One of the most common questions we hear nowadays is: “How do I ship from China to Amazon FBA?”
Even if it’s not that difficult to deliver goods from China to the Amazon FBA, this process is more complex, meaning that it involves other steps than asking your supplier to stick a label on a package and send it to an Amazon warehouse.
In this article we will explain how you can ship your products from China to Amazon FBA distribution centers.
Part 1: What are your choices? Direct shipping or third-party logistics?
Part 2: How Do I Package and Label the Goods for Shipping to Amazon FBA?
Part3: How to ship from China to Amazon FBA
When to Ship Directly from China to Amazon FBA:We know that time is a crucial factor when it comes to shipping goods from China to Amazon FBA. You can ship directly from China to Amazon FBA if your physical amount of goods is small and under $800. If you already have experience in shipping goods from China to Amazon FBA, this can be a cheaper process than using a third-party logistics company.Also, if you have a long experience (with your supplier or on your own) in shipping from China to Amazon FBA and/or have already used a third-party logistics company in China, then you can ship directly from China.
If you are a relatively new e-commerce seller, we recommend that for the first transports to ship your products directly at your home or office, if possible. By doing so, you will get the experience in handling your products personally.
You can use their services when you have a large amount of goods that need to be shipped from China to Amazon FBA. 3PL companies often have years of experience and will ensure that your product meets Amazon’s requirements. By doing these preparations in advance, such as FNSKU labeling, packaging, poly bagging, bubble wrap, etc., in the Chinese warehouse, will save your costs greatly.
How was your experience so far with shipping from China to Amazon FBA? Did you run into any bumps along the way or everything went smoothly?
We would love to hear your experience in the comments below.
Amazon has precise requirements for the items that are being packaged, labeled, and stored. We will tell you how to make sure your supplier understands those requirements, for your goods to arrive undamaged and ready for intake to the Amazon Fulfillment Centers.
You can always choose to do this on your own, but it will take you a lot of time, and there are risks involved, and you might end up doing big mistakes, causing rejections from the Amazon Fulfillment Center, and once they send your shipments back, it is going to cost you a lot of time and money.
Size: You can reduce the delaying in receiving your goods if you use boxes that are measuring at least 6 x 4 x 1 inches and weight at least 1 lb. The box must not exceed 25 inches on any side.
Weight: The standard box weight is 50 lb., and that value must not be exceeded, unless it contains an oversized item that alone exceeds 50 lb. For this, attach a label that clearly specifies “Team Lift” on the top and sides of the box.
If the item exceeds 100 lb., attach a label that clearly indicates “Mechanical Lift” on the top and sides of the box.
For jewelry or watches the weight of the box must not exceed 40 lb.
Material: B flute regular slotted containers or rigid, six-sided boxes with intact flaps are the most commonly used packaging for shipping products overseas.
Note – Boxes that are excessively large may be subject to the restriction of the shipping privileges, additional fees, or refusal at the fulfillment center.
– Amazon has strictly carton weight policies, and sending overweight cartons/boxes/packages to the fulfillment center may lead to the blockage of your future shipments.
Material: The most commonly used materials for goods packaging are boxes, poly bags, and air bubble wraps.
Wrapping: All the items should be wrapped separately (each unit), including multiple-volume book sets. Each item must be packaged in one secure package.
Protection: Use 2 inches of cushioning material between each item and the inside of your box. Then shake it gently. The content of your box should not move when shaken.
Note for poly bags:
• If they have a wide opening (5 inches or larger, measured when flat) must have a suffocation warning printed on the bag or attached as a label.
• They must be transparent and completely sealed.
Amazon will move your inventory rapidly to its network if your packages are labeled correctly, making them available to sell faster and reach your customers sooner.
FBA shipping label: Each box must have its own unique FBA shipping label, which you can print from your Shipping Queue.
FNSKU: All products require a unique scannable barcode (FNSKU). Every FNSKU must correspond to one unique product, including each assortment type, such as size or color.
Unit Sets must have a label that clearly states that the products are to be received and sold as a single unit – “Sold as set“, “Ready to ship,”, or “This is a set. Do not separate.”
Warning sticker for poly bags – you can print the warning label directly with FNSKU. By doing so you won’t need to worry that the worker may miss them.
When you are shipping from China to Amazon FBA multiple-case packs in a master carton, apply the unique shipping label on the master carton.
Also, if you are reusing boxes, don’t forget to remove all the old shipping labels or markings.
The labeling should be easily accessible without unwrapping the box (avoiding corners, edges, curves).
