Are you considering entering the Amazon FBA business world but need help determining where to ship your products? You’re not alone! Many aspiring FBA sellers find themselves in the same boat when delving into this lucrative platform.
This article will simplify the process and help you determine the best shipping strategy for your Amazon business.
We’ll cover the pros and cons of shipping to Amazon fulfillment centers and shipping solutions. In addition, we will explore the quick steps and factors to follow while shipping your FBA products to Amazon’s warehouse.
Whether you’re a new seller or an experienced Amazon FBA supplier, this article offers valuable insights into optimizing your shipping choices domestically and internationally. So, let’s dive in and untangle the complexities of Amazon FBA logistics!
What is Amazon FBA Shipping?
Overview of Amazon FBA Shipping
Amazon’s FBA shipping service involves determining the best locations for storing and shipping your FBA products.
Depending on the shipping location, target market, and preferences, an amazon seller you can choose between domestic and international Amazon fulfillment centers.
Benefits of Fulfillment by Amazon Shipping
Some key benefits of Amazon FBA shipping include the following:
- Time-saving: Amazon manages the entire shipping process, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
- Reduced shipping costs: By using Amazon FBA, you can benefit from Amazon’s discounted shipping rates, which can help you save money on shipping. Amazon also offers bulk shipping discounts that can save you extra cash on shipping. Also, Fulfillment by Amazon offers free shipping supplies such as boxes and labels, making product packaging and shipping accessible and affordable.
- Storage and inventory management: Fulfillment by Amazon eliminates the need for storage and inventory management. Amazon’s fulfillment centers are equipped with cutting-edge technology to help with inventory management, such as monitoring expiration dates, tracking inventory levels, and ensuring that your products are stored securely.
- Wider reach: Your products become available to Amazon Prime members, which can significantly boost sales.
- Increased visibility: When you use Fulfillment by Amazon, your products are eligible for Amazon’s Buy Box, which can significantly increase your visibility and sales. The Buy Box is a box on a product detail page where customers can start the buying process by adding items to their cart. Amazon’s algorithm determines the Buy Box, and using FBA can help you increase your chances of winning it.
- Multichannel fulfillment: You can use FBA to fulfill orders from other sales channels, such as your website or other online marketplaces, using Amazon’s Multichannel Fulfillment (MCF) service. This means you can centralize your inventory and fulfillment operations, making your business management accessible.
- Improved customer experience: Amazon’s well-established logistics system enables swift and efficient delivery, enhancing buyer satisfaction.
- International shipping: Fulfillment by Amazon offers international shipping, allowing you to grow your online business globally. You can quickly ship products to customers in other countries using FBA by leveraging Amazon’s global logistics network and expertise.
- Hassle-free returns: Fulfillment by Amazon also handles the returns, making the returns process simple and painless for both you and your customers. Amazon endures the entire return process, from processing to refunding, and updates your FBA inventory accordingly.
- Improved cash flow: You can get paid faster with Fulfillment by Amazon because Amazon releases your funds as soon as your product ships. This means you won’t have to wait for your customer to receive and confirm product delivery before being paid. Faster payment processing can improve your cash flow and give you better-working capital to help your business grow.
Understanding The Amazon FBA Shipping Process
There are several FBA shipping options available, such as:
- Small Parcel Delivery (SPD): Suitable for small, lightweight items
- Less Than Truckload (LTL): Ideal for larger shipments and cost efficiency
- Full Truckload (FTL): Recommended for shipping large quantities or heavy items
To utilize Amazon FBA shipping effectively, you must understand the process:
- Label your products: After creating the FBA shipment plan, sellers must label their products with Amazon’s FBA barcode labels. These labels include information such as the product’s SKU, ASIN, and FNSKU, which aids Amazon in inventory tracking and management.
- Create an FBA shipment: To start with FBA, sellers must create an FBA shipment plan in their seller central account. This entails selecting the products to be shipped to the Amazon fulfillment center and providing details such as quantity and condition.
- Prepare the shipment: Once the products have been labeled, sellers must prepare the shipment for transport to Amazon’s fulfillment center. This includes securely packing the products, ensuring their protection during transit, and attaching the shipping label to the package.
