Shipping and Fulfilment Relays

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Hi - Firstly apologies if this has been answered elsewhere. I am new to dropshipping and unable to find the answers I need.

For context I am only using Oberlo on my UK based store and intending to not hold any stock of my own (initially). I have a few questions about shipping namely around cost and shipping times which, as I'm sure with everyone, would like to be as cheap and short as possible.

  1. Oberlo shows shipping cost for each item e.g. $2.99. If I order say 4 products from 1 supplier, will I be charged shipping for each item ($2.99 x 4) or per order ($2.99 x1). I presume the former but want to check.
  2. If my order is from multiple suppliers I presume that I will be charged shipping from each supplier individually. So in my store I need to account for multiple shipping deliveries to not loose money.
  3. Fulfilment service such as Shipwire or Fulfilrite talk about updating inventory which I dont have. Do they act as a relay i.e. Supplier(s) sends packages to them > they collate it > they send it to final customer in 1 package.
  4. Is the collation done in China or in the local country of destination. I'm thinking that for fulfilment companies to offer faster delivery they will need to get the products as early as possible in the chain.
  5. Are the benefits of using fulfilment services, faster delivery, easier management and single package to customer.
  6. I want to offer free standard shipping to all customers but allow them to pay for faster shipping if wanted. It seems that fulfilment services are the only way to do this if using multiple vendors.

Thank you in advance