If you are an Amazon seller and need to import your items from China, then you need to ship your items from China to Amazon FBA.
In this article, we’ll go over the logistics options for shipping from China to Amazon FBA and define what you must know before making your initial China sourcing.
What Is Amazon FBA?
Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is a logistics service provided by Amazon. It is designed to provide inventory, bundling, and distribution support to suppliers.
This really helps suppliers and provides greater adaptability to their sales model.
The program enables merchants to send their products to an Amazon fulfillment center and then store the items in a warehouse until the products are sold.
Once the order is placed, an Amazon representative will personally make, package and deliver the item.
How to Ship from China to Amazon FBA?
The easiest, safest, and most cost-effective way to ship your goods from China to Amazon FBA is:
To work with a reputable Chinese freight forwarder or a Chinese sourcing company with experience in Amazon FBA.
Below we will outline how to ship directly from China to Amazon FBA using sea or air freight:
Step 1. In the seller center, you should generate your shipment
If you choose sea freight for your shipment, please send to one FC only and use a Southern California ship, because China to California FC is the shortest distance and most efficient.
There are 3 important things to do at your facility:
- Barcodes need to be applied to each item individually
- Cartons need to be labeled with the master carton
- Pallets need to be labeled on all four sides
Step 2. Arrange with your freight forwarder for door-to-door service
When the goods are shipped directly from China to Amazon FBA, you also need to keep in mind that your freight forwarder is familiar with shipping to Amazon and understands its carriers’ requirements.
Step 3. Ensure payment of shipping charges and remaining duties
The customs duties applicable to your shipment must be paid, as Amazon will not pay for your product to be accepted.
If you are considering sending your shipment via sea freight, this is not a problem for you because you only need to clear customs.
Although you use FedEx and many other couriers to ship your goods, all duties will be sent to Amazon.
You will need to specify that these charges should be paid by the sender. If the cost of your shipment is less than $800, no duties will be charged.
Choose Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) shipping, where the freight forwarder will handle customs clearance, and pay import & export duties, and you simply wait for your shipment to arrive at the FBA warehouse.
Here you may learn more about DDP Shipping for details below:
DDP Shipping from China: The Ultimate Guide 2022
What Mistakes May Make for Shipping from China to Amazon FBA?
The biggest mistake for beginners is not understanding how coronavirus affects shipping from China to Amazon FBA.
1. Shipping Costs
After the coronavirus affected China and other countries, shipping costs increased significantly, especially by air.
Due to the high demand for products used in the pandemic, air freight rates more than tripled during the peak of the pandemic’s spread. Currently, air freight rates remain high, especially for air couriers.
2. Transit Time
The pandemic has affected the workforce in different countries. As workers transition to a skeleton workforce model, different sectors are greatly impacted.
It affects the entire supply chain and extends transit times to two weeks.
Both air and sea shipments require longer wait times for shipment space due to a variety of factors, such as fewer vessels and available manpower.
Shipping terminals around the world are significantly more congested and the congestion is not getting better due to fewer workers.
3. Shipping Routes
In addition to the increase in shipping costs and transit times, shipping routes were also affected by the epidemic.
Due to a lack of manpower, some logistics hubs and terminals have been forced to temporarily cease operations, causing goods to be rerouted to the nearest available terminal or hub.
If you are planning to ship from China to Amazon, we strongly recommend that you contact Yansourcing’s shipping team as early as possible.
They are eager to help plan ways to ensure that your Amazon inventory is not affected by COVID-19 delays.
What Solutions for Shipping from China to Amazon FBA?
When it comes to shipping from China to Amazon FBA, there are basically 3 solutions, and you can choose the most suitable way according to your specific situation.
Solution 1. Direct shipping from China to Amazon FBA
Direct shipping means shipping directly from the supplier to Amazon FBA, which is the easiest and most convenient way for overseas importers to use.
If you compare it with the other two methods below, you will also find that it is the cheapest method.