After being aware of the packaging and labeling requirements, the next thing you’ll think about is which is the best way to put the label on your products?
There are 3 ways available, and you can choose the one suitable for your situation.
1. Label your goods by your Chinese supplier
As I mentioned before, Amazon have strict requirements when it comes to labeling your goods. If you’re working with your Chinese supplier, make sure you communicate the specific requirements as clearly as possible. If necessary, ask them to take pictures of the packages to double confirm with you. If the labeling is not right, you can ask them to redo it. Usually, labeling your goods by your Chinese supplier will not cost extra money.
2. Label your goods yourself
If it is a first small trial order for Amazon and you want to label your good by yourself, you first have to ship your goods from China to your address.
For larger orders, you need to take in consideration the additional time you are going to spend to label them yourself.
3. Label your goods by a 3rd party Prep service company
If you’re thinking about choosing this method, you have to ship your goods to the 3rd party company you’re working with. Usually, these companies have a professional FBA team that is trained in FNSKU labeling, bundling, poly bagging, and all the other requirements.
Don’t forget that the labor cost in America is rather high, 5-6 times higher than in China. For example, labeling one product in China will cost $0.02, and the same product will cost $0.1 in America.
There are not as many Chinese prep service companies as in the USA. Usually, the Chinese freight forwarding company is the one who plays the role of the prep service company.
There are four main modes of transportation when you’re shipping from China to Amazon FBA:
• Express transportation
• Sea transportation
• Air transportation
• Multimodal transportation
The mode of transportation you will choose will depend on your goods’ weight, size, and delivery time
Express shipping is the most convenient and easiest way for the recipient. All he has to do is sign for the goods upon arrival. The express company will handle the import procedures as well. There are many express companies all around the world, such as UPS, FedEx, DHL and other smaller companies.
We recommend using FedEx and UPS because they have strong networks in the USA and have little to no delivery delays.
When to use express shipping?
You can choose express shipping if your goods’ weight is up to 1000 lbs. (less than 500 kg). For this mode of transportation, the delivery time usually takes between 3 to 7 days for your goods to arrive from China to the USA, depending on the location.
If you’re importing 100 kg goods as your first trial on Amazon, this is the best shipping method.
Airfreight and sea transportation are suitable for larger volumes of goods (over 500 kg). Both modes of transportation have a lot of fixed fees involved, making you spend more money than on express shipping.
Note: Because this mode of transportation is done via air, it is not allowed to ship products that contain lithium batteries, liquids, or powders. However, out there on the market, there are some Chinese express agents who can help you ship these items, but the cost are 50-100% higher than normal.
Sea freight involves moving vast amounts of resources between continents in standardized shipping containers. Because it has a low cost for a large volume of goods, this is the most popular and the best method of transportation for large loads. However, it is also the most complicated mode of transportation, and it takes a long time (from China to the USA port it takes around 25-40 days).
When to use sea freight?
You can use this method of transportation, if you are not in a hurry and you are ordering quantities that are 2-3 cubic meters or more, or your load is over 500 kg, then ocean freight is often the best choice to make.
For some low-value products, but with a very large volume, such as plastic lunch boxes, wine decanter bottles, wine glasses, etc., sea freight is the best method of transportation because if you chose express or air freight, you might end up spending more money on transportation than the profit you make. Also, you are allowed to ship products that contain lithium batteries, liquids, or powders (products prohibited by air transportation).
By choosing this method of transportation, as in sea shipping, you will need to hire a freight forwarder to handle all the document preparations, customs clearance, taxes, and fees.
With this mode of transportation the delivery time is a few days longer than express shipping, and the total shipping cost will be 10%-20% lower than express.
When to use air freight?
Use this mode of transportation if you are in a hurry and your goods’ volume is over 1,000 lbs. (above 500 kgs).
No matter how small each shipment is, it will involve import processing fees, which will lead to higher costs than express shipping. Therefore, if you goods’ volume is under 500 kg, express shipping and sea transportation are your best choices.
For both, express and airfreight, your freight cost will be calculated based on dimensional weight.
We know that shipping to Amazon FBA can a stressful process, but we take time to understand your business and industry, and become a part of your team, so we can help you meet your specific requirements, completely and accurately, every time.
As your partner, our goal is to provide you with a reliable, safe, and on-time delivery. We will care for your cargo as if it was ours, leaving you with a peace of mind of a job well done.
We will take care of the FBA preparation, cargo inspection, shipping time, customs duties, and many other details, to offer you a safe, punctual, and smooth shipping from China to Amazon FBA.
No matter your Amazon shipment needs, we are here to help speed up the process!