shipping-from-china-to-amazon-fba

Are you shipping products from China to Amazon FBA?

If yes, you cannot ignore buying products from China and it requires you to have a good understanding of how to ship products from China to Amazon. However, this can be a daunting task if you have never had something transported to you internationally.

But before a seller with an Amazon FBA account proceeds with the handling of these goods in their country, they will have to get them to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers first. There are a number of ways to approach this, each with its own pros and cons. Which of them you should go for depends on the nature of your business.
In this article, we will discuss how to ship from China to Amazon FBA and delve into the particulars of short- and long-distance shipping. We will assess the different modes of shipping available and help you discover the most appropriate course of action depending on the scale and budget of your company. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Table of content

Chapter 1: What is Amazon FBA?

Chapter 2: Things to Do Before Shipping From China to Amazon FBA

Chapter 3: The Different Ways to Ship From China to Amazon FBA

Chapter 4: How to decide the best mode of transport for shipping to Amazon FBA?

Chapter 5: Amazon’s Packaging Requirements

Chapter 6: Getting the Right Certifications and Clearance

Chapter 7: The Cost of Shipping From China to Amazon FBA

Chapter 8: How to Manage Time when Shipping from China to Amazon FBA?

Chapter 9:  Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping From China to Amazon FBA

Chapter 10: Frequently asked questions about shipping from China to Amazon FBA

Chapter 1: What is Amazon FBA

Fulfillment by Amazon, abbreviated as FBA, is a service provided by Amazon to the people doing business on its platform. It offers an easy and hassle-free solution to the problem of storing your stock and delivering the products to customers. If your warehouse is too small to hold the items of your growing business, or you do not have a storage site to begin with, you can make use of Amazon FBA’s warehouses.

What’s more is that the fulfillment centers will pack and deliver the products for you. In other words, Amazon FBA is a third-party logistics service to which you can outsource such aspects of your business.

1.1. One of the Best Fulfillment Services

fulfillment-by-amazon

There are many fulfillment networks out there, and they differ from each other in terms of policies and efficiency. However, other attributes that matter a lot in merchandising are popularity and reputation.

Not all fulfillment services can compete with Amazon FBA on this front. Started in 2006, it has proven its reliability repeatedly for more than 14 years. Buyers hesitate to get things from brands they have never heard of.

If this brand is foreign, such as a Chinese one, it becomes all the more difficult to gain the customers’ trust. But once your company is backed by the label of Amazon, the chances of increasing your sales will improve drastically.

1.2. What Services Does Amazon FBA Provide?

A Brief Overview of How FBA Works:

For people who deal in Chinese goods and are seeing their company grow fast, Amazon FBA can be a lot of help. They take care of most of the inventory and delivery side of the business. The major services provided by them are as follows.

i) They store your goods in one of the 185+ warehouses around the globe. When you send them the products, you will also submit a list containing their details. In case of any damage, you will be compensated.

ii) They handle nearly all stages of the purchase, i.e., when a customer buys your product, Amazon FBA will accept the payment and keep a record of the transaction.

amazon-services

iii) They put your goods in their signature boxes, finish the packaging, and deliver them to the buyer.

iv) They provide customer service. This is especially useful for a smaller company that is short on manpower. The workers at Amazon FBA handle returns, answer customers’ queries, and receive feedback on your behalf and then convey it to you.

1.3. The Charges of Amazon FBA

The cost of working with Amazon FBA depends on the services you wish to avail of and the sort of products you’re selling. The fees include charges for a variety of things: fulfillment fee, stock removal fee, labeling fee, shipping fee, and long-term storage fee are some of them.

If you want the full-fledged Amazon FBA experience, things can become a bit too pricey. So, it is always recommended to check your wallet and your needs before hiring these services. Also, the fee package for professional sellers differs from the one for individual sellers; the former has a monthly fee model while the latter involves paying a certain amount per item sold.

costs-of-amazon-fba

1.4. The Benefits of Using Amazon FBA for Selling Chinese Goods

Although many sellers think that using Amazon FBA will eat through their budget, the increase in sales more than makes up for it in many cases. The value of this fulfillment service becomes apparent when we consider the benefits it offers.

i) You qualify for Amazon Prime. Since Prime buyers are some of the most active customers on the platform, this is a great way of increasing sales.

ii) There is practically no limit on the storage space. You can have as much storage as you can afford.

iii) The delivery of goods is fast, really fast, helping you get better reviews from satisfied customers.

