Navigating Amazon Pallet Requirements: Your Ultimate Guide

If you choose the LTL and FTL shipping plan, you need to pallet your shipping box, which is the final step for shipping to Amazon warehouses.

Like the shipping box and product packaging requirements, Amazon also has pallet requirements that sellers must adhere to.

Although it might be time-consuming and complicated, we’re here to guide you through Amazon pallet requirements. 

Besides, we explain the reasons behind Amazon’s strict pallet requirements and introduce what to handle in the pallet stage, who’s responsible for palletization, common mistakes to avoid, and more tips.

Following our guide, you’ll be able to navigate Amazon’s pallet requirements with ease.

Let’s dive right in!

navigating-amazon-pallet-requirements-your-ultimate-guide
Source from: freepik

Why Your Supplier and Freight Forwarder Needs to Prepare Pallets For Amazon FBA Correctly 

Amazon sets strict requirements on palletization that sellers need to adhere to. Here are 3 considerations why your suppliers and freight forwarders need to comply with these requirements. 

  • Avoid unplanned fees caused by incorrect palletization:

Amazon may reject pallets which not in compliance with FBA prep requirements, leading to unplanned expenses for the sellers who may need to repackage the pallets. 

  • Process orders more efficiently with correct palletization:

Correct pallet preparation allows Amazon warehouse workers to be more efficient in check-in your products and taking inventory faster.  

  • Ensure workers’ safety and your products’ safety:

Correct palletization makes goods easily handled and prevents cartons’ misplacement.

Most importantly, correct preparation ensures Amazon warehouse workers‘ safety and that of your products during transportation. 

Now that you know the ‘why,’ the next phase is to consider the Amazon pallet requirements. 

why-you-need-to-correctly-prepare-pallets-for-amazon-fba
Source from: freepik

What is the Right Pallet Under Amazon FBA Pallet Requirements? 

To avoid Amazon from constantly rejecting your pallet, you must do things rightly. Having the right pallet serves as a yardstick for the successful shipment to Amazon.

It isn’t all about your pallet being compliant, but also about the safe transportation of your products and that of the Amazon workers. 

General Amazon Pallet Requirements

Amazon sets pallet requirements on the material of the pallet, the type of pallet, and the conditions.

  • Amazon warehouse requires pallet material to be wooden and would reject plastic pallets.

Tips: Wooden pallets should be heat treated following the ISPM-15 standards to prevent pests from destroying your pallets, inventory, and environment. 

  • Amazon requires 4-way access pallets

This is because a 4-way access pallet is flexible, durable, and easy for a forklift operator to lift it up from any angle. Also, it optimizes space and has the capacity to hold heavy loads.  

  • Pallets should also be in proper condition

Amazon Pallet Size Requirements 

The Amazon pallet size requirements include the below listed;

  • Amazon FBA standard pallet width: 40 inches by 48 inches (100cm x 120cm)
  • Amazon FBA pallet height limit: not more than 72 inches or 182.5 cm for a single pallet (together with the pallet itself). And for double-stacked pallets, the maximum height is 100 inches or 254cm.
  • Amazon FBA pallet weight limit: 1,500 Ibs. or 680.4kg.

Amazon Pallet Quality Requirements  

Aside from the above basic requirements, Amazon expects you to use GMA standard B or higher pallets to generally ship goods (shown as the following form). 

amazon pallet quality requirements
Source from: Amazon

Simply put, a Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) pallet is one built from industrial-grade softwood, to make distributing and storing products easier.

Notice: 

  • Grocery products can only be shipped with GMA 1A pallets.
  • Health and personal care beauty items can only be shipped with GMA 1A and 1B pallets.
  • Amazon set different pallet requirements on different countries. You should comply with the requirements based on where your pallets will be shipped to. Below we list Amazon US, EU, UK, and Japan pallets requirements for reference.
different-countries-requirements-on-pallets-by-amazon

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Pallets

  • Do: Use 4-way access wooden pallets in good condition
  • Do Not: use damaged or non-wooden pallets like plastic pallets. 

Build and Seal Pallets Under Amazon FBA Pallet Requirements 

Once the right pallet is chosen, your freight forwarders or suppliers can then create and seal the Amazon FBA pallet. 

Pack and Stack Pallets

Here are some points you must notice when packing and stacking your Amazon FBA pallets in practice:

  • Avoid using Gaylord boxes

Gaylord boxes are large, corrugated bulk shipping boxes that are designed to ship large bulky products. They have no specific specifications but are roughly the size of standard pallets (although there might be exceptions).

