Part 1. Amazon shipping operation process
Part 2. Should you arrange for the supplier to ship directly or find a reliable freight forwarder?
Part 3. How to find a reliable freight forwarder?
Part 4. Shipping methods to Amazon FBA
Part 5. Customs clearance and tariffs
Part 6. How do you package and label the goods for Amazon FBA?
Part 7. Do you need to buy cargo insurance?
Part 8. Tips to save money:
First, you need to understand the Amazon Shipping operations. The following are two common issues about how to ship from China to Amazon FBA:
Many of our customers choose Amazon’s Prep Service for their products, which include inspection, labeling, and packaging. You can choose to ship directly from your supplier or through a shipping agent to the Amazon fulfillment centers or your own warehouse.
In this section we will mainly share what you should know when you choose to use freight forwarding, and what kind of requirements you can ask them.
In order to make it as convenient as possible, your freight forwarder will contact your supplier, pick up the goods to their own warehouse, and help you store them until you need them. Even if your goods are not at the same address, they will collect them separately, and then send them to you in a unified package, which is a time-saving and labor-saving choice.
When doing Amazon business, your reputation and free from damage products is what matters. When shipping from China to Amazon FBA you will need a cargo agent to do one last inspection of your goods (in China). All requirements can be met, from the inspection of the outer box, to the quantity, quality, and even product photos or other needs. Therefore, you need to keep a clear line of communication with the freight forwarder as much as possible to ensure that your products are delivered to the Amazon center safely and in time.
If you are a new e-commerce seller, then you need to rely on the additional services of a freight forwarder because Amazon products always have their own rules.
Cargo agents often have years of experience and will ensure that your product meets Amazon’s requirements. And by doing these preparations in advance, such as FNSKU labeling, packaging, poly bagging, bubble wrap, and so on, in the Chinese warehouse, will save your costs greatly.
You should choose the mode of transportation of your goods according to the weight, size and the delivery time.
When you go to Amazon, you should understand the advantages and disadvantages of each mode of transportation, whether it is air, sea or express, or let your freight forwarder recommend it to you, so you won’t lose money and valuable time.
Choosing the mode of transportation, customs clearance and various documents might sound complicated, and as an Amazon seller, you should focus on improving your Amazon business, and hand these shipping burdens to a reliable Chinese freight forwarder!
For your Amazon goods, should you let your supplier ship directly or find a reliable freight forwarder? This problem depends on your mode of transportation and the weight of your cargo.
We would recommend you to use a freight forwarder for goods with a large weight or volume.
Even if you entrust your supplier to ship directly, it will cost you a lot of time and money, because they will probably need to contact another agent.
But if your shipment is just a sample, or a small volume/weight, then you can choose flexibly according to your needs.
A good place to begin is with the weight of the shipment. These are some of the rules you should always stick to:
– For ocean shipments, always use a freight forwarder.
– For air shipments, use a freight forwarder if your cargo weights more than 200 kg.
– If your cargo is less than 200 kg, then you can ship through your supplier, and you can choose DHL or FedEx.
Sometimes finding a reliable business partner can be a hard job, and that is what freight forwarders are for. A freight forwarder is a reliable and experienced agent who will help you find solutions for shipping from China to Amazon FBA. Having a freight forwarder it would make a great difference when you don’t have enough time and energy, experience or you just want to avoid all the troubles this process might bring you sometime such as paperwork or cross-see transportation process problems. Another big advantage is the fact that a freight forwarder can help you save money, and will let you know where every cost is going, with no hidden expenses.
In other words, if you want to save time and money while making an international delivery from China to Amazon FBA by air, sea, or land, consider using a freight forwarding agent. He will make sure your cargo will arrive on time in the right conditions. Also, if you are an occasional carrier who knows little about international transport, we recommend you to find a freight forwarder who will help you along the shipping process, and you will be able to save more time and money than if you ship by yourself.
Freight forwarders play a key role in freight transportation. They advise customers about the important aspects of the supply chain.
The key services that freight forwarders provide are:
They also take care of:
Further, they help with the carrier documentation, lading bills, warehousing, and payment methods.