Chapter 2: Things to Do Before Shipping From China to Amazon FBA

International shipping is very different from domestic transportation. If you have little experience of doing it or have not done it at all, you should devise a thorough plan to go through with it. Furthermore, a bit of preparation is needed prior to shipping goods from China to Amazon FBA even if you have been doing so for years. Some of these preliminary steps are mentioned below.

2.1. Compliance with the Quality Standards

If you are importing goods from China, you must conduct a proper pre-shipment inspection (PSI) to ensure that they meet the conditions set not only by the country of import but also that of export. Luckily, quality inspection services are not expensive in China and they can help you determine whether or not the goods are up to par.

quality-standards

Moreover, you need to check for patents and trademark protections that might impede the sale of these goods in your country. Negligence here can result in a lawsuit that might end up requiring you to destroy your stock.

2.2. Looking Out for Peak Seasons

The shipping of goods between China and other countries does not remain consistent in pace throughout the year. The time around September and January is especially busy for the freight carriers and you might find it difficult to secure a spot for your cargo. Even if you manage to book your goods for shipping to Amazon FBA, there might be delays of as much as weeks.

Therefore, you need to plan your shipment as early on as possible to steer clear of any interruptions. Book the shipment sooner and expect it to take longer than usual. This is to make sure that you do not go out of stock before the goods arrive. Moreover, prepare yourself for the higher transport rates and extra costs due to congestion.

2.3. Getting in Touch With a Customs Broker

The legal formalities of international trade can be confusing for a lot of people. A failure to understand the importing requirements of your country can cost you dearly. Hiring a seasoned customs broker might be an additional expense, but he or she can save you from a far graver loss, such as a heavy fine or an official prohibition on the sale of the imported goods.

getting-in-touch-with-customs-broker

A customs broker can inform you about all the documents needed when you ship items from China to Amazon FBA. These papers include a bill of lading, commercial invoice, packing list, and telex release. He or she can assist you in drafting them and streamlining the process.

2.4. Having Your Freight Insured

having-your-freight-insured

When your goods depart from the Chinese supplier’s warehouse, they will make a long journey to reach the Amazon FBA fulfillment center/s. During this journey, they will change hands several times, thus increasing the likelihood of damage.

The carriers will try their best to minimize or outright avoid any liability. Around half of them will deny your cargo claims regardless of them being at fault. Freight insurance will help you a lot in saving y
our investment from going down the drain. It usually covers the cost of your cargo as well as some fees associated with its shipment.

Chapter 3: The Different Ways to Ship From China to Amazon FBA

Now that you are ready to ship your goods from China to Amazon FBA, you have to decide which stops your shipment is going to make and if you want to involve a third party in the process or not. To put things briefly, you have the following options.

1. Ship Directly to Amazon FBA

Having your Chinese supplier or freight forwarder arranges for the transportation of the cargo to Amazon FBA is the cheapest way to go about it. You save the expenses of hiring a 3PL service and cut down on the transit time.

However, if you do not trust your supplier on quality inspection and would like to examine the goods yourself, you will not be able to do so. Since the cargo will be taken directly to the fulfillment center, you will not have the opportunity to get it in your hands and check it.

shipping-from-china-to-amazon-fba

Moreover, if your supplier has little experience shipping things to Amazon FBA, they might not meet some of the prerequisites resulting in your shipment being rejected at the fulfillment center. Here the language barrier may also cause unnecessary confusion.

2. If Your Home or Store is in the Same Country, Ship to That Address First and Then to Amazon FBA

If you live in the country you are shipping the goods to, you can have them delivered to your place. You might have to endure the extra cost of sending them from there to the fulfillment center, but this all is worth it as you can check the goods yourself. This inspection is very important, especially when dealing with a new supplier.

