While every eCommerce merchant focuses on selling their product online successfully, shipping from China to Amazon FBA can be a challenge, especially when trying to sell on Amazon.
A major budget consideration for eCommerce and Amazon FBA sellers alike is they are always looking to reduce the cost of shipping from China to the Amazon warehouse.
Choosing the right freight forwarder can be almost as important as the right supplier making it one of the most important decisions for Amazon FBA sellers trying to send their goods to the Amazon FBA warehouses. Does this describe you and your business?
In this article, Forceget will outline how to optimize and leverage shipping costs from China to Amazon FBA.
How to Navigate Shipping Your Amazon FBA Inventory
One of the most important ways for you to succeed on Amazon is to always stay in inventory. The cost of running out of inventory can be cruel for Amazon FBA sellers. Therefore, Amazon FBA logistics becomes more and more important for all sellers.
When it comes to shipping from China to Amazon FBA, everyone thinks that using ocean freight is the best solution to deliver to Amazon FBA. The question is whether shipping from China is truly so simple and problem-free? Unfortunately, while having to live through pandemic conditions, there have been major logistics issues in the industry, as you may have noticed already.
Some recent news has shown that every Chinese and American seaport has delays with a growing number of boat schedules causing severe congestion day after day. Ocean container prices increased almost 400% compared to last year, it is exceedingly difficult to find a space in one for products.
Again, sound familiar? However, eCommerce and Amazon FBA sellers continue shipping from China in record numbers.
Many Amazon FBA sellers make a cost calculation before they start sourcing products from China including product cost, shipping cost, PPC, and so on. As it happens, most of the sellers make a mistake on shipping costs from China.
To help you avoid these same stumbling blocks, here are some of the most important facts every Amazon FBA seller needs to consider before making a decision about shipping Amazon FBA inventory from China.
#1 Find the Right Shipping Method
There are several shipping methods you can use. Every Amazon FBA seller who works with different margins will pursue different strategies. You may choose between different transportation methods such as by sea, air, or courier (door to door). Air shipments are the most expensive, but fastest. Ocean freight is most budget-friendly but slowest. So that brings us back to how do we optimize shipping costs from China to Amazon?
Recently, the most popular shipping method among Amazon FBA Sellers has become Sea DDP method. DDP is door-to-door delivery that includes freight, customs clearance, and local delivery. This is the easiest and is currently the most preferred delivery method for eCommerce and Amazon FBA sellers, at least once they discover this type of service.
#2 Make sure you Understand the Shipping Terms
Nowadays, Chinese factories know very well about Amazon FBA Logistics and Amazon FBA warehouse requirements such as outside carton size, pallet size, labeling, and so on. However, many are not very clear about the shipping terms while it prepares the sales contracts for Amazon FBA sellers.
If the factory does not clearly explain its shipping terms, there can be extra costs while your product is en route from China to Amazon FBA warehouses.
The best way to avoid these problems is by simply asking your supplier to explain the shipping terms they offer in detail and which China local charges are included in the price. This way you can feel confident there will be no surprises and that you know your total cost clearly.
#3 Choose a Reliable Freight Forwarder
When it comes to choosing the right freight forwarder for your shipments, there are many options on the market. Be careful here as most freight forwarders do not offer all the costs to their customers such as destination port charges or destination custom charges. This causes a big headache for Amazon FBA sellers because extra cost means losing their profit. It is especially important for Amazon FBA sellers to work with an Amazon FBA logistics specialized freight forwarder. (ProTip: Amazon audits are a great way to monitor the cash flow of your Amazon FBA business.)
Forceget Digital Freight Forwarder has been helping Amazon FBA sellers since 2015, helping them choose the most efficient ways of shipping from China, by sea or air, with the most transparent prices. Our customers may use our digital freight platform to track their shipments online. Our DDP, door to door, service is commonly used by Amazon FBA sellers.
Using our digital freight portal helps many Amazon FBA sellers save time on communication and Amazon FBA inventory planning as you no longer must chase after a person for status updates. We always offer door-to-door service and include all the costs from the factory location until it arrives at the Amazon FBA warehouses. The intent is that you know your exact landing costs and can more easily control and understand the costs more easily.
#3 Plan your Delivery at Least 90 Days in Advance
Last-minute shipping is always expensive and the time it takes to ship ocean freight from China to the US is more complicated than ever. Shipping durations to the west coast may take anywhere from 14 to 22 days, and then it may take 25 days to 35 days to reach the east coast. Unfortunately, these dates may extend more than several days due to a high volume of ocean shipping demand such as for winter holidays, customs delays, or global events like the pandemic or a ship getting stuck in a major shipping route like the one that blocked the Suez Canal.
We highly recommend for Amazon FBA sellers place their orders far in advance. Especially as the world is trying to recover from the global pandemic, there are still considerable raw material shortages in China also extending shipping dates.
#4 Make sure your Products are Packed Properly
It takes you weeks to decide what product you want to sell and then spending much time and money on developing it to make your dream a reality. Finally, it is ready for production.
When finished, it is time to book shipping. But what if all the product is damaged while shipping to the destination? Please make sure you inform your supplier about using correct packaging otherwise, everything may be ruined before your goods even leave the boat and never even make it to Amazon. Discuss how they will be packaging and securing your goods to help prevent as much damage as possible. Get detailed and don’t be shy. You can even ask for pictures before they load it up to see just how they did it.
#5 Get cargo Insurance
Cargo insurance provides you with coverage for all the risks while on the road. You can be sure that goods will arrive to you securely. If something happens to your cargo during transportation the insurance provider must cover the loss. Insurance costs can initially look like an extra bill you have to pay, however, it might save you thousands of dollars in a single unfortunate incident.
#6 Storage Limit Solutions
After the pandemic, Amazon fulfillment centers could not handle the number of shipments they had been receiving every day. There were faced with many operational issues due to the sheer volume of product coming in. The solution the company came up with was to reduce FBA storage limits. Most of the Amazon FBA sellers were caught off guard with nowhere to store their goods.
We recommend keeping in mind that there are other options out there such as Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) and Third-Party Logistics (3PL) warehouse options that may bring more flexibility to Amazon FBA sellers.
In summary, shipping from China can be difficult at times for eCommerce and Amazon FBA sellers. If you take anything away from this blog, and for the rest of the GETIDA Amazon FBA reimbursement audience, the most important points are to be sure you plan your shipments in advance, choose the right freight forwarder, and make sure you talk through everything very clearly with your Chinese suppliers.