In this case, you can ask the supplier to arrange to ship or hire your FBA freight forwarder. If neither of you can find an FBA freight forwarder, consider shipping through an Amazon pre-processing service.
It is best to ship directly from China to Amazon FBA, especially if you are using a courier such as UPS or FedEx.
That’s because the delivery rates are the same across the U.S. and there are no additional domestic delivery fees compared to transit from your home or a third-party company.
Solution 2. Ship to your home first and then to the Amazon warehouse
If you send your products directly to Amazon FBA, you will not have the opportunity to inspect your products.
This is the most obvious advantage of shipping to your home first, allowing you to touch and inspect your products.
Then, if you find any quality issues, you can fix them directly before your customers buy them. It will eliminate the risk of bad customer reviews.
However, this solution also comes with additional shipping costs from your home to the Amazon warehouse.
So before shipping your products, be sure to search for the nearest Amazon warehouse to your home and calculate the shipping costs.
Solution 3. Ship through a pre-processing service and then to an Amazon warehouse
A pre-processing service company is a 3rd party company.
It can help you handle import customs clearance, ship your goods, perform product inspection, and package and label your goods according to Amazon’s specific requirements.
Amazon has specific packaging and labeling requirements. It’s a bit complicated and not all suppliers do it well.
Therefore, if your supplier does not have experience in labeling FNSKU, or you do not want to do it yourself, shipping to a preparation service is a good option.
Alternatively, you may choose to work with a prep service company in your country or in China.
Here you may learn more about Fulfillment Service for details below:
Complete List 2022: Top 20 Best Fulfillment Service Company
What Pros & Cons of Shipping from China to Amazon FBA?
In order to let you understand more clearly the Pros and Cons of shipping from China to Amazon FBA, we have summarized them below for your better understanding.
1. Direct shipping from China to Amazon FBA
Why use direct shipping?
- A smaller quantity of products and shipping cost less than $800
- Urgent delivery is needed
- When direct shipping saves you money
- Your time is saved because the direct shipping time is faster. On Amazon, your sales process starts faster if your products arrive at their warehouse sooner
- The money you have to pay to the middleman will be saved
- You will not be able to ship all your products to one Amazon warehouse location, as they require shipping to a different Amazon warehouse
- The duties applicable to your shipment will need to be paid before the shipment arrives at the warehouse
- Amazon sets the standards for its packaging and the shipping requirements that need to be met
2. Ship from China through an intermediary
Why use intermediaries?
- Insert the label and check if it comes from your supplier
- Avoid rejection when using FBA for the first time
- It is cheaper because one person can do everything
- You receive the products from China in a combined form
- You are free to check if the products meet Amazon’s standards
- Your sales strategy is not revealed to the Chinese supplier
- Your shipments are less likely to be rejected by Amazon FBA
- Paying people who help you will cost you extra money
- The process is long; therefore, it takes more time for the shipment to reach the warehouse
What Methods of Shipping from China to Amazon FBA?
In the following, I will introduce each method in terms of function, shipping time, and shipping cost to help you choose the best method for shipping from China to Amazon FBA.
1. Express to Amazon FBA
This is the most convenient and easiest way for the recipient. The consignee only needs to sign for the shipment when it arrives and does not need to worry about import customs clearance.
The courier service company will handle all import procedures, including customs spot checks.
There are many courier companies worldwide, such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc. We recommend using UPS and FedEx as they have a strong network in the US and rarely experience delivery delays.
When to use express delivery?
It is best suited for shipments of 1-1000 lbs (less than 500 kg). For example, if you want to import 100 kg of goods to sell on Amazon for a trial, Express is the best shipping method.
Both air and sea freight is better suited for large-volume shipments because of the large fixed fees involved, resulting in higher total costs than express shipping.
How much does it cost to ship to Amazon FBA?
