In 2021, Amazon introduced modifications to its shipping template that changed the steps needed to create shipping plans, including Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) shipping plans.
Whether you sell retail or private label products, if you ship significant quantities of goods through the Amazon FBA service, understanding how to create and fill out an FBA shipping plan correctly is critical. Follow this guide to learn everything you need to know about Amazon FBA shipping plans.
Before starting the process of creating a new Amazon FBA shipping plan, you must first ensure you have the following:
- An active Amazon Seller Central account
- Listing pages for each product or bundle you intend to send to an Amazon Fulfillment Center
- Shipping addresses from your products’ manufacturer or your freight forwarder
- Shipping information about every listing, such as box dimensions and package weight
Creating a New Amazon FBA Shipping Plan
After gathering all the details and information you need, you may create a new FBA shipping plan.
Select Items in Your Inventory
Log into your Amazon Seller Central account, open the “Inventory” drop-down menu, and click “Manage FBA Inventory.” The new page should display your list of currently active and inactive products.
The leftmost column shows a checkbox instead of product information, pricing, or statuses. Select this box for each item or listing you wish to send to an FBA warehouse. You can also click the checkbox on the top row (to the left of “Status”) to select all of your items at once and uncheck listings you don’t wish to send as needed.
Once you have selected the correct items in your inventory, locate the “Action on X selected” dropdown button. X is a variable number that depends on the number of Amazon listings you have selected. For instance, if you selected 11 items, you would see “Action on 11 selected.”
Click on the “Action on X selected” dropdown button and select “Send/Replenish inventory.”
Create a Plan
Selecting the “Send/Replenish inventory” option should send you to a new page, where you will be asked to provide multiple details:
- Whether you wish to create a new shipping plan or add to an existing one
- Which address to ship from
- What packing type to select
The first step is to tick the “Create a new shipping plan” option.
Review the Address
Read and review the address displayed under “Ship from” and ensure it is correct and up-to-date. You can edit the details in the “Ship from another address” menu if the page shows an outdated or incorrect address.
Amazon’s services will later use the “Ship from” address to determine the following:
- Which fulfillment centers you will later send your items to
- Where Amazon will return any undeliverable items, if applicable
Select the Correct Packing Type
When selecting a packing type, you will be asked to choose between individual products or case-packed products. The primary difference between the two options is the shipment’s contents and the number of SKUs per packing unit.
- If you intend to send multiple types of products (different SKUs) per carton or packing box, select “Individual products.”
- Regardless of the number of units, if you intend to send only one type of product (single SKU) per carton or packing box, select “Case-packed products.”
Once you have selected the correct options, click on “Continue.”
Review the Prep and Labeling Options
Whether you have selected individual or case-packed products, the next page will ask you to provide packaging and prep materials information. In this context, “prep materials” refers to bubble wrap, poly bags, or other additional packaging materials.
Amazon may provide you with information on items that require extra prepping. For example, items primarily made from glass require bubble wrap, whereas liquid products must meet the company’s “double seal” standards.
A column titled “Who preps?” indicates which entity will prep the packages. You can change which entity should provide prepping by clicking “Apply to all.” You’ll be given the option to choose between Amazon and Merchant.
- If you select Amazon, Amazon staff will prep your items as part of their FBA Prep Service. The availability of this option depends on your Amazon Seller Central account settings.
- If you select Merchant, you can prep the packages yourself.
At the bottom of the page, you’ll find an option titled “Print label for this page.” This option does not print shipping labels; it prints Amazon FNSKUs (Fulfillment Network SKUs), used by Amazon’s internal services for identifying products and associating them with unique sellers. This option is intended for items that don’t already have UPC or Amazon barcoding printed on the box.
Once you have reviewed all prep information, click “Continue.”
Finalize the Plan
You should land on the “Review shipments” page, which will summarize the product, prep, and labeling information you provided alongside any applicable shipping service fees. You can review each detail and, if necessary, make changes by clicking on the “Back” button and editing any applicable information.
Review the shipment name and information. While you cannot select the warehouse of your choice, the company’s systems automatically determine the closest or most suitable Amazon FBA warehouse or fulfillment center based on your “Ship from” address.
If all your FBA shipping plan details are correct, click on “Approve & continue.” Your FBA shipping plan is now complete, allowing you to prepare your shipment.
Prepare to Ship Your Inventory to Amazon
The next page allows you to enter all the necessary details and information to confirm your shipment to Amazon.
First, enter the shipping date using the calendar field. Then, select the shipping method of your choice. Available methods include Small Parcel Delivery (SPD) and Less-Than-Truckload (LTL).
- Choose SPD if you are shipping items in individual boxes or packing units and the total shipment weight is under 150 lbs.
- Choose LTL if you are shipping items on pallets and the total shipment weight is 150 lbs. or more.
LTL generally offers more cost-effective shipping fees, but SPD has no minimum weight limit and is more flexible.
After selecting your shipping method, you have the option to specify which shipping carrier will handle your shipment. The two options available are Amazon-Partnered Carriers (APC) and other carriers. While most sellers choose APCs for their affordability, this option is vulnerable to periods of high shipping volumes, such as specific holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
If you select “Other carrier” and you’re shipping SPD from within the Contiguous United States, Amazon will automatically provide a short list of carriers, such as USPS, FedEx, and DHL. These carriers will not be available if you’re shipping from outside the Contiguous 48 or abroad.
If your products are located in China, Asiana USA has the experience to handle your shipment quickly and efficiently. This ensures it reaches the Amazon FBA warehouse or fulfillment center without delays.
Enter Shipment Packing Details
In the next section, you must provide accurate box content information to ensure your items are handled more efficiently and become available for sale more quickly.
In the top-left of this section, you must specify how your shipment is packed. The drop-down menu has two options: “Everything in one box” and “Multiple boxes.” Choose the option that applies to your shipment.
A new list of options will appear, asking you to specify how the box content information will be provided. Three options are available:
- Use web form: This is the default option. You can directly enter the shipment’s details (quantity, units per box, number of boxes, box dimensions, box weight) on the form provided below.
- Upload file: If you already have a filled-out pack list in an external file or image, you can upload it with this option.
- Skip box information and apply manual processing fee: Amazon can process your shipment’s contents for a fee.
Regardless of the shipping method, each packing unit should have its own label. If you are shipping SPD, ensure each carton has its own label. If you’re shipping LTL, verify there is one label per pallet, as the cartons will be wrapped and inaccessible during transportation.
When clicking “Print pallet labels,” you will receive a PDF file, allowing you or the entity handling your shipment to print your carton or pallet labels.
Once you are ready, click “Complete shipment.” You should have successfully created an Amazon FBA shipping plan and confirmed a shipment to an FBA warehouse or fulfillment center.
Contact Asiana USA for Your Amazon FBA Shipping Needs
Asiana USA is a multinational logistics and shipping company with extensive experience shipping freight by sea and air. Our teams can help you ship products located in China to any Amazon warehouse or fulfillment center in the United States, Canada, or the European Union. We handle 100% of the logistics tasks, from customs clearance and shipping to final delivery. Contact us today to get started.