Damaged or faulty goods can not only get you bad reviews but also be difficult to get refunds for from a supplier in a foreign nation. Also, Amazon FBA has very specific labeling guidelines. When you label the items yourself, it is easier to get the job done right. Still, expect this process to take longer than direct shipment.

3. Ship with the Help of a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Company

Colloquially known as ‘pick-and-packs’ and ‘pick-and-ships’, prep services are 3PL companies that can provide great assistance in shipping things from China to Amazon FBA warehouses. First, they will make the operation much smoother and hassle-free. Second, they can conduct a quality check on the cargo to spare you any future embarrassment in front of a dis-satisfied customer.

Third, good companies are well informed about Amazon FBA’s packaging and labeling criteria and can ensure that your shipment complies with them. Nevertheless, the significantly high prices of these services, especially in America, can deter many people from hiring them.

Although Chinese prep service companies are fewer than those in many other countries, the former can be hired at much more reasonable rates. It is up to you to choose as per your budget.

Chapter 4: How to decide the best mode of transport for shipping to Amazon FBA?

There are many routes via which your cargo can be transported. When you are shipping goods from China to Amazon FBA, you have to select the right mode of transport. You should consider the collective ‘weight’ of the goods and how long you can wait to get them delivered. For shipping things from China to Amazon FBA, the following are the most feasible options.

best-method-to-ship-to-amazon-fba

1. Express Shipping to Amazon FBA

It is a fast way to get a small cargo to Amazon FBA, but the rates are significantly greater than transport by air or sea. DHL, UPS, and FedEx usually take 2-4 business days to make the delivery from China to Amazon FBA warehouses in the US. Still, there are a lot of restrictions in terms of the goods you can have shipped.

The thing is that if the total weight of the products is less than 21 kg, you have no option but to use express service because most air and sea freight carriers will not accept a shipment weighing less than this.

UPS and FedEx, two American companies, are able to get faster customs clearance in the US, whereas the German DHL is better for making a shipment to Europe and most of the rest of the world. DHL offers somewhat cheaper prices. For a weight of more than 200 kg, opt for one of the next three.

2. Air Shipping to Amazon FBA

This method is not as convenient as express delivery because your cargo will undergo a much more rigorous customs inspection. The transit time might be 3-4 times as long as express, but the transport rates are markedly lower.

If your business on Amazon has begun to boom and you have some money to spare, you can opt for getting the freight transported by air and make your supply chain decently fast and efficient.

3. Train Shipping to Amazon FBA

Transport by rail costs almost the same as by sea, but the former is considered a lot safer. Train shipping is only an option when the country of destination is linked to China by land or a rail bridge.

The most common example of this sort of transport is the shipping of cargo from China to Amazon FBA warehouses in Europe. The transit time is around 30 days; however, this transport is easier for the average seller to arrange and handle.

4. Sea Shipping to Amazon FBA

It is the cheapest way to go about shipping products from China to Amazon FBA fulfillment centers. If you have a large cargo, you should get it transported by sea instead of spending a small fortune on doing it by air or express.

However, check the inventory to make sure you do not run out of stock before the shipment arrives at the Amazon FBA warehouse. The transit time can usually be as long as a month.

Chapter 5: Amazon’s Packaging Requirements

Amazon demands that the product be packed appropriately to ensure that it does not get damaged or damage nearby items when it is being stored or transported. Clear labels must be attached to the package so that it can be recognized and kept in the record. Many of their warehouses have robots managing the boxes.

amazon-packaging-requirements

Abiding by the packaging code makes this automation possible. The packaging criteria of Amazon FBA are further elaborated under the following headings.

1. Box and Polybag Dimensions

The master box for items of standard size must not be more than 25 inches along any dimension. If the product is too big to fit in such a box, a larger box might be used but this must be declared using specific labels on the outside of the carton.

The material of the OPP bag or polybag must have a thickness of at least 1.5 mm. If the opening of this bag is more than 5 inches wide, the package must bear a warning for suffocation hazard.

packaging-sizes

2.  Package Weight

There are strict requirements regarding the weight of the box so that no harm comes to the staff and the machinery at the Amazon FBA warehouse. A standard master box that does not have a weight warning cannot weigh more than 50 lb. If it does, a ‘Team Lift’ label must be attached to it. For boxes exceeding the weight of 100 lb, a ‘Mech Lift’ label is used instead.

