What is Holding Cost?
Holding cost, also known as the carrying cost of inventory, refers to the cost that an entity incurs for handling and storing its unsold inventory during the accounting period (monthly, quarterly, annual) and is calculated as the sum total of storage cost, finance cost, insurance, and taxes as well as obsolescence and shrinkage cost.
Components of Holding Cost
It has the following key components:
#1 – Storage Cost
This refers to the cost attributable to storing the unsold inventory. it includes:
- Warehouse rent or lease payments,
- Cost of personnel employed at the warehouse,
- Maintainance Cost,
- Material handling equipment cost,
- Utility charges etc.
As per the CSCMP’s 30th Annual State Logistics Report, the total storage cost of US businesses was the US $ 153.10 billion in 2018.
#2 – Cost of Capital or Finance Cost
This refers to the average cost of investments or financing the warehouse facility and include the following:
- Cost of Investments
- Working Capital Requirements
- Financing Cost: This is the cost of financing the storage premises. Often, the entities avail warehouse financing facilities to cover the cost of premises and pay interest payments to the lending institution.
- Opportunity Cost: Opportunity cost generally refers to the loss of other alternatives due to the chosen alternative. The unsold inventory represents the cash blocked which if not invested in buying inventories, then could have generated a return at the rate of the cost of capital of the company. This implied loss is an opportunity cost for the businesses and thus, added to the holding cost of the entity.
As per the CSCMP’s 30th Annual State Logistics Report, the total finance cost of US businesses was the US $ 192.50 billion in 2018
#3 – Insurance and Taxes
This refers to the cost pertaining to insurance of inventory and premises as well as the cost of taxes.
#4 – Obsolescence & Shrinkage Cost
In the case of holding inventory specifically in the nature of technology or software inventory, there is always a chance of inventory becoming obsolete if remain unsold for a longer period could be due to technological advancements. Also, Shrinkage cost means the cost incurred due to damage of inventory, or spoilage of inventory in case of perishable products, or loss incurred due to theft.
As per the CSCMP’s 30th Annual State Logistics Report, the total insurance and incurs the cost of US businesses were the US $ 148.10 billion in 2018.
Holding Cost Formula
The inventory holding cost can be calculated as:
Examples of Holding Cost
Let discuss some examples.
ABC Inc is holding inventory worth the US 400,000 and has a total carrying cost which adds up to 25%. Thus, the inventory holding cost for ABC Inc. will be $ 400,000 * 25% i.e. US $ 100,000.
XYZ Inc. has taken a warehouse facility to store its inventories. The handling and storage cost is US $ 20,000. The insurance cost is the US $ 3,500. The total inventory of the entity for the years is the US $ 200,000. The entity is paying interest of $ 7,500 as the cost of warehouse financing.
In this scenario, the inventory holding cost of XYZ Inc will be –
Inventory Holding Cost = Storage Cost + Cost of Capital + Insurance Cost = $ 20,000 + $ 7,500 + $ 3,500.
= $ 31,000.
It is the cost incurred to handle and store the inventory generally range between 15%-40% of total inventory cost which further includes the costs attributable to storage and material handling charges, the financing cost, the opportunity cost of holding inventories, insurance, taxes, and obsolescence cost. Inventory holding cost may vary business to business as it depends on many factors such as inventory holding days, buying the premises vs financing warehouse facilities, the average cost of capital, etc.
This has been a guide to what is holding cost and its definition. Here we discuss components and formula to calculate inventory holding cost with the help of some examples. You can learn more from the following articles –