Regardless of the mode of transportation from China to the country of your destination, it is always best to choose a freight forwarder from China because the Chinese freight forwarder has the advantages of language and geography, becoming the ideal choice for overseas transportation. This will make the shipping process faster, will save you time, and the shipping price will be cheaper than your country’s shipping agent. In the shipping process, you will also need a Chinese warehouse for storage and preparation.
An experienced Chinese freight forwarder will have these abilities: he will be fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese; it will have a thorough knowledge of the Chinese business culture, experience in managing Chinese suppliers, category and sourcing process experience, quality control experience, audit experience, and logistics experience. Local forwarders (from the country of your destination) will often have to contact another agent in China to handle the picking, preparation, storage, and customs clearance, which will lead you to higher costs and time.
Finding a reliable freight forwarder for your shipping can be a hard task. Time, money and the success of your shipment from China to the country of your destination is what matters. In general, there are a couple of questions you can ask the freight forwarder or yourself to assess whether he is qualified for your transportation or not:
1) Does the freight forwarder have a business license from the Chinese government? – Having a business license makes everything legal and transparent for you.
2) Does the freight forwarder have an official website, and has a good ranking on Google? – On their website, you can find the necessary information about their services and costs. Not to mention that in these modern days, Google reviews are a must-have for any company that respects itself and cares for its customers.
3) Does the company have a good insurance plan? – Having a good insurance plan is very important because it will compensate for your merchandise if any damage occurs in shipment or warehousing.
4) Do they have a complete cargo tracking system to update your cargo progress in real-time? – Finding a cargo shipping partner that offers cargo tracking is crucial because you can see in real-time where your shipping is and how much it takes to arrive at the final destination.
5) You can also ask them to provide the most recent shipment record or bill of lading – A bill of lading contains all relevant details about the type, amount, condition, and destination of the goods.
6) Do they have experience with Amazon FBA- Amazon is one of the largest retailers in the world, and they have precise requirements for the items that are packaged, labeled, and stored. You can always choose to do this on your own, but it will take you a lot of time, and there are risks involved. You might end up doing big mistakes, causing rejections from the Amazon Fulfillment Center, and once they send your shipments back, it is going to cost you a lot of time and money.
7) During the consultation, were the responses prompt, with professional advice and explanations? – If you are convinced by their services, but you still have some doubts about the process, is best to try the freight forwarder with a shipment of small goods. This way, if anything goes wrong, you won’t lose a big amount of money.
In recent years, Amazon’s business has developed rapidly and has been spread all over the world, and according to your Amazon warehouse location, you can flexibly choose different transportation methods, which are mainly divided into express transportation, sea transportation, air transportation, and land transportation.
1) Express products:
There are many famous courier companies such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, and many more.
Express shipping means urgent and faster delivery, with higher prices and rates than other forms of transportation. Also, the cost of express shipping may increase during the holidays, but it can drop dramatically in the off-season.
To save money, cargo agents or freight forwarders are the best solution because they can find you an express company that gives you a reasonable price, and they can also get a discount price that you won’t find on their official website.
All courier companies use air freight to transport, so the delivery time and price are also flexible.
2) How to calculate the weight of your goods?
Become Familiar with Size and Weight Calculation Rules
Express companies have two methods of calculating the cost:
When you ship your product by express, the express will charge you based on the dimensional weight or the actual weight of the product.
There are many special products, which are bulky, but the actual weight is very light, and the express company will charge a lot according to the dimensional weight.
In other words, when the volume of the goods is larger than the actual weight is called dimensional weight – this is an estimated weight calculated by multiplying the length of the package with the width and height divided by a dimensional factor, also called a DIM divisor. Dimensional factors are numbers set by the major freight carriers, and represent cubic inches per pound. The dimensional weight is the weight of the package at the minimum density accepted by the carrier.
The formula for calculating the dimensional weight is:
Dimensional weight = Length (cm) * Width (cm) x Height (cm)/5000
Dimensional Weight: If your product package size is 50*50*50 cm and the actual weight is 10 kg the express company will charge you 25 kg weight (50*50*50cm)/5000=25 kg) instead of the actual weight of 10 kg, if you want to ship this product from China to Amazon FBA.
Actual Weight: Your product package size is 30*25*25 cm and the actual weight is 18 kg. If you want to ship this product from China to Amazon FBA, the express company will charge you 18 kilograms of actual weight instead of 3.75 Kilograms dimensional weight (20*25*15cm/5000=3.75kg).
