should also be aware that on 15th February and 15th August, FBA conducts an inventory clean up and any inventory items that have been stocked for between 6 and 12 months will incur a long-term storage fee of £441.25 per cubic metre. Those stored for longer than 12 months will incur a storage fee of £882.50.
In order to use FBA to fulfil products from other channels – whether that be eBay, Shopify, Magento and so on – you will need an Amazon Seller Central account to get started.
If you’re an Amazon seller and are looking for FBA fees and information, have a read of our dedicated article here.
Based on the East Coast in the US, Fulfillrite’s New Jersey warehouse is strategically located, close to three major airports and two major marine terminals, enabling fast worldwide shipping and the quick receiving of goods imported from overseas.
Other benefits for using Fulfillrite include its simple pricing structure and no hidden fees. In fact, you pay on a per-case or per-pallet basis
In addition to this, there are no long-term contracts and you can close your account at any time, with as little as a ten-day notice.
James and James is a global eCommerce fulfilment service, suitable for businesses of all sizes.
Despite being a UK company and subsequently having a UK-based fulfilment centre, James and James also operate two other fulfilment centres across the globe, one in the US and the other in New Zealand.
In fact, all three of these warehouses are strategically located, enabling them to ship to over 240 countries and even offer 9:00 next day delivery to all major cities.
With this in mind, James and James Fulfilment could be a great option if you’re looking to sell into Europe, North America, Australia and/or South East Asia.
With regards to pricing, you will need to contact the company directly for a specific quote, because as with almost all fulfilment services, the cost will be dependent on a number of factors such as product dimensions and weight, the amount of order stocked and order volume.
Along with these variable fulfilment costs, James and James eCommerce Fulfilment do also charge a fixed monthly subscription fee.
To get a rough idea of what it might cost you to fulfil your products through James and James, take a look at this post from Andrew Minalto.
With fulfilment centres in the UK, Macedonia, Switzerland, Poland and the US, Pro FS (Professional Fulfilment Services) is a global fulfilment service for medium to large sized retailers.
While the fulfilment services offers various logistics services, at the core of their offering is freight, warehousing, pick, pack and dispatch services.
Do keep in mind, however, that they have a minimum order quantity of 2,000 orders per month.
When it comes to storage costs, you should also note that they can either charge by the pallet or picking rack, the latter of which will hold a certain amount of SKU’s depending on size and stock turn.
With seven warehouses strategically located across the US, Rakuten Super Logistics could be an option worth researching to meet your North American fulfilment needs.
Just some of the benefits for using this US fulfilment centre include the option for one-day order fulfilment and guaranteed accuracy – in fact, Rakuten Super Logistics are so confident in their service that in the event of an error, you will be spared the cost.
You should bear in mind that in order to use this service, you will need to fulfil a minimum of 250 orders per month through them. They can also handle as many as 10,000 monthly orders with their Enterprise Plan.
With regards to cost, pricing is largely dependent on order volume and you will need to contact them directly for a quote.
Red Stag Fulfillment is a US-based fulfilment service, with warehouses in both Tennessee and Utah, making it an option worth considering if you’re looking to reach the US market.
Their same-day pick and pack option also enables you to offer your customers with favourable delivery options, with an order cut-off time as late as 5pm for same-day dispatch.
What’s also great about this fulfilment service is that they don’t tie you in with long-term contracts, nor do they charge on-boarding fees, SKU management fees, account management fees, or any other hidden fees for that matter.
Instead, you will be charged a cost per incoming pallet, a monthly storage fee, a pick and pack fee and an outbound shipping fee. While you will need to contact Red Stag Fulfillment directly for an exact quote, they do claim to offer an affordable fulfilment service by passing on various cost-savings, for example reduced shipping rates.
They also guarantee that your inventory will be stored, handled and shipped safely, with the company further using video tracking to ensure quality control at all times. This, along with the reassurance that they will take full ownership of any damaged or lost inventory, may be particularly beneficial to those of you selling high-value products.
That’s not all though.
Red Stag Fulfillment also offers guarantees that your orders will be shipped on time and without error. In the unlikely occurrence that your orders are dispatched late or incorrectly, Red Stag will fix the problem, deduct the fee for that shipment and pay you $50 for any inconvenience.
With over 145 warehouses across Europe, the US, Asia, China and Australia, Shipwire allows for easy reach of both overseas and domestic customers, making it another eCommerce fulfilment service worth considering for your international fulfilment.
In fact, as a result of its vast network infrastructure, Shipwire can offer guaranteed same-day shipping for orders that are sent to the warehouse before the cut-off time.
One thing that is worth keeping in mind though is that Shipwire doesn’t operate its own warehouses and fulfilment centres, instead these are managed by Ingram Micro.
So, what are the costs?
While you will need to contact Shipwire directly for custom quotes, do note that there is a minimum monthly account billing of $500, although this does not apply for the first 90 days.
That said, there are no minimum contract requirements or hidden fees, nor are there any setup or receiving fees. Instead, Shipwire offers flexible pricing, with pay-as-you-go order handling, storage and shipping.
London-based eCommerce fulfilment service, Sprint Logistics, is another option worth considering if you’re looking to outsource your domestic and/or international fulfilment.
With a warehousing network spanning the UK, US, Middle East and Europe, they are able to fulfil your orders whenever, and to wherever, you need it.
They also have a 99.9% accuracy rate, one of the highest in the industry, and the means to keep you and your customers updated in real-time, as well as 24/7 customer service.
Storeship is another UK-based eCommerce fulfilment service, with the option to fulfil your orders internationally.
With regards to the cost of using Storeship, there is a fixed fulfilment fee per order, along with storage costs, postage costs and an optional eCommerce integration fee. There is also a one-off set up fee of £100, payable only after the first month of service.
Keep in mind that the fulfilment fee will be dependent on variables such as the destination and packaging, however Storeship claim to have some of the lowest fees in the market, with fulfilment fees starting from as little as 50p.
As with any fulfilment service, storage costs will vary depending on the amount of inventory you store, although it is worth noting that Storeship can charge per shelf, pallet space of part used.
Not only do they have no minimum order quantity, but there is also no minimum contract period, making them a flexible fulfilment option.
Although Whistl’s delivery services extend beyond fulfilment, they do offer a bespoke pick and pack fulfilment service for domestic and international distribution, from their warehousing facilities across the UK.
Within these warehouses, they can also handle hanging garments – suitable for clothing retailers in particular – and can fulfil almost any product of any size and weight.
As with many fulfilment services, through their partnerships with the majority of UK and international couriers, they are also able to pass on cost-effective prices, regardless of destination.
Whistl do offer some specific benefits though.
By using their fulfilment services you can take advantage of the option to add bespoke messaging to your parcels – for example enabling your customers to add gift messaging – as well as gift wrapping options and customer packing options.
So, there we have it.
A comprehensive list of eCommerce fulfilment companies across the globe. Which fulfilment services are you using? We'd love to hear your experiences and recommendations. Simply leave us a comment below!
Not quite ready to outsource your order fulfilment? If you're looking for tips on how to reduce your shipping costs, have a read of this.