You have already completed your Amazon product research and found the right supplier for your Amazon business. After getting all these products, it is now time to send them to Amazon fulfillment centers to start your Amazon business journey.
This blog will give you a detailed guide on sending shipments to Amazon fulfillment.
What is FBA and How to Transfer Inventory to FBA
Before you start sending your products to Amazon FBA, let’s first define what FBA is. It is a service that allows businesses to outsource order fulfillment to Amazon.
Through this service, businesses will be able to send products to Amazon fulfillment centers, and when a customer makes a purchase, Amazon will pick, pack, and ship the order. Amazon also provides customer service and processes returns for those orders.
Please remember that only as an FBA seller will you be able to send your products to Amazon fulfillment centers. There are two fulfillment methods that you could use, which are FBA and FBM.
Many sellers use both FBA and FBM. So, how to transfer inventory from FBM to FBA? You will be able to transfer your items to FBA in the following steps.
a. Sign Amazon seller central
b. Inventory > manage all inventory
c.edit > change to fulfilled by Amazon
How to Ship Products to Amazon FBA
Now that you know the key definition of Amazon FBA, and what it entails, you should now know how to ship products to Amazon FBA. Here are the five steps that you should follow.
Step 1 : Set Up Amazon FBA Shipping Plan
When it comes to shipping for products to the FBA, the first step is to create an Amazon FBA shipping plan. This is the process of telling Amazon when and how much quantity of goods you will ship to the Amazon warehouse.
- Choose inventory to send
If you are going to set up an Amazon shipping plan, you should first log into your Amazon seller central account, click “inventory” and then select “ Manage FBA inventory” from the drop-down menu. Through there you could choose the item you need to ship to Amazon and click “send/ replenish”.
From there you will need to fill in the shipping address details, the packing details, and the number of products that you will send.
- Confirm shipping
After choosing the inventory to send, you should fill in the following tabs:
Shipping date: This can be an estimated date, rather than the actual date.
Shipping carrier: You can choose either an Amazon-partnered carrier or Non-Amazon partnered carrier.
Shipping mode: You have the choice between SPD or LTL.
- Print box labels
During this step, you will only need to print box labels.
- Confirm carrier and pallet information (For LTL)
After you print out the box labels, it is now time to confirm carrier and pallet information. When you confirm the carrier and pallet information, you should choose the freight class, freight declared value which is optional, and the pallet configuration which is the weight, height, stackable, and count.
- Print pallet labels or tracking details (For LTL)
During this part, you can either choose to print pallet labels or tracking details. If you are going to use Amazon-partnered carriers, you are expected to print pallet labels.
On the other hand, if you are going to use a Non-Amazon partnered carrier, you will need to fill in the tracking details. All you need to do is fill in a POR number and then click save.
Step 2: Prepare Your Amazon FBA Shipment
After setting up your Amazon shipping plan, it is now time to prepare your Amazon FBA shipment. When you prepare your shipment, you should make sure that your shipment fulfills the following requirements.
- Are your products properly packed?
You should make sure your products need Amazon requirements. Some products such as liquids and fragile items may require additional packaging
- Are your products properly labeled?
Amazon has strict label requirements. Each unit must have an FBA barcode label(FNSKU or manufacture barcode). Whether other labels such as country of origin, suffocation warning, and sold as set are required depends on product details.
- Are your shipping boxes properly packed?
You should make sure that your shipping labels include, shipment IDs, scannable barcodes, ship-from address, and ship-to address.
For small parcels, you will need two labels per box. One is for FBA and other is for carrier label. You should place labels on the side, which is over 2cm from the edge of the box. You should also not place small parcel labels over seams edges, or corners.
- Are items cushioned with approved dunnage?
Some products need to use dunnage. You should make sure using the approved dunnage includes air pillows, foam, full sheets of paper, and bubble wrap.
Step 3: Choose Shipping Method to Amazon FBA
After you prepare your Amazon FBA shipment, you should choose your shipping methods for Amazon FBA. You will be given three options to choose from. These three options are express, air+express, and by sea.
Please consult this table and base your choice according to your shipment weight, volume, cost, and delivery time needs.
|Shipping Method||TransitTime||Cheapest||Suitable for||Pros||Cons|
|Express||3-7 days||<50 kg||Small, sample, and rush orders.||It is the fastest and most efficient option.||This method follows stringent weight and size restrictions.|
|By Air||7-10 days||50kg to 500kg||This is suitable for orders under 2cbm.||It is a balanced and affordable option.||Planes have a longer list of restricted cargo than ships.|
|By Sea||20-60 days|
|This is best used for large orders.||It offers the largest shipping options.||Ships are more prone to delays.|
Step 4: Prepare Required Shipping Documents
After you choose a shipping method, you should prepare all the necessary shipping documents. These documents are divided into two categories, which are documents needed for air shipping and documents needed for sea shipping.
Common documents needed for air shipping are the following:
- Commercial invoice: This invoice should include a detailed line-by-line description of the items in the shipment.
- Consular invoice: Take note that certain nations require a consular invoice to control and identify imported goods. The invoice must be purchased from the consulate of the country to which the goods are going to be shipped.
- Certificate origin: This certificate is used to declare from which country the shipment originated from.
- Shipper’s Export Declaration: This certificate is required when exporting goods from the United States. This is usually used for any single commodity that has a value in excess of $2,500.
- Bill of lading: This certificate is used to identify the consignee, shipper, and the type of quantity of the goods.
- Export packing list: This packing list is used to verify the weight and volume of the goods.
- Inspection certification: There will be times when purchasers and countries will require this certification. This is used to attest to the specification of the goods being shipped.