Freight carriers like USPS, FedEx, or UPS calculate shipping charges based on whichever number is greater (actual weight or dimensional weight).
3) Tips to save money with express shipping:
Tip 1: The shipping cost is much cheaper than your own express account if you are using a China shipping agent or your supplier in China. The best way is to let your Chinese supplier help you ship the goods to the Amazon warehouse, or find a shipping agent to help you with your transportation.
Tip 2: For shipping to the United States, there are no customs duties and customs clearance fees for any goods below $800.
We recommend that you communicate with your supplier in advance and declare your value below $800 before shipping, if you buy a large quantity of goods ($1,500 or more). You can also ask your supplier to divide your goods into two shipments, and declare the value of each shipment to be less than $800. This way you will save on customs duties and customs clearance fees.
Sea freight involves large cargo ships moving vast amounts of resources between continents in standardized shipping containers. If you are not in a hurry and you are ordering quantities that are 2-3 cubic meters or more, or your load is over 500 kg, then ocean freight is often the best choice to make.
1.) Sea freight – type LCL, FCL
Less Than Container Load (LCL)
If the quantity of your goods is small and its volume is less than 15CBM, the freight forwarder will help you ship your goods by LCL. This enables importers to ship smaller amounts of cargo, which doesn’t have the right volume to make Full Container Load a viable option. This means your cargo is combined with other shipping cargos for the same destination. LCL uses CBM (Cubic Meter) as the unit to calculate the freight.
When LCL goods arrive at ports, they can be delivered by truck or by express companies because of their small size and relative flexibility.
Full Container Load (FCL)
FCL is when your cargo quantity is large enough, and you can fill one or more containers.
In this case, the freight is calculated on the basis of the whole container.
Furthermore, the container model is mainly divided into three types:
Full container load 20”GP 40”GP 40”HQ
28CBM 58CBM 68CBM
1 CBM = 1 Cubic Meter
Note that when FCL goods arrive at an American port, it can only be delivered by truck due to its large size.
2.) Shipping time from China to Amazon Fulfillment Centers by sea
There are many factors that affect transportation time, such as weather, holiday season, customs inspection and so on, and shipping time from China to Amazon FBA is about 25-35 days or longer.
United States: For the Western United States it will take around 25 days from China to the Amazon warehouse. For Central United states – around 30 days, and for Eastern United States – around 35 days to reach the Amazon warehouse.
Canada: It takes about 25 days from China to the Amazon warehouse.
Europe: It takes about 30-35 days from China to Europe (UK, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Spain, etc.).
Tip: Many products are now sent to Amazon warehouses, so Customs staff may spend more time checking your products, and it is normal to delay your delivery for 2 weeks. Especially on Black Friday, when you have to ship your products from China to the Amazon warehouse with at least 2 months in advance.
I suggest that you should ship the products to the Amazon warehouse in advance so that you can get more sales opportunities and profits.
3.) Calculate the weight and size of sea transportation
There are two methods for calculating the weight – one is calculated on a cubic basis and the other is on kilogram.
Volume: Sea Shipping to Amazon FBA requires a minimum of 2 cubic meters, it doesn’t include customs clearance and customs duties, and it can only be transported to the destination port. I don’t recommend this method because many sellers are not able to clear customs, and are not living in the US or Europe.
Weight: The US requirement for sea shipping is that the load must have at least 100 kg, for Canada 21 kg or over, and for Europe 100 kg or over.
If the dimensional weight is bigger than the actual weight, it is charged by the dimensional weight.
The formula for calculating the dimensional weight is as follows:
Dimensional weight = Length (cm) * Width (cm) * Height (cm)/6000;
For example: If you have 10 master boxes and the size of each box is 50*60*50 cm and the actual weight per box is only 10 kg, you will be charged at 25 kg per carton and a total of 250 kg is charged instead of 100 kg. (50*60*50/6000=25 kg/box)
4.) About sea shipping to the United States
The shipping cost is composed of basic freight and surcharges, as well as customs clearance and customs duties. Surcharges mainly include: LCL, documentation, AMS, customs, insurance, warehousing and trailer fees. The calculation of sea freight is more complicated, but in order to save these complicated calculations, we recommend finding a professional FBA freight forwarder for shipping from China to Amazon FBA, who will help you with all transportation and customs clearance.