- Ship the products to Amazon: Sellers must ship them to the Amazon fulfillment center once the shipment is complete. For FBA shipments, Amazon offers several options, including standard, expedited, and prime shipping. The product’s weight, size, and shipping method that the seller chooses are considered by Amazon when calculating the shipping fee.
- Amazon receives and stores the products: When a shipment arrives at Amazon’s fulfillment center, it is inspected for quality and accuracy. Amazon stores and manage inventory until customers order them.
- Shipping and customer service: When a customer orders a product, Amazon is responsible for packaging, shipping, and other needed customer service for that particular order.
By learning the Amazon FBA shipping process, you can effectively streamline your ecommerce business operation and maximize profitability.
What Is Amazon Fulfillment Center?
An Amazon Fulfillment Center (FC) is a large warehouse where Amazon stores, picks, packs, and ships goods for independent sellers. The FCs are a crucial part of Amazon’s logistics and supply chain network, enabling the business to provide quick and effective delivery to clients worldwide.
To reduce the wait time for clients, FCs are carefully placed in various areas. With more than 175 fulfillment centers worldwide, Amazon offers various sizes for its FCs. From small items like books and gadgets to bigger stuff like furniture and appliances, the FCs are made to store a variety of goods.
How To Ship Your FBA Inventory To Amazon FBA Warehouse
Steps required to send your products to an Amazon fulfillment center:
Step 1: Create a Shipping Plan
- First, log in to your Amazon Seller Central account, and navigate to the Inventory tab.
- Select the products you want to send, and then click on the Action dropdown menu to choose “Send/Replenish Inventory.”
- The next step is creating a new shipping plan and selecting individual or case-packed products.
The shipping plan comprises
- Products you are delivering
- Quantity of each product
- Chosen carrier and seller shipping method
- Person in charge of product prep and labeling (Amazon or seller)
Step 2: Set Your Product Quantity
Enter the number of units you’re shipping for each product in your plan. Be accurate, as this determines how much storage space Amazon will allocate for your products.
Step 3: Preparing Products
Follow Amazon’s packaging and preparation guidelines to ensure your items arrive in good condition.
This includes using sufficient cushioning materials, sealing liquids in watertight containers, and adhering to specific requirements for items like jewelry or textiles.
Step 4: Label Your Products
Amazon requires products to be individually labeled with scannable Amazon barcodes. You can either print labels and apply the labels yourself or request Amazon’s FBA Label Service to do the labeling job for a fee.
Step 5: Review the FBA Shipment
Before finalizing the shipping plan:
- Review the FBA shipment details.
- Confirm the correct fulfillment center, products, and quantities.
- Make any necessary changes before proceeding.
Step 6: Prepare The Shipment
After reviewing the complete shipment, follow the instructions to prepare your shipment for transport. This includes selecting your carrier, entering shipment box dimensions, and printing shipping labels.
Apply the labels to the outside of your shipping boxes, and ensure the contents are securely packed.
Factors To Consider When Shipping To Amazon FBA
The below critical factors are a road map to understanding the ins and outs of the Amazon FBA shipping process.
These factors include shipping fees, timeframes and lead time, and product size and weight restrictions.
Shipping rates are essential as they directly affect your profit margins. To help you estimate your fees, Amazon provides an FBA Revenue Calculator.
Take note of the following costs:
- Fulfillment fees: Charged per unit for handling, packing, and shipping orders.
- Storage fees: Charged for storing your products in the Amazon FBA warehouse.
- Other fees: Long-term storage fees and removal fees, if applicable.
Shipping Timeframe and Lead Time
An optimal shipping timeframe ensures your inventory is received at the Amazon FBA warehouse in time, reducing lead times and preventing stockouts.
Consider the following:
- Seasonality: Be prepared for longer lead times during peak seasons.
- Carrier reliability: Choose reliable carriers to minimize delays.
- Track shipments: Use tracking numbers to monitor the progress of your shipments and anticipate any potential issues.