Calculating express shipping prices is easy. Take FedEx for example, their yearly cost is $6-7 per kilo. By multiplying the weight by the price per kilogram, you can easily get the total cost for a single delivery.
Also, be sure to select the shipper to pay the duties, as Amazon staff will not pay them for you, they are only responsible for receiving the goods when they arrive.
How long does it take to ship to Amazon FBA?
It usually takes 4-7 days to ship from China to the USA.
2. Sea freight to Amazon FBA
Sea freight is one of the most complicated shipping methods for import and export.
When to use sea freight?
Should it be a very large volume, like a whole container for sea shipping?
In fact, once the volume of your item reaches 2 CBM or more, you can choose to use sea freight for LCL or full container, to save cost.
In addition, for some products, sea freight is a better option. For example, some products are of low value but large in size, such as plastic lunch boxes, wine bottles, wine glasses, etc.
It would be too expensive to ship these products profitably by express or air freight.
How much does it cost to ship to Amazon FBA?
Since there are two stages in the shipping process from China to Amazon FBA, the total shipping cost in this way depends on the sea freight cost and the land freight cost.
Sea freight cost varies from month to month and there are high seasons, especially during peak seasons.
You need to check the costs with your freight forwarder at a specific time. The good news is that overall, the cost of shipping by sea is usually 80% less than the cost of shipping by international express or air.
How long does it take to ship to Amazon FBA?
It usually takes a long time, say 25-40 days, to get from China to a US port, but sea freight is still one of the most popular methods, thanks in large part to the low cost of bulk shipments.
3. Air Freight to Amazon FBA
Like sea freight, you need to hire a professional Amazon freight forwarder to handle all the shipping and import procedures.
When to use air freight?
Considering that air freight costs 10%-20% less, you may think it’s a good way to ship your products. However, it is only suitable for shipments over 1,000 pounds (500 kg or more).
For every air freight shipment, no matter how small, import processing fees are incurred, resulting in higher costs than express shipping.
Therefore, if your shipment is less than 500 kg, then express and sea shipping are your best options.
How much does it cost to ship to Amazon FBA?
Like an express, the shipping cost by air is based on the volume weight. the total shipping cost to FBA will be 10%-20% lower than express shipping.
How long does it take to ship to Amazon FBA?
If you use air freight, the delivery time from China to the Amazon warehouse will take a few days longer than express delivery.
Here you may learn more about Shipping Time from China to US for details below:
Shipping Time from China to US: How Long Does it Take?
4. Sea Freight UPS Combined or Air Freight UPS Combined
Both sea freight UPS combined (SFUC) and air freight UPS Combined (AFUC) are not widely used and are not considered traditional shipping methods for international trade.
Currently, you will find that most of the companies offering these two methods are Chinese freight forwarders and not all shipping service companies offer this service.
Also, you can only request this service from those Chinese freight forwarders once the goods are shipped to the Amazon warehouse in the US.
Under the traditional sea or air freight, the forwarder will get a truck to transport the cargo to the Amazon warehouse after the cargo arrives at the US seaport or airport.
In contrast, under SFUC or AFUC, UPS will take care of the local logistics and transportation of the shipment from the port of landing to the Amazon warehouse.
Packaging & Labeling Requirements for Shipping from China to Amazon FBA
Before shipping items to Amazon FBA, you should understand Amazon’s requirements for packaging and labeling.
Packed with each item, the box should agree to Amazon warehouse guidelines. If you do not meet Amazon’s prerequisites, your item will be dismissed from Amazon’s warehouse.
Or when your item is packaged without the correct FBA labeling. Amazon will not know if the item belongs to a specific seller.
Your item will also be rejected if it is not labeled FBA. Once your item arrives at FBA, they need to filter the scanner tags to identify them and position the product in the correct location.
Therefore, you can see that labeling is essential in FBA. This development is significant and will determine the entry of your merchandise into Amazon’s distribution centers and its transactions.