In a year, the price of sea shipping is more stable than the price of air transportation. Note that the sea shipping price in the peak season may be a little higher than the off-season.
Therefore, we provide the FBA shipping Calculator (updated every month), including the shipping costs from China to the Amazon Fulfillment Centers. The reference price should help you estimate the cost of your product. The FBA Freight Calculator is calculated per kilogram. The cost includes: customs clearance and customs duties, as well as reaching the Amazon warehouse from China.
The United States is one of the worlds’ largest countries, and Amazon has warehouses in many states, so the FBA freight is divided into three parts as following:
Eastern United States: The zip code begins with 0, 1, 2, 3.
Central Units States: The zip code begins with 4, 5, 6.
Western United States: The zip code begins with 7, 8, 9.
For example: US Zip code 75241 (FTW1) is for the Western United States.
1.) The Sea freight in the Eastern United States is the highest (Zip code: 0, 1, 2, 3).
2.) Central America is cheaper than Eastern U.S. (Zip code: 4, 5, 6).
3.) The cheapest shipping is in the Western US (Zip code: 7,8,9).
When you create the Amazon Shipping Label, Amazon will automatically assign your product to a different warehouse address, and we can’t select that.
If time is essential, but your order is too large to use land transportation, airfreight is a great way to receive your goods quickly. Generally, the delivery time on this service is the same as express couriers, but depending on which flight your cargo is put on, it can be delayed for a few days.
Pricing on airfreight can get quite complex, and while it is possible to organize it yourself, you are generally better off working with a freight forwarder for shipping from China to Amazon FBA.
With this mode of transportation, the delivery time and price are more flexible than sea freight because you can choose non-stop transfer or charter services, with different airline routes. Generally, experienced freight forwarders will divide the air freight from China to the United States into three categories:
a) Economic air transportation: economical price, suitable for goods with low time requirements (no dangerous goods, oversized or temperature-controlled goods).
b) Standard air freight: reasonable price, shorter time.
c) Emergency shipping: speed priority, suitable for time sensitive goods (perishables).
2) Weight calculation
There are two methods for calculating the weight of air transport, one is to charge according to the actual weight of the package, and other is to charge according to the dimensional weight. If the dimensional weight number is greater than the actual weight, your goods will be charged by the dimensional weight. This method of calculating shipping costs is similar to express.
The difference is that for express transportation the volume is divided by 5000, and for air transportation the volume is divided by 6000.
Air transport dimensional weight calculation method:
Dimensional weight = length (cm) * width (cm) * height (cm) / 6000.
The price of air transportation will be much cheaper compared with express. For example, for the same size: 50x50x60cm, the express is charging at 30 kg, and air transportation is only charging at 25 kg. This makes air transportation is a good choice.
3) Transportation time from China to Amazon by Air
The shipping time for air freight is the time required for booking shipping space + flight time + local delivery time in your country of destination.
Air transportation time will be about 10 days slower than Express, but it all depends on the flight chosen by your freight forwarder.
From China to the Amazon warehouse in the US – The air transportation time usually takes 10-12 working days.
From China to the Amazon warehouse in Canada – It usually takes 12 working days.
From China to the Amazon warehouse in Europe (UK, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Spain) – It usually takes 13 working days.
Tip: If you use a shipping agent or your supplier, customs clearance and customs duties are generally included in the shipping costs, but you must confirm with your supplier or shipping agent in advance. After the customs clearance is completed, the shipping agent will usually arrange DHL, UPS or FedEx from the airport to Amazon FBA.
Train services are only available when shipping to Europe from China. It takes about 30 days from China to reach all Amazon Fulfillment Centers in Europe. Train is safer than sea shipping, and most of our customers choose train transportation if the product is being shipped to Europe. For train transportation, time and costs are almost the same as sea shipping to the Amazon warehouse.
1.) Dimensional weight of train transportation
The dimensional weight calculation of train transportation is the same as air transportation (with the volume being divided by 6000).
If the actual weight is bigger than the dimensional weight, it will be charged according to the actual weight.
