If the thought of partnering with a Fulfillment Company based in China has crossed your mind, chances are, you’ll choose one of two alternatives: Floship and Nextsmarthship. Though Nextsmarthship is relatively new to the order fulfilment business, the company has established itself as a reputable player in the industry, and it has distribution hubs in the world’s major centres. The good news is that both companies provide remarkable service quality. Much as they may share remarkable similarities, there are several significant differences you may want to consider as well.
Headquarters and warehouse locations
Nextsmarship provides reliable order fulfilment services for eCommerce sellers and crowdfunded startups. It is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, and has warehouses in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Europe, Australia, and the United States. Floship operates within the same industry, offering similar services. Unlike Nextsmarthship, however, it is based in Hong Kong, China, and operates warehouses in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Europe. Though both companies have warehouses in Europe and China, Nextsmarthship has a broader network – besides China and Europe; it runs distribution centres in Australia and the United States.
Ecommerce fulfilment is the component of your eCommerce process that delivers orders to customers. It involves several things; Transporting the products to the fulfilment centre (eCommerce fulfilment). Picking and packing items (order fulfilment), and third-party logistics, which covers shipping methods and schedules. Both Floship and Nextsmarthship offer e-commerce fulfilment services, so if that’s all you need for your enterprise, then you’re good to go either way.
Crowdfunding backer rewards shipping
Crowdfunding rewards shipment covers rewards storage, shipment, and last-mile delivery to the backers’ doorsteps, regardless of where they may be. Both Nextsmarthship and Flagship’s systems integrate smoothly with Indiegogo and Kickstarter (the most popular crowdfunding campaign platforms). They will help you increase the safety and efficiency of your rewards fulfilment process.
Subscription box fulfilment
Subscription box fulfilment is a product shipment system that follows a regular, predetermined schedule. Shipments may be delivered once each month, or every week, depending on customer preference. Though eCommerce sellers usually prefer in-house subscription box fulfilment, it always comes to a point where this option cannot cope with their sales volume. Large order volumes require additional space, additional staff, and automated fulfilment strategies to keep the order fulfilment process on track, and this makes third-party fulfilment the more desirable option. Both Floship and Nextsmarthship offer subscription box fulfilment.
Freight forwarders are companies or individual persons who organize shipments for companies or individual people to transport merchandise from the producer or manufacturer to a customer, producer, or ultimate point of distribution. Forwarders will partner with a carrier, or several in some cases to move the products. The carriers can, and often do use various shipping modes that include air, sea, roads, and railroads. So it is not uncommon for a single shipment to be sent to a shipping harbour or airport by truck, then delivered to the required address by another car after it reaches the destination city. Whereas Floship doesn’t have a freight forwarding service, Nextsmarthship offers both air and sea freight forwarding.
To ensure efficiency in the order fulfilment process, business owners need to visualize business processes such as inventory, logistics, and demand projections. At the very least, this requires integration between the eCommerce management system where the order was received, and the logistics and inventory systems that coordinate the activities of picking, packaging, and shipping. Both Floship and Nextsmarthship can integrate their systems with major shopping carts and marketplaces.
A significant component of order fulfilment costs come in the form of product storage. Fulfilment companies will usually base their charge on the quantity of space used monthly, and this can range between $8 and $40 for a single pallet (Floship uses a similar strategy, but deducts less for larger order volumes). The fees vary significantly from one provider to the other and are determined by location, order volume, and the need for unique warehouse facilities such as temperature control. Sometimes, fulfilment companies will levy extra charges for shelf space if additional space is required to hold the product(s).
There are a few companies that deviate from the usual pallet storage fee structure. Instead, they base their charges on cubic footage used to accommodate picking bins. The two other storage pricing methods used are fee per container and per square footage. As mentioned earlier on, Floship will charge for the space that merchandise occupies, and it offers a discount for higher order volumes. Nextsmartship, on the other hand, does not charge for storage as long as the item does not stay longer than 90 days.
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Packaging and pick and pack fees
Although words like pick and pack sound old fashioned, you must understand them to comprehend industry charges. Pick and pack is a reference to the part of the order fulfilment process that involves retrieving and packaging items. It is the point the order is prepared for shipment to the customer and is considered as part of your order fulfilment fee, separate from shipping costs. Most fulfilment partners implement this fee as part of the cost for packaging materials and the number of items placed into each package.
There are also situations when the fulfilment provider is required to add a particular item into order. For instance, the seller may want to add a future coupon or some other kind of marketing material. Fulfilment providers typically levy an insert fee for adding the materials into the order. Floship charges $0.22 per for order for packing materials, $2.55 per item for picking and packing, and $0.25 per piece for marketing or gift card inserts. This amounts to an average fee of $3 for all the handling services bundled together. Nextsmarthship charges a flat fee of $0.99 for materials, picking and packing, and marketing inserts.
Minimum shipping volume and weight restrictions
Ecommerce sellers are often required to meet maximum weight and minimum order volume criteria before they can work with a third-party order fulfilment company. Floship, for instance, requires its partners to ship a minimum of 300 orders each month and does not ship items heavier than 10 kg. In contrast, Nextsmarthship has no minimum shipping volume requirements and no maximum weight restrictions. Though 300 orders is not a particularly demanding minimum requirement, it may prove cumbersome for a small or medium-sized enterprise that has just started.
The evidence reviewed in this article overwhelmingly suggests that compared to Floship, Nextsmarthship offers better service at a lower rate. Although both are great companies that offer customers high-quality service. Nextsmartship maintains a broader distribution network and charges less for most essential order fulfilment services. If you are an eCommerce retailer or crowdfunding startup, you should carefully consider the differences between them before picking one over the other.