Product Size And Weight Restrictions
Understanding Amazon FBA’s size and weight restrictions are crucial to avoid potential added costs or shipment refusals.
These restrictions depend on your products’ classification (standard or oversized) and the following considerations:
|Product size tier||Unit weight*||Longest side||Median side||Shortest side||Length + girth|
|Small standard-size||16 oz||15 inches||12 inches||0.75-inch||n/a|
|Large standard-size||20 lb||18 inches||14 inches||8 inches||n/a|
|Small oversize||70 lb||60 inches||30 inches||n/a||130 inches|
|Medium oversize||150 lb||108 inches||n/a||n/a||130 inches|
|Large oversize||150 lb||108 inches||n/a||n/a||165 inches|
|Special oversize||Over 150 lb||Over 108 inches||n/a||n/a||Over 165 inches|
Note: The Unit weight indicates the weight of a single product unit, while the Length + girth refers to the total length and girth of the package.
The size tiers determine the fees and shipping options for Amazon FBA shipments; for this reason, sellers must accurately determine the size tier of their products before creating a shipment.
Please adhere to these restrictions by measuring and weighing your products before shipping them to Amazon FBA to avoid any unexpected issues, fees, or delays.
Understanding FBA Shipping & Amazon Freight Forwarders
Your package should be ready for shipment once the freight has passed through Buyer Central.
Even if you have yet to experience international freight, there can be a lot of mistakes that cause delays and extra costs.
As a result, before sending your goods, you should consider three major factors:
Amazon has strict product compliance guidelines, and your products must meet these guidelines before shipping them to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
Noncompliance can lead to product rejection, additional fees, and legal consequences.
It is critical to research the guidelines for your specific product category and ensure that your products meet these requirements to ensure compliance.
Packaging is critical to ensuring your products arrive in good condition at Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
The packaging should be strong enough to protect the product during transit.
Amazon has specific packaging requirements that sellers must adhere to, including using Amazon’s FBA barcode labels, and the packaging is easy to open and reseal.
Your selected shipping method will influence your shipment’s cost, speed, and dependability.
Amazon offers a variety of shipping methods, including ground transportation, air, and sea.
For Amazon FBA shipments, the most common shipping method is air freight, which is faster but more expensive than sea freight.
Advantages of Shipping to Amazon FBA
Increased Visibility and Sales
Shipping your products through Amazon FBA significantly boosts your products’ visibility on the platform.
This is because Amazon favors FBA sellers when determining product search rankings, increasing the chances of potential customers finding your product. As a result, this often leads to higher sales amounts.
Hands-Off Shipping and Logistics
Amazon FBA handles all aspects of shipping and logistics, from warehousing to picking, packing, and shipping products to customers.
This lets sellers to focus better on other vital areas, like product development and marketing.
Outsourcing these tasks to Amazon also ensures high professionalism and efficiency in product fulfillment.
Improved Customer Experience
Amazon FBA provides an improved customer experience by offering faster shipping times with Amazon Prime eligibility while handling customer returns and queries on your behalf.
Also, Amazon FBA ensures that customers receive high-quality service—leading to increased customer satisfaction and repeat business.
Disadvantages of Shipping to Amazon FBA
Increased Shipping Charges
Shipping directly to Amazon FBA warehouses can cost more than other shipping solutions. Amazon has specific requirements that must be met, leading to additional packing, labeling, and handling charges.
Limited Control Over Shipping and Logistics
By relying on Amazon FBA, you give up some control over your shipping and logistics processes.
Amazon takes charge of these aspects, which can be a disadvantage if you want more hands-on management.
Also, Amazon can change its FBA policies and fees at anytime, which may affect your business.
Potential for Product Damages
While Amazon is known for its efficient fulfillment system, there’s always a risk of product damage during transit or storage at an FBA warehouse.
Product damages could lead to negative customer reviews and potential returns, impacting your Amazon seller account reputation and sales.
It’s essential to ensure your products are adequately protected during packaging and shipping to minimize this risk.
Choosing the suitable Amazon FBA shipping service method is crucial for the success of your e-commerce business. The prime factors include shipping charges, delivery times, and potential customs complications.