If the weight is less than 1 kg, it is calculated as 1 kg. For example, the weight of the goods is 205.8 kg, and the shipping agent charges 206 kg. If the size is not 1 cm, it is calculated by 1 cm, for example, the size of the box is 48.5 cm * 51.4 cm * 51.1 cm, and the shipping agent calculates the dimensional weight by 49 cm * 52 cm * 52 cm.
In other words, the weight and size of the package is being rounded up to the next whole number.
Train dimensional weight calculation method:
Dimensional weight = length (cm) * width (cm) * height (cm) / 6000.
2.) Transportation time from China to Amazon via train
From China to Europe’s (UK, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, and Spain) Amazon warehouse it usually takes about 25 business days (including customs clearance).
The delivery time is always fixed. At most, the delivery may differ with a day or two. Just as with freight rates, no freight forwarder can offer faster shipping than others.
Still, there are a few things you can do to avoid getting your shipment delayed:
a. Make sure the declared customs value is correct, and it’s matching your commercial invoice and bill of lading.
b. Order according to FOB terms and ensure that the supplier prepares all export clearance documents on time.
c. Ask your forwarder to contact your supplier a few days before the goods are ready for shipment, rather than waiting until the last day.
d. Buy a customs bond at least one month before the goods arrive in the port (US).
f. Instruct your supplier to use high-quality export packaging (and be specific) to prevent repacking, before shipment.
g. Pay the balance and freight cost on time, so the shipping documents don’t get delayed.
You can also consider splitting your shipping in two, if you are running late. One part (let’s say 20%) is delivered by air, while the rest (80%) is shipped by sea. Thus, you can stock up just one week after the production run is completed.
Once your cargo enters a U.S. port or airport, your goods will face customs inspection and clearance processes. This is a job that requires advance preparation and rich experience. Three of the things you must know are: document checklist, inspection process, and HS Codes and taxes.
1. Documents to be prepared
If your goods have to be cleared by the US Customs, you need to submit these two documents: CBP Form 3461 and CBP Form 7501. If your cargo is coming in by ocean carrier, you will also need to submit an Importer Safety Declaration (ISF).
Documents to be prepared:
a) Commercial Invoice
b) Packing List
c) Bill of Lading
d) Customs Bond
e) CBP Form 3461
f) CBP Form 7501
g) Arrival Notice
h) Commodity Specific Documentation
i) Importer Security Filing
HS Codes (The 10-digit Harmonized Item Description Code) – This is the most important thing that all importers must know when importing goods. Almost every time you import an item, you need to know the HS code of the item. You can get this code from your supplier.
1) What do DDU and DDP mean in shipping terms?
DDU (delivery duty unpaid) payment incoterms mean that the receiver or customer will get contacted by customs once their shipment arrives there, and will have to settle any charges in order for the customs to release the shipment and deliver it to the customer.
DDP (delivered duty paid) payment incoterms mean that the sender is responsible for paying the duties. In many e-Commerce cases, the seller includes these duties at checkout and directly collects the payment from the customer for DDP shipping.
2) Is it better to do DDU or DDP shipments?
Because usually sending DDU shipments may appear cheaper at checkout as there are no processing fees that are added on top of the duty that needs to be paid, it is the seller’s responsibility to communicate to the customer that those duties will apply when the shipment arrives in customs.
Not being aware of the customs duties you need to pay, will attract a negative impact upon your experience. It’s very common for customers to be unaware that duties even need to be paid. Many times this is an unwanted surprise, when the customer receives that call from customs requesting payment.
To collect these duties, customs will forward the package to an independent customs broker. Because brokerage, storage, and late payment fees may apply, this can get very expensive, as all brokers are independent and each charge a different fee structure, and will be impossible to tell the customer what their final cost will be.
The reason DDP shipments are a little more expensive upfront is that express couriers will process the payment to customs on your behalf for an additional fee.
Still, these fees are fixed and can be 3-4 times cheaper than DDU brokerage fees. Some can also charge “disbursement fees”, which is a percentage of the amount of duty they will advance on your behalf.
Paying these additional fees upfront to your courier ensures that your shipment will clear customs and get delivered on time, and customs wouldn’t have to contact you directly to collect the additional fees.