However, they’re non-compliant with Amazon FBA shipping box requirements and not safe during transportation due to a lack of sufficiently thick walls. 

  • Place the heaviest boxes on the bottom of the pallet first

The main reason is to create a more stable base and prevent lighter products from getting crushed, thereby maintaining an even distribution of the boxes.

put-the-heaviest-box-on-the-botton-of-the-pallet
  • The shipping box side with the shipment label must face up

The reason for this is to enable Amazon warehouse workers to efficiently scan the barcode and check in your items.

ensure-the-labeled-side-of-shipping-boxes-face-outward
  • Stack all boxes on pallets, ensuring they are stable and flush on all sides

Taking this step ensures the pallet doesn’t fall down easily, which in turn protects the workers who are handling the pallets from being hit by the boxes. 

  •  All items with the same ASIN must be placed together in the same pallet. For pallets containing only products with the same ASIN, ensure you apply the “Single ASIN pallet” to it. 

Tips:

  • Avoid stacking goods with multiple ASINs on a single pallet. The receipt may be rejected.
  • Pallets with multiple ASINs, whether from a single or multiple FBA shipment, should be physically separated differently, loading different ASINs into different shipping boxes. This enables Amazon workers to easily set them apart when receiving items with multiple ASINs.

Seal Amazon Pallets

Here are some points to note when sealing Amazon pallets;

  • You must seal pallets with transparent wrapping material so that the workers can easily scan the barcodes.
  • Wrap pallets multiple times, at least 3 times each quarter, to ensure the stability of the pallet and prevent boxes from sliding during transportation. 
  • Wrap from the top of the stack, down to the bottom, including the pallet.
  • Avoid creating knots with the wrapping material.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Building and Sealing Pallets

  • Do: Use transparent packaging tape.
  • Do Not: Use reinforced packaging tape
  • Do: Use shipping box to underhang the pallet edge
  • Do Not: Use a shipping box should overhang the pallet edge.
the-content-of-pallet-don't-overhang-over-2.5cm
  • Do: pack and stack the height of single pallet under 72 inch/182.5 cm
  • Do Not: The height of single pallet is higher than 72 inch/182.5 cm
  • Do: present the box label
  • Do Not: The box label is hiden
  • Do: wrap with only transparent plastics
  • Do Not: wrap with colored plastic or paper
use-clear-plastic-stretch-to-wrap-the-pallet
  • Do: Use clear plastic stretch wrap to wrap the pallet
  • Do Not: Use string or straps to bundle shipping boxes
dont-use-string-to-bundle-shipping-boxes

Complying with Amazon Pallet Label Requirements 

The two main locations of different labels are; on the shipping box and outside of the stretch wrap.

  • Labels on the shipping box include;
    • Carrier labels
    • FBA Box ID Label
    • Its point of origin (Country)
    • Its weight
    • Fragile Label
    • Team lifts and Mech lift
  • Outside the stretch wrap labels include;
    • Pallet number label
    • Do not break label
    • FBA Pallet ID label
    • Single ASIN Pallet label

In this guide, we focus on the pallet label outside the stretch wrap. As an Amazon seller, you would need to give your supplier or freight forwarder Amazon Pallet ID labels. 

FBA Pallet ID Label

FBA Pallet ID Label is a special label that Amazon uses to transport palletized shipments. The label makes it easy for Amazon to quickly identify the shipment on your pallet and speed up warehousing. Here’s how to use the label for your pallet;

  • Each pallet must have four FBA pallet ID labels. Check on Amazon seller central to find and download your pallet.
  • Ensure all labels on each pallet have the same “Pallet Count” number (as shown in the figure below).
  • The label must be attached to a place that’s easily accessible.
  • Label must be attached to the four sides of the pallet on the outside of the stretch wrap.  

Note: FBA pallet ID label is different from the FBA Box ID label.

fba-pallet-id-labelfba-box-id-label
FBA Pallet ID LabelFBA Box ID Label

After creating an LTL shipping plan, the Amazon system immediately generates FBA pallet ID labels. If the shipping plan indicates “no label required,” check if you use the UPC, if yes, switch the listing to use Amazon Barcodes. 

after-the-shipping-plan-is-created-the-pallet-id-label-is-automatically-generated
Source from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mktdf3SaOPk

Tips: 

Before creating a shipping plan, you need some information about the box. Ask your suppliers and freight forwarders for the following packing details;

  • Box size length
  • Height (inch)
  • Width
  • Weight (Ib.) 
create-amazon-fba-shipping-plan-needs-some-information-about-the-shipping-box

Print FBA Pallet Labels

For Pallet ID Label, it is mandatory for your suppliers and freight forwarders to print your FBA pallet labels, according to the requirements below;

  • Label color must be white and black 
  • Recommended label size is 4 x 6 inches (10.16 x 15.24 cm) 
  • Label type must be removable adhesive and must be non-reflective 

For other labels, print in the appropriate size as the pallet size. Also, ensure you use removable adhesive labels.  