3. Labeling of the Products

Labeling plays an important role in Amazon FBA’s smooth and streamlined storage and delivery system. The main labels have barcodes, each of which corresponds to a particular item in the inventory, thus keeping track of the millions of products in their warehouses possible. Unsurprisingly, improperly labeled packages might not be accepted into the fulfillment center.

4. How to Label the Goods That Are to be shipped to Amazon FBA

If you plan to ship your merchandise from China to Amazon FBA, read their labeling instructions carefully or hire a 3PL service that is well-versed in working with Amazon. Whatever the case, the following labels are the most commonly used ones.

i) Product labels are FNSKU labels that tell about the supplier of the item and the warehouse the product has to be delivered. Simply put, they help the workers at the fulfillment centers identify the product, linking the package to a specific item in the inventory list. You can download 11 product labels of different sizes and print the ones you need.

how-to-label-goods-before-shipping-from-china-to-amazon-fba

ii) Shipping labels must be put on master boxes: at least two on each box. You can download and print those too after you have made Amazon FBA’s ‘Shipping Plan’.

iii) Warning labels are for the safety of the warehouse workers, machines, and customers. The most common one is the suffocation label for OPP bags.
iv) Weight labels must be put on boxes that exceed a certain weight limit. We have already discussed them.

You are responsible for keeping the labels intact throughout the shipping process. Torn labels, unreadable text, and unscannable barcodes might become the reason for your cargo being rejected by the fulfillment center.

While packing, no part of the label should be hidden under an opaque material. So, if you are using tape to stick the label on the package, prefer scotch tape, so that the printed info remains readable even after being partly covered with it. Be very careful and secure the labels properly!

Chapter 6: Getting the Right Certifications and Clearance

You cannot just import a bunch of items from China and start selling them in your country. There is a proper procedure by which these things are done. The first step in it is getting the approval of the regulatory authorities of your area and getting your goods certified. If you are unable to do so, customs might seize the cargo.

Some goods might be considered illegal without this sort of clearance, hence the importance of getting a certification as early on in your business as possible. Some of the common certifications in the US and Europe are as follows.

1. The United States

i) Bluetooth Qualification Body (BQB) cert. for Bluetooth devices#

ii) Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) for toys

the-united-state

iii) Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL) cert. for electrical equipment, e.g., lights, power adapters, etc.

iv) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cert. for electronics

v) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cert. for edibles, medicines, cosmetics, and biological agents

vi) Underwriter Laboratories (UL) cert. for the general safety of different items

2. Europe

i) BQB cert. for Bluetooth devices

ii) Conformité Européenne (CE) cert. that shows that the product complies with all the general regulations prescribed by the law

iii) E-Mark cert. shows that the automobile follows the ECE vehicle guidelines

iv) Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) cert. for electrical and electronic equipment

Chapter 7: The Cost of Shipping From China to Amazon FBA

The cost of shipping the goods can vary a lot depending on the location of dispatchment and destination. The mode of transport you choose will also affect the final expenses. As a general principle, remember that the faster the shipping mode is, the pricier it will be: transport by sea will cost only around 20% as much as an express or air shipping.

shipping-products-from-china-to-amazon-fba

Also, getting things shipped in bulk will reduce the per-item cost. You should calculate a liberal estimate of these charges and see if your budget allows for them. Nothing is worse than realizing too late in the process that some unanticipated shipment costs are burning through your capital. The major expenses of shipping from products China to Amazon FBA warehouses are as follows.

1. Basic Cost

Here, by ‘basic cost’, we mean the things you will undoubtedly have to pay for. This money is needed to get your cargo from China to the country where the Amazon FBA warehouse is. The term ‘chargeable weight’ refers to the amount of the goods according to which the transport fee will be calculated.

There are two ways to determine it: actual weight (in kilograms, pounds, tons, etc.) and volume (aka dimensional weight measured in cubic meters, liters, gallons, etc.). The greater of the two will be considered chargeable.