DDP shipments will also reduce the chances for abandoning the shipment in customs, which would be worse for you as you’ll not only lose the products and a sale, but you’d also have to pay additional fees if you want the shipment to be returned to you.
In our opinion, DDP is a better option for small goods, and it is usually selected to be less than 2 cubic meters in volume or less than 300 kilograms in weight. No one will have unwanted surprises, resulting in a smoother delivery experience.
DDU is a better option for larger goods with a volume of 2 cubic meters or more, or a weight of more than 300 kilograms. A freight forwarder for shipping from China to Amazon FBA will help you with this process, and will usually offer you a more competitive price.
After the submission of a customs entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have the right to perform the goods inspection.
These inspections are done completely random, but if this you first time importing goods into the country, your chances are higher for your goods to be examined by CBP.
If no legal or regulatory violations have been found, your shipment will be released.
Any charges relating the inspection are billed to the importer of record directly or through your appointment Customs Broker.
All Amazon goods need to be packed based on Amazon packaging requirements. We will tell you how to make sure your supplier understands those requirements, for your goods to arrive undamaged and ready for intake to the Amazon Fulfillment Centers.
Size: Packaging dimensions measurements need to be at least 6 x 4 x 1 inches and weight at least 1 lb. (but no more than 25 inches on any side and under 50 lb. in total). – this can reduce the delays in receiving your goods.
Weight: Boxes must not exceed the standard weight limit of 50 lb., unless they contain one single oversized item that exceeds 50 lb.
– For a single oversized item that exceeds 50 lb., attach a label that clearly specifies “Team Lift” on the top and sides of the box.
– For a single oversized item that exceeds 100 lb., attach a label that clearly indicates “Mechanical Lift” on the top and sides of the box.
– Boxes containing jewelry or watches must not exceed 40 lb.
Material: Use a rigid, six-sided box with intact flaps, such as B flute regular slotted containers, which can be commonly used for shipping products overseas. These boxes are ideal for canned goods and displays.
• Boxes that are excessively large may be subject to the restriction of shipping privileges, additional fees, or refusal at a fulfillment center.
• Carton weight policies are strictly enforced. Sending overweight cartons to the fulfillment center may lead to the blockage of your future shipments.
Material: The most commonly used materials for goods packaging are boxes, poly bags, and air bubble wraps.
Wrapping: All the items should be wrapped separately. Each unit, including multiple-volume book sets, must be contained within a single, secured package.
Protecting: Use 2 inches of cushioning between each of your items and the inside of the box. After you packed your box, shake it gently, the content should not move when shaken.
Note for poly bags:
• Poly bags with a 5-inch opening or larger (measured when flat) must have a suffocation warning, either printed on the bag or attached as a label.
• They must be transparent and completely sealed.
A right labeling will allow Amazon to move your inventory to their network rapidly, and become available to sell faster and reach your customers sooner.
FBA shipping label: Each box you include in the shipment must have its own unique FBA shipping label printed from your Shipping Queue.
FNSKU: All products require a unique scannable barcode (FNSKU). Any FNSKU you use on a unit must be unique and must correspond to one unique product. For example, each assortment type, such as size or color, must have a different FNSKU.
Unit Sets must be marked as sets on their packaging. Add a label to the unit that clearly states that the products are to be received and sold as a single unit – “Sold as set“, “Ready to ship,”, or “This is a set. Do not separate.”
Warning stickers: for poly bags you can print the warning label directly with FNSKU, and then you won’t have to worry that the worker may miss labeling the warning stickers.
• When shipping multiple case packs in a master carton, apply the unique shipping label on the master carton.
• Remove all the old shipping labels or markings if you are reusing boxes.
• The labeling should be easily accessible without unwrapping the product. Avoid corners, edges, and curves.
After being aware of the packaging and labeling requirements, the next thing you’ll think about is which is the best way to put the label on the products?
There are 3 ways available, and you can choose the one suitable for your situation.
1) Label your goods by your Chinese supplier
If you are asking your Chinese supplier to label the goods for you, then make sure you will communicate the packaging requirements as specific as possible because Amazon packaging requirements are a bit complicated. Also, make sure your supplier fully understands them and do it correctly.
Ask them to take pictures to double confirm with you if they are doing in the right way. If the labeling is not right, you can ask them to redo it. Usually, labeling your goods by your Chinese supplier will not cost extra money.
