How do 3PLs calculate the shipping cost of an order?

I am new to 3PLs and am looking to move our e-commerce business to fulfilling using 3PLs.

I am looking at a number of options out there for 3PLs, including ShipHero, ShipBob, etc.

One thing that confuses me is – how do 3PLs calculate the shipping cost? And how do they charge us?

I don't mean the cost they charge us for packing and shipping an order. This part is clear — ShipHero for example has a flat cost for this based on the weight.

What I mean is, when a customer checks out, they choose a shipping option. There's a cost there, based on the weight of the order.

Since every 3PL likely has their own carrier rates pre-negotiated, how do I make sure my Shopify store has the rates synced so we don't overcharge or undercharge our customers?

Or do we just set a flat-rate shipping price and take the cost difference?

Sorry if this is a stupid question

I tried to ask the rep I'm working with at ShipHero but she seems to not understand my question. She says we can set whatever price we want, but that makes no sense to me because all of this is dependent on the order size.

submitted by /u/WhosAfraidOf_138
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