2.  Additional Costs

As you proceed with the actual exercise of getting things transported, you might incur some extra expenses besides the transport fees. These expenses can quickly add up resulting in a large sum of money flowing out of your account. It is always better to know about such things well before getting anything internationally shipped. These extra costs may be the following.

– Shipping to Many Different Amazon FBA Warehouses

Sometimes, Amazon FBA picks a single warehouse for all your products to be stored in. When such is the case, your job gets much easier because shipping goods to a single destination is simple and cheap.

shipping-from-china-amazon-fba-warehouses
However, in some cases, especially when you are dealing in a multitude of vastly different items, more than one warehouse might be assigned after you have made a Shipment Plan.

Of course, you will have to pay a larger sum for shipping things from China to these multiple warehouses. How much extra will you have to pay? Well, it depends on how far the selected warehouses are from each other.

-Taxes and Import Duties

To those who want to dabble in international trade, duties and tax on imported goods are big factors to consider. Although you can roughly estimate the duty on your products, the customs department alone has the authority to declare the category in which they fall.

Hence, it is ultimately up to them to decide the amount you will have to pay to get clearance. While doing the planning yourself, it is easy to underestimate these expenditures and end up with your goods unable to enter the country.

taxes-and-import-duties

A customs broker can provide a binding ruling so you are aware of the exact sum you will be liable to pay. However, obtaining such a ruling can be expensive for small companies importing low-cost items. If you have similar affordability problems, you can consult your freight forwarder or supplier to get some advice.

You might also want to refer to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule database to get a better idea about import costs in the US.

-Fee for Customs’ Examination of Your Shipment

It is the job of the customs department to ensure that the products being imported are safe to use and are legal for purchase in their country. Considering the huge amounts of cargo arriving at the port every day, it is practically impossible to check every single package.

Instead, shipments are randomly selected for inspection, during which the goods are stored in customs storage facility.

The Contraband Enforcement Team (CET) might conduct a simple scan with an X-ray machine or a thorough examination by opening the package and checking the products inside. While this happens, you will have to arrange for the storage fee out of your pocket.

customs-examination-for-shipping--from-china-to-fba

3. The Effect of Covid 19 on International Trade and Shipping Costs to Amazon

What a crazy year 2020 has been! A global pandemic has destabilized nearly every economy and has had a huge toll on the businesses that depend on Chinese suppliers to replenish their stocks. In this time of international emergency, Amazon FBA some products, i.e., you could not make a Shipping Plan for them.

Due to their high demand, medical supplies and household necessities were prioritized in the Amazon FBA fulfillment centers. Even for the unrestricted products, the shipping costs were volatile; they experienced erratic fluctuation due to the uncertainty of the entire situation. The rates of some kinds of transport plummeted while those of others skyrocketed.

Chapter 8: How to Manage Time when Shipping from China to Amazon FBA?

Time management is crucial in any line of work, be it running your own shop or trading through Amazon FBA. You have to keep an eye on the inventory and check the stock regularly. Waiting for your stock to drop close to zero before placing an order with the supplier to replenish it would be a rookie error.

To maintain a streamlined supply chain, every step in that chain should be completed promptly, especially when you’re importing things from other countries.

managing-time-when-shipping-from-china-to-amazon-fba

1. Factors Affecting Transit Time

How long it takes the shipment to reach the Amazon FBA warehouse after you have asked the supplier to send more stock depends on a variety of conditions. Some of the biggest factors that contribute to determining this delay are as follows.

i) The product being exported might take a long time to manufacture or assemble. If the product is in high demand the manufacturer might have to fulfill orders from many sources, thus taking much longer to complete yours.

ii) The export laws of China might require content and quality inspection of outgoing cargo. Some goods might require additional paperwork to be done, but Chinese suppliers should be well-informed about these matters. They get it done quite fast.

iii) The distance of the destination from China obviously affects the transit time. The mode of transport should also be selected depending on the country. For nearby ones, express might suit your purpose, but for faraway ones, sea shipping is usually the way to go.

iv) The import policies of the other country may cause delays in the shipment due to the time taken by customs to inspect the goods. This can add a few days to the overall transit time.

v) The holidays in any of the two countries might cause significant delays. However, such events are predictable and scheduled, so you can easily place the order a bit sooner to get it shipped before the holidays begin.