  • Print labels: To print labels, use a laser printer, and avoid inkjet printers as barcodes may be difficult to scan because of the ink smudging or running. 

How to Label Your Pallet

  • FBA Pallet ID labels:

Place labels on all four sides at the tip of the pallet on the outside of the stretch wrap, so they can be visible to the forklift driver. 

  •  Other labels: 

Must be labeled with Pallet number label, Single ASIN pallet number. In addition, avoid breaking the stretch wrap label in the upper right corner of the four sides of the load so that it can be easily seen when unpacking the pallet.  

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Labeling on Pallets

  • Do: Use the correct label which matches the shipment
  • Do Not: Use an incorrect label that doesn’t match the shipment
  • Do: The paper should be completely white and 100% non-reflective.
  • Do not: Print the label on A4 paper
  • Do: Attach labels on all four sides of the pallet to the outside of the stretch wrap
  • Do Not: Place labels on all four sides of the pallet on the inside of the stretch wrap
  • Do: Attach the label to an easily accessible place (on the center of each side)
  • Do Not: Attach the label to an inaccessible place (e.g., on the corner)
attach-the-pallet-label-on-the-accessible-place
  • Do: Have Do Not Break Stretch Wrap Label on the pallet
  • Do Not: Don’t have Do Not Break Stretch Wrap label
use-do-not-break-stretch-wrap-label-on-the-pallet

Note: When the pallet contains only one ASIN, use a Single ASIN Pallet label. 

Amazon Pallet Requirements on Loading Pallets 

The final stage of Amazon pallet requirements is how to load your pallets into the truck or container. When pallets are correctly loaded, it reserves more space and allows Amazon warehouse workers to process your pallets faster.

Pallets Configuration

Pallet loading should follow a “turned” configuration, as shown below:

Secure the Double-Stacked Pallets  

When Stacking the double-pallet, notice that the overall pallet height should be no more than 100 inches with 50 inches per pallet stack.

Don’t forget to leave enough container or truck space to unload the pallets. 

Leave at least 6 inches (15cm) clearance from the top of the pallet to the rooftop of the container, at least 3 inches (8cm) of clearance between the stacks and the walls, and allow at least 8 inches (21cm) of clearance from the final row of the boxes to the doors of the container to engage a deck leveler.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Loading Pallets

  • Do: choose the right size shipping box to allow enough space for loading
  • Do not: Leave not enough space for loading, resulting in the forklift driver not working properly

Checklist of Preparing Shipments From China to Amazon 

The first thing to notice here is to ship pallets to Amazon, even though Amazon permits palletizing and floor-loading shipments to Amazon warehouses. Its policy requires all shippers to palletize shipments when possible to secure earlier delivery time and a safe unloading process. 

Amazon sets strict requirements on floor-loading shipments, which could result in more charging fees and longer processing time. Besides, Amazon may reject floor-loading with shipments with extensive labor and handling. 

However, you can still transport floor-loaded containers from China to a third-party warehouse and then palletize your shipments before delivering them to the Amazon warehouses. 

We have made this easy for you by providing 4 checklists for preparing your shipments from China to Amazon depending on 4 conditions. By following these procedures, your pallets will meet the Amazon FBA pallet requirements, reducing the risk of rejection.

Shipping method/whether ship to 3PL warehouseShip to Third-party warehouse firstShip to Amazon warehouse directly
FCLfloor-loadingpalletizing
LCLfloor-loadingpalletizing

FCL Palletizing Shipments From China to Amazon Checklist

For bulky orders that can fill a whole container, you can ask your Chinese suppliers to palletize in their factory and ship directly to Amazon warehouse. This is what your suppliers or freight forwarders at the origin location need to do.

1) Do your Chinese suppliers use the right pallet?

  • Prepare 4 way-access wooden GMA Standard B or higher level pallets in good condition
  • The pallets are heat-treated following ISPM-15 standard.
  • The pallets are in size of 40*48 inch (100*120 cm) with the height under 72 inch (182.5 cm) for single pallet, or 100 inch (254 cm) for double-stacked pallets
  • The total weight of each pallets is under 1,500 Ibs. or 680.4kg.

