How to Import Goods to Amazon Fulfillment Warehouses (FBA)
Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program allows sellers to ship their products to one of its distribution centers or warehouses. Sellers who take part in this program can leverage the power of Amazon Prime to offer free two-day and same-day shipping.
Using Prime’s free shipping is a game-changer. At least 25 percent of all shoppers abandon their cart due to high shipping fees. Forty-seven percent of those shoppers will buy that product from another company. That makes using the FBA program a game-changer.
For importers, the process to take advantage of Amazon’s FBA program is more complex than companies that source products domestically. The benefits from Prime shipping, however, make it well worth your effort to learn about the process and put it to work for your import business.
If at least some of the goods you sell come from outside the US, you need to import them into the US, clear them through customs, and then ship them to the nearest Amazon fulfillment center. Sounds simple, but each of those steps has a lot of bureaucratic hoops to jump through.
Our team is here to help you untangle the red tape. When you turn these steps over to us — you can simplify the entire FBA process and get back to promoting and selling your products. This includes international freight forwarding services, customs brokerage, ISF filing, assisting with the classification of your commodities, trucking and warehousing services such as devanning, segregating, labeling, palletizing and staging your goods for pickup from Amazon’s preferred carriers.
Preparing to Export Your Goods
First, we check to see if your manufacturer or supplier provides FBA seller-compliant packaging for your goods. Otherwise, we need to repackage your goods at our warehouse before we prepare it for shipment to the fulfillment center.
Next, we arrange for all the steps that need to happen before your products arrive at the airport or seaport. Depending on your supplier’s preparations beforehand, these steps may include:
- Preparation for pick and pack
- SKU and ASIN labeling
- Packing the items in cartons
- Palletizing and shrink wrap to protect the cargo for transportation
Shipping Your Goods by Air
Shipping by air is the quickest way to get your items to Amazon. It’s also usually cheaper if your shipment is under 200 kilograms. If your Amazon store usually sells directly to consumers (B2C) or sells items that are light in weight, such as jewelry or clothing, air shipments might be your best choice.
We can take care of the entire process, from arranging for air cargo insurance to transporting your cargo to the airport to handling all the complexities of transferring them from landside to airside, including:
- Airport warehouse transfers
- Shipping documentation
- Export customs clearance
- Filling out any paperwork the country of origin requires for exports
- Arrange cargo insurance if requested
- And a wealth of other services— whatever the situation requires
When your shipment arrives in the US, we handle customs bond and customs entry, and then transport it to our warehouse if the shipment needs any extra processing to make it compliant with Amazon’s stringent standards. These value-added services might include:
- Pick and pack
- Repackaging with Amazon-compliant packaging
- Segregation (if Amazon requires the shipments to go to different fulfillment centers)
Whether you choose to ship by air or ocean, we can deliver your shipments via LTL, truckload, and reefer trailers, whatever the shipment requires.
Shipping Your Goods by Ocean Transportation
Ocean shipping often proves more economical for companies who sell their goods to other businesses (B2B) in bulk or have a large number of heavy items. Most of the services we provide in the manufacturer’s country are similar to those used to prepare an air shipment, such as procuring insurance, contracting with the shipper, and arranging transportation to the point of departure.
There are two notable exceptions. Most ocean shipments, except for extremely bulky items, ship in ISO shipping containers (20′, 40, or 45′ containers).
If your shipment doesn’t require an entire shipping container, we will arrange for your cargo to be shipped using LCL (less than container load) ocean shipping. When you use us as your logistics company, we’ll make all the arrangements to procure, load, and store your containers until they’re ready to ship.
When you ship by ocean, you need to file paperwork with the US Customs and Border Protection Services (CBP). This document, called an “Importer Security Filing” (ISF), provides advance information about your shipment to streamline the customs process once your cargo arrives in the US. Our team takes care of all the paperwork so that you can concentrate on your business, as well as obtaining your customs bond (single transaction or continuous) and submitting the customs entry to CBP.
Whether you ship by ocean or air, the American Export Lines team can take care of all the arrangements to get your goods into Amazon’s hands quickly — and without costly errors. To learn more about what we can offer to your Amazon storefront, Contact Us or Request a Quote with our team today.