2. Tips on Minimizing the Transit Time from China to Amazon FBA

Long transit times from China to Amazon FBA fulfillment centers make it difficult for you to keep up with an active market. There is a limit to how much future planning you can do and, frankly, if the shipment takes too long to arrive, the whole situation can become very annoying. Therefore, we have compiled some tips on reducing this time as much as possible while keeping things wallet-friendly.

transit-time

i) Ordering more frequently in smaller quantities can be a bit pricier, but you will never have to face the problem of having too much or too little stock. This way, you can manage your goods better, avoiding wastage as well as a shortage.

ii) Providing sales predictions, at least their summary, to your supplier can help them partially prepare for your next potential order, thus enabling them to prepare a portion of the goods in advance.

iii) Getting more things from the same supplier can make your life a whole lot easier. If you do not have a logistics service managing the supply chain for you, you might have noticed how time-consuming coordinating the different vendors can be.
If one supplier provides similar products at a competitive price, consider getting all of them from him or her.

iv) Shipping directly to Amazon FBA can save you time and money. A 3PL service does handle the checking and packing of items for you, but the more people you involve in the supply chain, the greater the delay becomes.

v) Transporting at the right time is what a shrewd businessperson should do. Getting things delivered during peak seasons and holidays is never a good idea.

Chapter 9:  Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping From China to Amazon FBA

Shipping goods from China to an Amazon FBA warehouse can be tricky for most novice entrepreneurs. Without realizing it, many of them make some bad decisions at the beginning of the process. They do not realize their errors until it’s too late, often resulting in financial loss. Some of such common mistakes have been listed below.

1. Not Using an Expert Customs Broker

A customs broker can tell you about the import policies of the country where the products are being shipped and help you correctly categorize your goods. This becomes all the more important if the goods you are shipping to Amazon FBA are foods or drugs, which are highly regulated in most countries.

expert-customs-broker

Some people think that they do not need a customs brokerage service just because they have read about those requirements on the internet. Wrong! Although reading reference material online can help you become well-informed, there are some intricacies that only professionals understand. When choosing a Chinese customs broker, opt for one that has experience in dealing with the customs of the particular country.

2. Not Planning for Chinese Holidays

If you are ill-informed about the Chinese culture, you probably do not know when their national holidays are celebrated. To the Chinese people, occasions such as New Year’s Day, Qingming Festival, Labor Day, and the Golden Week are important parts of the year during which they get a day or few off work and get to enjoy themselves.

However, to the unknowing people who had their orders placed just before one of these events, this spells trouble because delays in manufacturing dates and shipping will be inevitable during this period. But these occasions are not unexpected, so you can schedule the shipping dates such that you avoid them overlapping with these holidays.

3. Not Doing Timely Planning

Probably the problem most frequently encountered by traders who have recently gotten Amazon FBA is late order placement. It is understandable that a budding business wants to be as careful as possible and does not want to spend a large portion of its capital on importing more stock when a lot of the previous goods are still left. They wait for the stock to almost run out before ordering more.

Between running out of goods and the replenishment of the stock with a new batch of imported products, comes a long torturous period of intently waiting for the shipment to arrive at the Amazon FBA warehouse/s. You are missing numerous opportunities this way as you are unable to serve who knows how many potential buyers! Instead of waiting for the stock to run dry, get things done well in time.

3. Not Doing a Proper Quality Inspection

A customer demanding a refund for a faulty or damaged item is embarrassing both for the manufacturer and for the retailer. If this happens time and again, your ratings might start to nosedive due to bad reviews, making it hard to find new customers.

Furthermore, poor-quality products might not be certified by the safety authorities in your country, hence making it impossible to sell them. It would be wise to get a thorough quality inspection conducted by a reliable Chinese inspection service prior to their shipping to Amazon FBA.

Chapter 10: Frequently asked questions about shipping from China to Amazon FBA

1. Which Should I Opt for LCL or FCL?

The abbreviations LCL and FCL stand for ‘Less than Container Load’ and ‘Full Container Load’, respectively. They refer to the two ways you can put your cargo in containers for shipping by sea. For LCL shipping, the total volume of your goods should be less than 18 cbm.

fcl-lcl

In this case, the packages from different shippers are put in the same container. After arriving in the country, this container is opened, and your product is taken out and sent to Amazon FBA. If the volume is greater than 18 cbm, you can also get FCL shipping. All the contents of the container are owned by the same shipper and the entire container will be sent to the fulfillment center.

