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How to Ship Products from China to Amazon FBA?

2023-12-29
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How to Ship Products from China to Amazon FBA

Many businesses are looking to directly source from China, with its robust manufacturing capabilities and competitive prices. Shipping products from China to Amazon FBA has become increasingly popular in today's global marketplace, as that can be a quite convenient option for the companies.

A mature business owner needs to consider various factors such as pre-shipment inspection in China, during shipment cargo tracking, and after shipment such as customs clearance process. Let us discuss this strategy of sourcing from China for FBA in more detail in this post. Perhaps this is the very common question that crosses our mind of most businesspeople, who want to supply their products to Amazon.

How can you ship your goods from China to Amazon?

International freight cost takes a certain portion of your product cost. You will need to decide how to send your products from China to the Amazon marketplace after you and your Chinese manufacturer have agreed on terms and conditions for FBA sourcing from China.

Selecting the appropriate shipping method is crucial when it comes to ship from China. There are number of choices available, each with its own pros and cons. The following are a few typical shipping options to consider:

1. Express freight

Express courier services such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS offer door-to-door delivery with fast transit times. This option is ideal for small to medium-sized shipments but can be relatively expensive.

Express freight will be the quickest way to get products from China to any Amazon warehouse in the globe. Express shipping is suited for packages weighing between 200 and 400 kg. Whichever is heavier, the gross weight or volumetric weight is considered.

2. Air freight

Air freight is known for its speed and efficiency. It is a suitable option for small, high-value, or time-sensitive shipments. Air freight is about 10% -20% cheaper than express freight, but much more expensive than sea freight.

3. Sea freight

Sea freight is a cost-effective option for larger shipments. It is known for its reliability, especially for long-distance shipments. However, it can take longer than air freight, so proper planning is essential.

Sea shipment is the most common method of getting products to the Amazon FBA warehouse. The time it will take to ship the products from a Chinese port to a FBA warehouse in the United States, ranges from 25 - 40 days.

It is also the most cost-effective transportation technique, allowing for significant cost savings, particularly when transferring huge stocks. You can choose LCL shipment or FCL shipment according to your product volume.

Managing freight costs

International freight costs can significantly impact your overall budget when shipping products from China after you place bulk order from China. It is important to consider various factors that can affect the freight cost:

Weight and volume: The weight and volume of your shipment play a significant role in determining shipping costs. Optimize your packaging to minimize unnecessary weight and dimensions.

Incoterms: Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) define the responsibilities and costs between the buyer and seller in international trade. Choosing the right Incoterm can have an impact on shipping costs, so be sure to clarify the terms with your supplier.

Consolidation and full container load: If you have more than one shipment, choose to consolidate them into a single shipment to reduce costs. Alternatively, if you have a large volume of goods, a full container load is more cost-effective than a LCL shipment.

Understanding customs regulations

When you want to ship products from China, you must familiarize yourself with the customs regulations of your destination country. You need to consider the following:

Documentation: Ensure that you have all the necessary documentation in order. This frequently contains packing lists, bills of lading, commercial invoices, and any other pertinent licenses or certificates.

Duties and taxes: Research and understand the duties and taxes applicable to your products in the destination country. It is important to factor in these additional costs when determining the final price of your products.

Restricted or prohibited items: Some products may be subject to restrictions or may be prohibited altogether from entering certain countries. Make sure to check if your products fall into any restricted categories to avoid any complications.

Partnering with a reliable freight forwarder

Shipping from China to Amazon FBA can go much more smoothly if you work with a reliable freight forwarder. A freight forwarder acts as an intermediary between you and the shipping carriers, handling various aspects of the shipping process.

Here is why partnering with a reliable freight forwarder is important:

Expertise and experience: Freight forwarders have extensive knowledge and experience in international shipping. They can provide valuable guidance on customs regulations, shipping methods, and documentation requirements.

Negotiating prices: Because they frequently have established connections with shipping companies, freight forwarders can bargain on your behalf for lower rates. This can help you secure competitive pricing for your shipment.

Handling logistics: Freight forwarders take care of the logistics involved in shipping products from China. They arrange for pickup from the supplier, coordinate transportation to the port or airport, handle documentation and customs clearance, and ensure timely delivery to your designated warehouse.

Tracking and communication: A reliable freight forwarder provides real-time tracking information for your shipment. They keep you informed about the progress of your goods and address any concerns or queries you may have along the way.

Managing quality control

Ensuring the quality of the products you are shipping from China is vital to maintaining customer satisfaction and protecting your brand reputation. Here are a few considerations for managing quality control:

Supplier verification: Thoroughly vet potential suppliers before entering into business agreements. Verify their credentials, conduct background checks, do the supplier reliability audit in China, and request samples or references to assess the quality of their products.

Product inspection: Conduct product inspections to ensure that the goods meet your specifications and quality standards. This can be done either by hiring a third-party inspection agency or by visiting the supplier's facility yourself.

Packaging and labelling: Pay attention to packaging and labelling requirements specific to your destination market. Ensure that products are packaged securely to prevent damage during transit and labelled correctly to comply with Amazon FBA regulations.

What mistakes you should avoid while shipping from China?

The final segment of this piece will go through the most common mistakes new sellers make when directly shipping from China factories to Amazon FBA.

1. Neglecting your product inspection

Sellers and suppliers alike tend to become comfortable once sales begin to rise and your first inventory batch starts to go from the shelves. Without your knowledge, a drop in product quality may quickly lead to irreversible damage with unfavorable product reviews.

For a small cost, you can hire a reputable China inspection company to go to your supplier's facility and inspect the inventory on your behalf. This will keep you assured with a high quality level.

2. Forgetting Chinese holiday season

Chinese holidays signal the start of supply chain difficulties for Amazon sellers. The increased demand has overloaded local Chinese manufacturers. As a result, there will be a delay.

Such kind of scenarios is a nightmare for merchants who are anxious to take advantage of increasing sales, such as during the Christmas season. To avoid shipping problems, you need to check out the most important holidays to be aware of: 

1st to 3rd January: New Year’s Day
10th to 17th February: Chinese New Year 2024
1st to 4th May: Labour Day
1st to 7th October: Golden Week

3. Messing up with product packaging

When it comes to product packaging, remember the golden rule is to follow the strategies of successful sellers in your niche — there is no point in reinventing the wheel. If everyone in your position sells fragile things and uses bubble wrap, you should use bubble wrap too.

Make sure to meet the following fundamental requirements:

Ascertain that all barcodes/labels are properly attached, include the necessary information, and are scannable.

Sets and products with several parts should be packed as a single unit.

Bubble wrap should be taped and sealed shut tightly.

Apply a warning label to polybags with a 5” or bigger aperture.

Six-sided units must be used in all boxed units.

Overweight packages must be marked with additional warnings.

Conclusion

Shipping products from China to Amazon can be nerve-wracking, especially if it is your first chance. There is a lot that may go wrong, no space for errors when ordering inventory that is worth several thousands of dollars.

By taking these factors into account and working with experienced professionals, you can navigate the complexities of international shipping and ensure successful delivery of your products from China to your destination FBA warehouses.

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