2) Label your goods yourself
If you want to label the goods by yourself, you’ll have to choose to ship the goods from China to your home first.
If it is a first small trial order for Amazon, you may consider labeling it yourself because it won’t take you much time. For larger orders, additional time will be spent to label the goods one by one, and before you choose to do so, you need to consider if you can spend that additional time.
3) Label your goods by a 3rd party Prep service company
If you want to label your goods by a 3rd party company, then you’ll have to choose to ship the goods to the 3rd party. Usually, these 3rd party companies have a professional FBA team who is rigorously trained in FNSKU labeling, bundling, poly bagging, and all other requirements.
The only thing is that the labor cost in the USA is rather high, 5-6 times higher than in China. For example, if labeling one product in China costs $0.02, in the USA will cost over $0.1.
There are not as many Chinese prep service companies as in the USA. Usually, the Chinese sourcing agent company is the one who plays the role of the prep service company.
The cargo insurance covers the loss or damage of the goods during shipment, and it applies to any mode of transportation (air, sea, or land). Loss and damage can occur on some occasions, even when freight forwarders, shipping lines, airlines, and truck drivers do their best to take good care of your cargo.
It is a type of insurance that covers or compensates the buyer or seller of the goods, against cargo damage or loss of the cargo.
Your cargo has a long way until it gets to your country of destination. It will pass from hand to hand while loading and unloading from trucks and containers, through ports and inspection sites, and from a warehouse clerk to another warehouse clerk. Each step is necessary for your merchandise to ultimately reach you, and having your goods move through so many checkpoints and hands increase the chance of damage.
We strongly recommend always getting cargo insurance to give yourself the peace of mind you deserve, and save yourself from a huge hassle of sourcing replacements for damaged goods.
It usually covers damages caused by weather, natural disasters, goods handling such as loading and unloading, piracy, and other related risks.
Federal law requires trucking companies’ carriers to have some carrier liability insurance, but sometimes the minimum requirement may not be enough protection for your shipment. However, other carriers don’t have the same requirements.
These are the reasons we often recommend additional cargo insurance for our clients because it typically covers external causes of loss and damage to your shipment.
Common triggers for cargo insurance include:
When a covered event causes damage to your shipment, cargo insurance pays up to the amount you insured it for, minus your deductibles.
Additionally, freight and cargo insurance policies have exclusions. These are policy provisions that eliminate coverage for certain perils such as:
Always set aside time to understand the insurance you are working with and never hesitate to ask questions regarding your shipment.
By now, using the guidance and the information given above, you must have chosen an appropriate mode of transportation for your goods.
When shipping goods, the freight cost is an essential part, if not the most important, of the expenses of your business.
Choosing the right mode of transportation for your company, understanding how the freight moves in the supply chain, and optimizing the visibility of the supply chain will help you save money. To save even more money, you will also need to develop other business skills (discussed below); after all, transport costs are a key factor in the transport system.
As already mentioned, the costs consist largely of the logistics. And it is a mistake to believe that the simplest and fastest thing is to leave your shipment to the supplier. Most sellers make this mistake.Our tip is exactly the opposite: Never use the supplier’s shipping line, unless there is no other choice.
Instead, a carrier who is on his own side should be chosen, since this is the only way to ensure a certain control over the consignment. Sometimes, due to capacity problems, it is difficult to get a seat with the shipping companies or the airline, such as in the middle of the peak season.
It is best to pay special attention to the charges, especially for express delivery and air freight because it will save you money.
Usually, the weight is calculated in kilograms (kg), and the volume is calculated in cubic meters (CBM).
But is your cargo charged by weight or size? Let me tell you the rule.
International transport and logistics companies are based on the maximum value they can charge. For example, freight carriers like USPS, FedEx, or UPS calculate shipping charges based on whichever number is greater (actual weight or dimensional weight) – if you have a package that has the actual weight less than 31 kilograms (let’s say 29 kg), the freight carrier will charge for the dimensional weight of 31 kilograms since it is the greater number.
A) When the volume of the goods is larger than the actual weight is called dimensional weight – this is an estimated weight calculated by multiplying the length of the package with the width and height divided by a dimensional factor, also called a DIM divisor. Dimensional factors are numbers set by the major freight carriers, and represent cubic inches per pound. The dimensional weight is the weight of the package at the minimum density accepted by the carrier.