When selecting a shipping method, it’s essential to balance speed with cost, consider unique product requirements, and comply with Amazon’s guidelines.
Making informed shipping decisions will help you stay competitive, increase customer satisfaction, and drive sales.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What Is Amazon FBA Shipping?
A. Amazon FBA shipping refers to the specific fulfillment centers assigned by Amazon based on factors like the seller’s location and product category.
Q. What Should I Consider when Shipping to Amazon FBA?
A. When shipping to Amazon FBA, consider product preparation, labeling, packaging requirements, and the shipping carrier.
Properly preparing your products helps ensure they arrive at the fulfillment center in good condition and avoid delays or additional fees.
Q. What Are the Disadvantages of Shipping to Amazon FBA?
A. Some potential disadvantages of Amazon’s FBA program include storage fees for unsold FBA inventory, strict product preparation requirements, and limited control over order fulfillment.
It is crucial to weigh the pros and cons to determine if FBA is the right choice for your Amazon business.
Q. Is Selling on Amazon FBA Worth It?
A. Whether selling on Amazon FBA depends on your product type, sales volume, and business needs.
It is essential to analyze the costs and benefits of your situation before deciding.
Q. How Do I Send All My Amazon FBA Items To One Warehouse?
A. You can set up a shipment for all FBA products on the Amazon Seller Central website. You can opt for “Inventory Placement Service.”
This service assigns quantities from the seller’s SKU to a single fulfillment center. This option will require a monthly fee.
Q. How Do I Ship Via FBA?
A. You must create a shipment plan in your Amazon seller central account before shipping via FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon).
Planning includes deciding which products to send to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, providing product details and quantities, and deciding on a shipping method.
After you’ve created your shipment plan, you’ll need to label your products with Amazon’s FBA barcode labels, pack them securely, and ship them to the designated Amazon fulfillment center. When your products arrive at the fulfillment center, Amazon handles everything else, including storing, picking, packing, and shipping them to customers.
Q. Can You Ship Amazon FBA in Any Box?
A. You cannot ship Amazon FBA items in any other shipping box.
Amazon has specific packaging requirements for sellers to protect products during shipping and storage and optimize the picking, packing, and shipping process. For example, boxes must be robust, easy to open and close, and capable of supporting the product’s weight without crushing.
Amazon also requires sellers to use specific FBA barcode labels on the packaging to ensure that the products are accurately tracked and managed. Hence, to avoid added fees, delays, and customer complaints.
A. A business license depends on the products you plan on selling on Amazon. In most circumstances, you do not need one to sell on Amazon, but you might need to apply for a sales tax permit to sell taxable items.
However, you may require additional licenses or permits to sell regulated products such as food, drugs, or medical devices.
Before selling on Amazon, it’s vital to research the requirements for your specific product category and location.
Q. How To Find an Amazon FBA Freight Forwarder?
A. An FBA freight forwarder assists sellers in transporting their products from their location to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. You can look online for freight forwarding companies specializing in FBA shipments to find an FBA freight forwarder.
You can also ask other Amazon sellers for recommendations or search Amazon’s Service Provider Network for approved freight forwarders.
Considering the experience, pricing, and reputation of a freight forwarder will ensure a reliable and cost-effective option.
Q. How Does Amazon FBA Work?
A. Amazon FBA is a service that lets sellers store their inventory in fulfillment centers. When a customer orders, Amazon manages the picking, packing, shipping, and other customer services.
Fulfillment By Amazon also gives sellers access to Prime customers and provides free two-day shipping on eligible products.
With Fulfillment By Amazon, you can scale your businesses and provide excellent customer service by leveraging Amazon’s logistics network and expertise.
Q. Is it free to ship to Amazon FBA?
A. It is not free to ship your products to Amazon FBA, and you are responsible for all other shipping costs to and from Amazon’s fulfillment centers as an Amazon seller.
Amazon determines the shipping cost by considering several factors, including the product’s weight & size, the fulfillment center location, the shipping method, etc.
Fortunately, Fulfillment By Amazon offers discounted shipping rates and bulk shipping discounts to help you save money on shipping costs.