2) Do your Chinese suppliers pack and stack the pallets correctly?

  • All items with the same ASIN are placed together in the same pallet
  • Place the heaviest boxes on the bottom of the pallet first
  • The shipping box side with the shipment label is facing up
  • All shipping boxes on pallets are stable and flush on all sides
  • Pallets are sealed with transparent wrapping material 
  • Pallets are wrapped at least 3 times each quarter from the top to the bottom
  • No knots presented on pallets after wrapping.

3) Do your Chinese suppliers label the pallets properly?

  • Use laser printer to print the labels
  • Pallet ID Label are printed in 4*6 inch white and black, removable adhesive, and non-reflective labels
  • Pallet ID labels are placed on all four sides at the tip of the pallet on the outside of the stretch wrap
  • All other necessary labels are on the pallet outside the stretch wrap
    • Pallet number label
    • Do not break label
    • Single ASIN Pallet label

4) Are the pallets loaded correctly into containers for transporting?

  • Pallets are loaded following a “Turned” configuration.
  • Leave at least 6 inches (15cm) space from the top of the pallet to the rooftop of the container
  • Leave at least 3 inches (8cm) of space between the stacks and the container walls
  • Leave at least 8 inches (21cm) of clearance from the final row of the boxes to the doors of the container

FCL Floor Loading Shipment from China to Amazon Checklist  

If you ship more items simultaneously, it’s best to choose the floor-loading shipments. This implies that your shipping boxes will be placed directly on the container without needing the pallet to save space. 

For this reason, you need a third-party warehouse at your destination to palletize your shipping boxes before they’re moved to Amazon warehouses. Third-party warehouse at the destination should do the following:

1) Does the 3PL warehouse use the right pallet?

  • Prepare 4 way-access wooden GMA Standard B or higher level pallets in good condition
  • Ensure the pallets are in size of 40*48 inch (100*120 cm) with the height under 72 inch (182.5 cm) for single pallet, or 100 inch (254 cm) for double-stacked pallets
  • Ensure the total weight of each pallets is under 1,500 Ibs. or 680.4kg.

2) Does the 3PL warehouse pack and stack the pallets correctly?

  • All items with the same ASIN are placed together in the same pallet
  • Place the heaviest boxes on the bottom of the pallet first
  • The shipping box side with the shipment label is facing up
  • All shipping boxes on pallets are stable and flush on all sides
  • Pallets are sealed with transparent wrapping material 
  • Pallets are wrapped at least 3 times each quarter from the top to the bottom
  • No knots presented on pallets after wrapping.

3) Does the 3PL warehouse label the pallets properly?

  • Use laser printer to print the labels
  • Pallet ID Label is printed in 4*6 inch white and black, removable adhesive, and non-reflective labels
  • Pallet ID labels are placed on all four sides at the tip of the pallet on the outside of the stretch wrap
  • All other necessary labels are on the pallet outside the stretch wrap
    • Pallet number label
    • Do not break label
    • Single ASIN Pallet label

4) Load pallets into trucks

LCL Palletizing Shipments from China to Amazon Checklist 

If you have a few products that may not fill a whole container, or your items are highly valuable or fragile, it’s best to choose LCL palletizing shipments to move them directly from China to Amazon. Although this method may cost more, it secures your products. 

In this case, you need to speak with your freight forwarders at the origin location to palletize your goods, by doing the following:

1) Do your Chinese freight forwarders use the right pallet?

  • Prepare 4 way-access wooden GMA Standard B or higher level pallets in good condition
  • The pallets are heat-treated following ISPM-15 standard.
  • The pallets are in size of 40*48 inch (100*120 cm) with the height under 72 inch (182.5 cm) for single pallet, or 100 inch (254 cm) for double-stacked pallets
  • The total weight of each pallets is under 1,500 Ibs. or 680.4kg.

2) Do your Chinese freight forwarders pack and stack the pallets correctly?

  • All items with the same ASIN are placed together in the same pallet
  • Place the heaviest boxes on the bottom of the pallet first
  • The shipping box side with the shipment label is facing up
  • All shipping boxes on pallets are stable and flush on all sides
  • Pallets are sealed with transparent wrapping material 
  • Pallets are wrapped at least 3 times each quarter from the top to the bottom
  • No knots presented on pallets after wrapping.

3) Do your Chinese freight forwarders label the pallets properly?