For example, if you ship a 100 cm x 100 cm x 100 cm of foam, the weight is 20 kg. Then the logistics company will never charge according to the actual weight (20 kg). Since the size of the package will be large and take up much space, the relationship between size and weight needs to be converted:
Dimensional weight (express) =100cm x 100cm x 100cm/5000=200kg
Dimensional weight (air freight) =100cm x 100cm x 100cm/6000=167kg
B) If the actual weight of the goods in kilograms is more significant than its dimensional weight, it will be calculated like this:
Actual weight of the package x cost per kilogram (this price varies from company to company).
For the logistic companies and international transport, whichever number is higher becomes your billable weight. Therefore, in some situations, to save money it is necessary to compress the package to reduce the measurement volume.
In international transportation, you always have to plan your shipment in advance because the delivery time of your goods is the crucial factor that decides the mode of transportation. Also knowing the holidays’ schedule in China and important shipping deadlines and guidelines will save you time and money because in those peak periods the shipping prices will rise sharply due to a shortage of factory and road staff and the factories are closed.
Generally, transportation costs increase in the following periods:
– Chinese New Year – Factories and facilities shut down in this period, and it’s causing price spikes and delays;
– Golden Week – This week-long festival exacerbates holiday season price spikes and delays,
– Dragon Boat Festival – for this holyday businesses typically close for three days,
– Holiday Shopping Season – Prices rise steadily over months as businesses prepare for holiday shopping (October-December for air freight), July-October for sea freight).
When transportation is relatively flat, the price will be more competitive — for example, every year after the Chinese New Year and also from March to April.
We all know that sometimes is hard to find a reliable business partner.
Ensure that your logistics partner is getting the best prices from air freight companies, steamship lines, and truckers. And also check if your logistics partner has multiple ocean carrier contracts available. If your logistics partner has more than one carrier choice available, you will have a higher chance of getting your cargo on board as cost-effectively as possible. If they have various carrier contracts, they can always find an alternative option.
Consolidating your cargo is important especially if the goods are being bought from different suppliers. The logistics company can provide a consolidation process at any port of origin, where goods from different suppliers can be stored and delivered to you together.
If air freight is too expensive, but sea freight cannot be delivered in time, you can cooperate with your freight forwarder. He can offer you the option of multimodal transportation combining air freight and sea freight with other forms of ground transportation (trucks, trains, or some other mean of transport) for the delivery.
Multimodal transportation also known as combined transportation is the transportation of goods with at least two different modes of transport, under a single contract. Legally speaking, the carrier is responsible for the entire transport, and he does not have to possess all the means of transport. . This mode of transportation might induce certain costs for transshipments and handling, but it also comes with many advantages such as centralization of responsibility in one transport operator, economies of scale in transport negotiations, use of international experience in transportation, in the field of bureaucracy and commerce, better use of available infrastructure and more efficient means of transport, focused on cost reduction, and reduction of indirect costs
Experienced freight forwarders can often find a way to achieve this goal in their communications. This hybrid approach delivers products within the right timeframe and retains the budget for the delivery of your goods.
International transport may be a complex mode of serious shipping or it may be an easy way to move freight from point A to point B choosing the most cost-effective and timely mode of transport is crucial. It is advisable to explore the various transport options with your freight forwarder to ensure that you ship your cargo at the lowest overall price.
We recommend you to find a reliable freight forwarder to take care of your shipping from China to Amazon FBA.
China Freight is an experienced, reputable Chinese freight company specialized in shipping goods from China to Amazon FBA.
We have an excellent reputation for shipping, airline connections, and good customs reputation, and we are known for offering competitive pricing and timely delivery to capture the market in the freight forwarding industry.
At China Freight, we believe that the customer’s gain is our gain. Establishing long-term relationships is the key to our success. Our principle of work is to place the customer first, together with our main values of integrity, honesty, and taking responsibility. Learning and growing have led us to be particularly successful both in shipping from China to Amazon FBA and in the international transport sector as a whole.
Our experts are ready to start your worry-free shipping journey, click here for more information, quotes, and offers.