- Destination control statement: This certificate usually appears on the commercial invoices, airway bill of lading, and shipper’s export declaration. This certificate is meant to notify the carrier and all foreign parties that the item is only meant for specific destinations.
Common documents needed for sea shipping are the following:
- Freight shipping forms: When it comes to moving goods from one destination to another, you will need a good number of freight shipping forms.
- Bill of lading: This is technically a contract between the good’s owner and the carrier. Bills of lading are usually divided into two types, which are the non-negotiable and negotiable or shipper’s order bill of lading.
- Commercial invoice: This is a bill for all the goods from the seller to the buyer.
- Certificate of origin: This certificate is a signed statement that details the point of origin of the export item.
- Inspection certificate: This certificate depends on the country, and is sometimes required for some purchases. Please take note that the inspection is performed by an independent testing organization.
- Destination control statement: The main purpose of this certification is to notify the carrier and all foreign parties that the item could be sent to only specific destinations.
- Shipper’s export declaration: This certification is usually prepared for shipments where the value is over $2500.
- Export packing list: This list itemizes the material in each individual package and includes the type of package in the shipment.
- Insurance certificate: This certificate is used to assure the consignee that the insurance covers any loss or damage to the product during transit.
Please take note that some special goods need extra documents. For instance, if you want to ship goods with battery, the MSDS and UN38.3 are necessary.
Step 5: Begin to Send to Amazon FBA
Now that you know the required shipping documents, you should now get started on the process of shipping products to Amazon warehouses. Here are the key steps you should follow:
- The first part of the shipping process is to move the cargo from the supplier to the location of the forwarder.
- After doing so, you should do customs clearance. This process is needed because every port has specific regulations that need to be followed.
- Please take note that the customs clearance is handled by the brokers.
- The next step is the handling and loading of cargo in preparation for the actual shipping.
- The freight forwarder will pick up the shipping that will handle the actual transportation from one port to another. This is usually based on the time required to deliver the shipment.
- After the shipment arrives at the port, it will then go through import customs clearance.
- The cargo will then need to be offloaded from the ship. The shipment will then be separated from other shipments. Afterward, it will then be prepared so the consignee will be able to collect it.
FAQs about How to Send Products to Amazon FBA
Now that you know the key steps for sending products to Amazon FBA, you should make sure that you know these key FAQs.
How Much Inventory to Send to Amazon FBA
If you are going to send products through Amazon FBA, you should know how much inventory you will be able to send to Amazon FBA. You should also know that there are no definite answers when it comes to how much inventory you could send, but you could consider the following factors.
- Quantities of inventory
Yet another factor that you should take into consideration is the quantity of your inventory. Remember that you will need to be fully stocked in order to keep your customers happy. So you should be able to gauge the number of products you’ll need to restock your inventory.
- How many units you are likely to sell
Another factor that you should take into consideration is how many units you are likely to sell. By getting a rough estimate of your potential sales, you will be able to gauge how much of your inventory you could send to Amazon FBA.
- What happens when you run out of stock
There may also be times when your stock could run out. You should take into account that your reputation as a seller could suffer, and you may have to give out cash-back offers to increase your ranking. However, there may be times when your products are not popular, so running out of stock is not the worst thing that could happen.
How Do I Know Which Amazon Warehouse to Send
If you are going to send products to Amazon FBA, it is important that you know which warehouse to send them to. You should take note that when you set up a shipping plan, Amazon will assign one to three Amazon fulfillment centers to you.
There are also other ways you can find your Amazon warehouse’s unique addresses. Follow these key steps:
Step 1: Log into Amazon seller central
Step 2: Inventory >shipments
Step 3: Shipping queue > shipment name
Step 4: Send to Amazon workflows > find confirmed shipping
Step 5: Find the “ship to” ( Amazon warehouse address)
Can I Ship Directly to Amazon FBA
Yes, you can ship directly to Amazon FBA. There are many benefits to shipping directly to Amazon FBA.
These benefits will allow you to save money, and speed up the shipping process. If you are going to ship directly to Amazon FBA you should need to pay attention to when you ship directly to Amazon FBA. You should also remember that you can’t check the product label and package.
If you are going to ship directly from China to Amazon FBA, you’ll get the advantage of quicker transit time. This reduces the time for the product to reach the warehouse. You will also save on middleman costs as well.
The disadvantage of shipping directly from China to Amazon is that Amazon requests to ship the products to different warehouses and not to one centralized location. You will also have to pay for freight and duties before the product arrives at Amazon. The product should also meet shipping and packaging standards set by Amazon.
Can I Send Used Items to Amazon FBA
Yes, you can send used items to Amazon FBA. Whether you are selling a flea market item or excess plates from your home, you can send these items to Amazon FBA.
However, you should also take into account that some products need to be brand new in order to be sold. These products include baby apparel, baby products, beauty, grocery, and gourmet foods. Health, personal care, independent design watches, and toys and games should also be brand new.
Is There a Minimum to Send to Amazon FBA
No, there is no minimum for sending to Amazon FBA. You can send as few or as many units of a product as you like. Please take note though that it is more cost-effective to send larger quantities to FBA. This is because the per-unit fees for storage and handling are lower for larger quantities.
If your Amazon seller business is going to thrive, it is important that you know how to send products to Amazon. You should know that sending products to Amazon FBA is not an easy thing. It will involve many aspects such as shipping documents, Amazon FBA packaging requirements, and so on. Fortunately, you can hire a reliable Amazon freight forwarder to do these things for you. This will make your Amazon business run smoother.