Here are some prerequisites for items, loads, and boxes in Amazon warehouses:
1. Product Labeling
Amazon labeling of items is necessary. Amazon Warehouse will check your FNSKU labels when your items are shipped. As a result, Amazon will place your item in the correct distribution center area.
2. Shipping Labeling
If you need to ship to an Amazon warehouse, you should set up a “delivery plan” at Amazon Foundation.
You can get the master box label. After downloading the master box label. You can then print it out and attach the label to the box.
If the box does not have this label attached, Amazon will also reject the product. Amazon requires a minimum of 2 shipping labels per box.
3. Package Size & Weight
The following are the box size and weight requirements that Amazon must comply with for you:
- 25 inches on either side is the limit for the main box
- The weight should not exceed 50 pounds
- For weights over 50 pounds, please include a “Team Lift” label
- For 100 pounds, attach a “Mech Lift” to the box
How to Track Shipments from China to Amazon FBA?
First of all, to track the express shipment you just need to open the official website of the courier company and enter your express bill number.
Then, you can easily get your shipment tracking record.
But for the traditional sea and air shipments, the shipments are handled by Amazon’s small freight forwarders.
Unlike large multinational companies like FedEx, these small freight forwarders do not have tracking systems. It will be more difficult for you to track real-time shipping information of your shipments.
Below we will share how to track your shipment from China to Amazon FBA using air or sea freight:
Method 1: Ask the Freight Forwarder
As mentioned earlier, small freight forwarders do not have tracking systems.
So if you want to know the status of your shipment, you need to contact your freight forwarder’s salesperson or account representative.
If you approach a freight forwarder through a supplier, you can ask the supplier directly about the status of your shipment instead of contacting the freight forwarder yourself.
This is because these freight forwarders may not communicate with you in English.
During sea or air freight, you only need to check the estimated date at the following key stages:
- The date of the shipment leaves the Chinese seaport or airport
- The date of the shipment arrives at a U.S. seaport or airport
- The date of the shipment clears U.S. customs
- The date of the shipment arrives at the Amazon FBA warehouse
Method 2: Tracking through Airlines or Sea Forwarders
Freight forwarders do not provide specific tracking websites, but you can track the status of your shipment through sea forwarders (e.g. Maersk, COSCO) and airlines (e.g. Air China).
However, tracking through these sites will only give you below information:
- The date of the shipment left the loading port in China
- The expected date of arrival in the U.S.
- The expected date of unloading from the ship or aircraft
If you need to know when your shipment has cleared customs or shipped to an Amazon warehouse, you can only ask the Amazon freight forwarder who helped you arrange the shipment.
FAQ about Shipping from China to Amazon FBA
1. How do I ship my goods from China to Amazon FBA?
The safest and most cost-effective way is to use a freight forwarder located in China that specializes in Amazon FBA.
Once you know the dimensions of your shipment, you can contact the freight forwarder and they will help suggest the best shipping method.
2. How much does it cost for shipping to Amazon FBA from China?
The cost will vary depending on the shipping method chosen. As a general rule of thumb, the faster the mode, the higher the price, and the larger the volume, the more you can save.
3. What documents do I need for shipping from China to Amazon FBA?
Depending on the final destination, various documents are required, the most important of which is the bill of lading.
4. Can I track shipments from China to Amazon FBA?
Yes. If you are shipping with a courier such as DHL or UPS, your package can be easily tracked through their system using the tracking number provided to you.
When you use a reputable freight forwarder to handle your air or sea shipments, they will be able to track your shipment.
Shipping from China to Amazon FBA Conclusion
Working with a reputable company is the easiest, safest, and most cost-effective way for direct shipping from China to Amazon FBA.
If you have any other questions about Amazon FBA, please leave your valuable comments below.
We are Yansourcing, the leading sourcing company in China. We help all kinds of Amazon sellers with different sizes of businesses. If you want to buy and ship items from China to sell on Amazon, please feel free to contact us.