When you’re preparing to ship private label products to Amazon’s warehouses as an FBA seller, you need to have a shipping plan in place. This provides Amazon with all the information it needs regarding your products to handle and distribute your inventory properly.
To establish a shipping plan, you can follow a few simple guidelines. Fortunately, Amazon’s website contains detailed information on how to set this up.
Setting Up a Shipping Plan
To ship inventory safely and quickly, as a fulfillment-by-Amazon (FBA) seller, you’ll need to create a shipping plan on the company’s website. The shipping plan lays out important information regarding your inventory.
This information includes the types and quantities of products you want to send to Amazon, the shipping method and carrier details, and whether you want to prepare and label your inventory items or assign these tasks to Amazon.
If you’re in the process of completing your listing, you can edit your shipping plan to account for this later. To create a shipping plan, log into your Amazon Seller Central account and click “Inventory” at the top left-hand corner of the page, then click “Manage Inventory.”
You’ll see a page of your currently active and closed product listings. If you only need to ship a single item, find it on the page, click “Edit” at the top right-hand corner of the screen, and select “Send/Replenish Inventory” from the drop-down menu.
However, if you need to ship multiple products, select all the products you’ll be shipping by checking the corresponding boxes on the left-hand side of the page. You’ll see a button above the list of items that reads “Action on [insert number here] selected.” Click that and select “Send/Replenish Inventory” once again. You’ll be asked whether you want to create a new shipping plan or add to an existing one.
To add products to a shipping plan you created previously, select “Add to an Existing Shipping Plan.”
You’ll also need to confirm your ship-from address. This may be the address of your home, business, or a freight forwarder. The ship-from address is important for two reasons:
- It establishes which Amazon fulfillment center you will need to ship products to.
- It will determine where Amazon should return items it is unable to deliver.
Confirm the packing type by selecting whether you intend to ship individual products or case-packed products. Choose “Individual Products” if you intend to ship single products that vary in type, quantity, and condition. Choose “Case-Packed Products” if you intend to ship multiple identical products packaged by the manufacturer or supplier. Each case will contain products in the same quantities and condition.
If you choose case-packed products, you’ll need to select the number of units per case and the number of cases you intend to ship when you place your order. Once you choose either individual products or case-packed products, click “Continue to Shipping Plan.”
The next page you’ll land on will cover preparation. You’ll see “Who Preps?” on the right-hand side of the page. If you click “Apply to All” below that, a drop-down menu will appear, providing you with two options: Amazon and Merchant. If you need additional packaging for your products, select “Amazon.” Otherwise, select “Merchant.”
After choosing a “Who Preps?” option and clicking “Continue,” you’ll be taken to a “Who Labels?” page. If you select Amazon’s shipping label service, the company will charge you a 20–30-cent service fee per unit. If you intend to have the manufacturer or freight forwarder label your products, you can choose “Merchant.” A button will appear at the bottom of the page that reads “Print Labels for This Product?”
Convert to FBA
Under “Convert to ‘Fulfilled by Amazon,’” you’ll see the following: “Fulfilment by Amazon requires a single, scannable, correct barcode that can be clearly read by our scanners.” Amazon lists two options:
- You can use manufacturer barcodes.
- You can print and self-apply Amazon barcodes.
Amazon will notify you which warehouse your order will be shipped to.
Required Product Information
Depending on the nature of the goods you intend to ship and sell, you may need to include additional information. Amazon specifically asks whether you’re shipping hazardous or dangerous goods, such as batteries, and whether its storage and transportation is subject to regulation.
Once you’ve finalized your shipping plan, you can proceed to the shipping queue. If you’d like to review your shipping queue, go to the “Manage Inventory” page and click “Shipping Queue” in the top right-hand corner. This will provide you with a list of shipping plans.
To complete your shipment, you’ll need to find the shipping plan in the Shipping Queue and click the “Work on Shipment” button on the right side of the page. You will be directed to the “Prepare Shipment” page. Scroll down, and you’ll see “Review Shipment Contents.”
Click “Review and Modify Units.” This allows you to adjust the number of units if you notice an error, although you’ll have to create a new shipping plan if the error is significant.
The next page is “Shipping Service,” where you will select your shipping method and carrier. You’ll be provided with two options: small parcel delivery (SPD) for individual boxes and less than truckload (LTL) for palletized inventory items, where the weight is at least 150 lbs.
If you’re shipping cartons that a person can conveniently lift and transport and no single carton weighs more than 50 lbs., SPD should suffice. Otherwise, consider LTL, especially for shipping pallets to commercial buildings.
If you’re shipping SPD in the contiguous 48 U.S. states, you can select one of the Amazon-partnered carriers listed, which will provide you with a deeply discounted rate. If, however, you’re shipping outside the 48 contiguous states, you’ll have to select a separate carrier.
Next, you’ll be taken to a “Shipment Packing” page. You’ll see “How will this Shipment Be Backed.” Click the drop-down menu and select “Everything in One Box” if you’re shipping a single box or carton. If you’re shipping more than one carton, select “Multiple Boxes” instead. You’ll also be asked to provide the weight and dimensions of the carton.
You’ll need to submit information related to the contents of the box. You have three options: “Use Web Form,” “Upload File,” and “Ship Box Information and Apply Manual Processing Fee.” For many sellers, the first option is the simplest.
Once you submit correct information regarding the box contents, you’ll see a confirmation message.
Following shipment packing is “Shipping Labels.” On this page, you can print labels for your cartons. Alternatively, you can download them if you need to send labels to your manufacturer, wholesaler, or freight forwarder. If you’re shipping multiple cartons, each carton will have its own label.
Less than Truckload (LTL)
For Amazon FBA services, the LTL shipping method is largely the same as it is for SPD. The primary difference is the inventory. However, shipping labels differ for palletized merchandise, as individually labeled cartons may not be accessible when wrapped or tied. You’ll need to ensure that either you or your manufacturer apply pallet labels to all four sides and in a way that’s accessible to barcode scanners.
Freight Forwarding Services
At Asiana USA, we offer a complete range of logistical support services and freight forwarding services to allow you to take full advantage of Amazon’s FBA program. If you need to source products from Chinese manufacturers at wholesale prices to import into the United States, call us at (855) 500-1808. Our experts will ensure that the process of shipping to the Amazon fulfillment center is smooth and efficient.