  • Use laser printer to print the labels
  • Pallet ID Label are printed in 4*6 inch white and black, removable adhesive, and non-reflective labels
  • Pallet ID labels are placed on all four sides at the tip of the pallet on the outside of the stretch wrap
  • All other necessary labels are on the pallet outside the stretch wrap
    • Pallet number label
    • Do not break label
    • Single ASIN Pallet label

4) Are the pallets loaded correctly into containers for transporting?

  • Pallets are loaded following a “Turned” configuration.
  • Leave at least 6 inches (15cm) space from the top of the pallet to the rooftop of the container
  • Leave at least 3 inches (8cm) of space between the stacks and the container walls
  • Leave at least 8 inches (21cm) of clearance from the final row of the boxes to the doors of the container

LCL Floor-loading Shipments from China to Amazon Checklist

For products that are less expensive and may not easily get damaged during transportation, first ship by LCL floor-loading to a third-party warehouse, then palletize your boxes and deliver to Amazon warehouses. The steps below will guide your third-party warehouse on shipping pallets to Amazon:

1) Do the 3PL warehouse use the right pallet?

  • Prepare 4-way-access wooden GMA Standard B or higher level pallets in good condition
  • Ensure the pallets are in size of 40*48 inch (100*120 cm) with the height under 72 inch (182.5 cm) for single pallet, or 100 inch (254 cm) for double-stacked pallets
  • Ensure the total weight of each pallets is under 1,500 Ibs. or 680.4kg.

2) Do the 3PL warehouse pack and stack the pallets correctly?

  • All items with the same ASIN are placed together in the same pallet
  • Place the heaviest boxes on the bottom of the pallet first
  • The shipping box side with the shipment label is facing up
  • All shipping boxes on pallets are stable and flush on all sides
  • Pallets are sealed with transparent wrapping material 
  • Pallets are wrapped at least 3 times each quarter from the top to the bottom
  • No knots presented on pallets after wrapping.

3) Do the 3PL warehouse label the pallets properly?

  • Use laser printer to print the labels
  • Pallet ID Label is printed in 4*6 inch white and black, removable adhesive, and non-reflective labels
  • Pallet ID labels are placed on all four sides at the tip of the pallet on the outside of the stretch wrap
  • All other necessary labels are on the pallet outside the stretch wrap
    • Pallet number label
    • Do not break label
    • Single ASIN Pallet label

4) Load pallets into trucks

FAQs About Amazon Pallet Requirements

Can I use plastics or used pallets? 

It depends on where your pallets are shipped to and what types of products are on your pallets. 

If your pallets will be shipped to Japan, you can use plastic pallets. However, Amazon US, UK, and EU do not accept plastic pallets so you need to use wooden pallets. 

As for the used pallets, they can be used only when they are at GMA Standard B or higher level.

Do I have to fumigate my wooden pallets?

The International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM-15) expects all imported wooden materials to be heat-treated to remove potential pests. But if your pallets are used only domestically, they don’t need to be heat-treated.

Can I use the same size pallet to ship to Amazon warehouses in different countries?

No, Amazon warehouses have different requirements for pallet size in different countries. You should comply with Amazon pallets requirements in different countries and areas. Here we list 4 common pallet size for reference:

  • EU: 80 x 120 cm Euro/CHEP
  • US: 40 x 48 inches (101.6 x 122 cm)
  • JP: 110 x 110 cm
  • UK: 100 X 120cm CHEP

Can I use plastic wrap to secure goods to the pallet?

Yes, all goods must be secured to the pallet using transparent plastic wrap. This prevents products from falling over during transportation and keeps them safer for workers to unwrap. 

Are there exceptions to Amazon’s pallet height requirements?

Yes, there are exceptions. If a pallet of freight adheres to clamping instructions spelled out by Amazon’s floor loading guidelines, its total height can be 98 inches. The total height for double-stacked pallets must not exceed 100 inches. 

What happens if I fail to comply with Amazon’s pallet requirement? 

Failure to comply strictly with Amazon’s pallet requirements can lead to the rejection of your shipments. Therefore, its imperative to adhere to these requirements to avoid any disturbances in your business operation.     

Conclusion 

Amazon preparations and packaging are very important. If your supplier or freight forwarder fails to package properly, you must repack your products before delivering them to Amazon fulfillment centers, costing you more money and time.

Also, to minimize losses due to the wrong pallets from suppliers and freight forwarders, you need to place a clause on the PO, telling them you’ll reject the shipment if it does not meet the standard US pallet. 

For further questions about Amazon FBA pallet and packaging requirements, leave your comments below! Or contact our team of FBA experts for customizing solutions for shipping from China to Amazon warehouses.

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