2. Should I Buy Directly From the Manufacturer?

This might come as a shock to you, but in many cases, buying directly from the manufacturer can actually be less efficient. This is especially true if you run a small-scale company that deals in products made by a big Chinese manufacturer.

Among the various companies they interact with, you might not be able to get the necessary attention. Frustrating, right? A good sourcing company or middleman can help you in such a situation. Using their experience and knowledge of the Chinese market, they can get you a good deal and ensure that your needs are met.

3. Is It All Right If I Fully Pay for the Goods in Advance?

No. Avoid doing this unless you are left with no other choice. What you should do is pay a portion of it in advance: not more than 50%. You can pay the rest once the shipment arrives at the Amazon FBA warehouse.

If you can, add the delivery and customs charges to the purchase cost of the products. Also, due to how expensive it is for them, most Chinese companies will refuse to accept payment through PayPal. However, it should be fine if you use it just for the first order to get a test batch.

4. Can I Trust the Supplier With Shipping the Goods to Amazon FBA?

In most cases, it is better to hire a logistics company to manage the shipping process if you are not going to do it yourself. Leaving this to a manufacturer or supplier can lead to problems with customs if there is even the slightest negligence on their part.

However, if you have no other way of going about it and the supplier has a reliable shipping plan, do what you must and hire them for shipping the goods to the Amazon FBA warehouses. You might have to do this in a peak season during which it is hard to procure a spot on the carrier for your cargo.

5. Which Distribution Center Should I Choose?

You do not have the freedom to choose the distribution center of your goods. All you can do is pay an extra placement fee to have all your goods sent to the same fulfillment center, but you cannot decide where that center will be.

While making the Shipment Plan, you will have to choose from two methods of shipping locally to the Amazon FBA center: SPD and LTL, standing for ‘Small Parcel Delivery’ and ‘Less than Truck Load’, respectively. For a shipment of fewer than thirty boxes, use SPD, while for all others, prefer LTL delivery.

amazon-fulfillment-center

6. How Can I Track My Shipment?

It is possible to more or less track your shipment from China to Amazon FBA. Doing so is way easier if you are using express delivery. For this purpose, you need to know the tracking ID of your package. Just visit the website of the company, and use this ID to get the tracking information which is regularly updated.

If you are using air or sea shipping, tracking is much less detailed because, unlike the large express companies, the smaller third parties involved in this sort of transport lack their own tracking systems. You might be able to get an ETA by contacting the freight forwarder or shipping company, but the info will only be a rough guess. Usually, they are only able to tell when the shipment left China and when it is expected to reach your country.

7. Will I Benefit From Getting a Freight Forwarder?

A freight forwarder is an agent that has contracts with multiple carriers and manages the shipment of goods from the supplier to the market or a warehouse. The more complicated the shipment process, the greater the need for a forwarder.

As a rule of thumb, hire a forwarder if you are getting the cargo shipped by sea. In this case, you might end up hiring two forwarders: one in China and another in your own country.

If you are shipping by air, we recommend getting such a service only if your cargo weighs more than 200 kg. For goods weighing less than this, ask the supplier to ship the things to Amazon FBA through an express service, which eliminates the need for you to arrange a forwarder altogether.

Conclusion

So, these were the details of how to ship from China to Amazon FBA warehouses. We talked about the different methods of doing it and the efficiency of each individual method. We tried to cover as much as we could, but keep in mind that this article is, by no means, exhaustive.

If you are set on dealing in Chinese goods, some preliminary research never hurts. It is always wise to meet up with an experienced businessperson on the relevant platform or a consultant in person before taking any major step for your company. The advice of such people is indispensable in the early stages of your business.

We hope that this article helped you develop a better understanding of e-commerce on Amazon’s platform and sourcing goods from China and that it cleared up any query you had about the topic. We wish you good luck with your business venture!