Shopify Fulfillment Network Terms

If you're new to using the Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN), then you might encounter some terms and words that you're unfamiliar with. The following guide explains some of these terms, as they relate to the SFN.

Additional handling

Additional handling is a shipping surcharge on shipments that require special handling. These charges are added when a package doesn't fit the typical characteristics outlined by a carrier. This can be caused by factors such as irregular dimensions, irregular weights, and irregular packaging.

Assembly and Pre-assembly

Assembly is a special project service where individual parts of a product are put together after an order is placed. This service is called Pre-assembly if it takes place before an order is placed.


A barcode is a machine-readable pattern used internationally to store and locate product information. Barcodes contain a series of numbers that can vary in length depending on the type of the product. For the SFN to fulfill your orders, the barcodes on your products must be 8 to 24 digits long.

Inbound transfer

To send your inventory to a Shopify Fulfillment Network fulfillment center, you need to create an inbound transfer. An inbound transfer contains information about what products you’re sending, where you’re sending them from, and where you’re sending them to. This lets our fulfillment centers prepare to receive your inventory before it arrives.

Fulfillment center

A fulfillment center is a facility where your products are stored and shipped to customers.

Fulfillment service or third-party logistics (3PL)

A fulfillment service or third-party logistics is a third-party warehouse that prepares and ships your orders for you. Shopify Fulfillment Network is a fulfillment service.


Kitting is a special project service where individual products are packaged together in a specific way.

Pick and pack fee

The pick and pack fee is the cost associated with locating an item in a fulfillment center, and packing it in an order.

Shipping rate

In the Shopify Fulfillment Network, shipping rates represent the costs for shipping orders from our fulfillment centers to your customers. The shipping rates vary based on each order’s shipping service level, zone, and weight. You can incorporate the shipping rates from SFN in the shipping rates you charge your customers.

Shipping service level

The shipping service level is the speed that the network uses to ship your customer’s order.

Shipping surcharge

A shipping surcharge is a fee that's added to the base cost of transporting goods. Shipping surcharges compensate shipping carriers for extra expenses involved in special handling or service when delivering orders.


A SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a unique alphanumeric code that's used to identify a product or variant of a product, based on details such as its model, size, or color. SKUs can vary in length and can include letters, numbers, or both. SKUs are used to distinguish product variants, track inventory, and ship the right item to customers.

Special project

A special project is a service performed by the fulfillment center that is outside of the normal order fulfillment process. For example, product kitting or assembly.


The storage fee is the cost for storing products at the fulfillment center before they are shipped to customers.

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