The Benefits of Selling on Amazon
If you’re shipping to Amazon, you already know the benefits of selling on the retail behemoth’s platform. With unparalleled traffic and reach, fraud protection, brand recognition, and scalability, sellers know that it pays off to expand to Amazon. For millions of consumers, Amazon is the first platform to check when looking to buy a product; not only is the sheer volume of available products staggering, but the delivery speed is unbeatable.
Behind Amazon's Efficient Delivery Network
For consumers, the choice is simple. But behind Amazon’s incredible delivery times lies an immense, intricate logistics network that enables the eCommerce giant to fulfill its promise of delivering millions of products to every corner of the country and beyond– quickly and for free.
Navigating Amazon FBA Guidelines and Compliance
While consumers rarely look beyond the cardboard box on their doorstep, merchants understand the reality of shipping to Amazon FBA. It’s relatively easy, but it takes work and requires an acute awareness of and compliance with Amazon’s strict guidelines. These guidelines are in place due to the massive amounts of inventory that Amazon receives every day. For your products to be allowed into Amazon FBA’s warehouses, they must be shipped, labeled, and prepped for safety in accordance with Amazon’s rules. Failure to comply with the guidelines under which the warehouses operate puts sellers at risk of penalties and additional fees.
The Value of Amazon FBA: Streamlined Fulfillment
This can initially be daunting for sellers, but it’s worth it to do the work and reap the benefits of FBA’s streamlined approach to order fulfillment. It’s not just because Amazon will pick, pack, and ship orders for you while also handling customer service and returns. The primary advantage is that your products will also be Amazon Prime eligible, giving you access to even bigger sales opportunities.
Understanding Amazon's Fees and Seller Responsibilities
Having said that, it’s essential to understand Amazon’s guidelines and familiarize yourself with their fulfillment and monthly storage fees. It’s equally important to understand the restrictions that sellers and carriers have to comply with. When you partner with eShipper, we ensure that your inventory only ships to Amazon warehouses with Amazon-approved carriers. But even when the carriers do everything right, there are several factors that only Amazon can control, which can impact you as a seller, from delays to extra charges.
Here are 9 things you should know about shipping to Amazon:
- Freight Consolidation Process and Delays in Amazon Shipments
- Amazon consolidates freight from all carriers bound for its warehouses.
- Individual shipments are not accepted by Amazon, even with Flash transport.
- When shipping less than a truckload (LTL) to Amazon, your boxes are mixed with other LTL shippers' shipments.
- The consolidation process requires more time to coordinate the delivery of goods to Amazon locations.
- This freight consolidation is a primary reason for delays in Amazon shipments.
- Appointment Request Process for Amazon Shipments
- Carriers must wait for a trailer to fill up before requesting an appointment from Amazon, leading to potential delays.
- Appointment requests are made through Amazon's online portal called Carrier Central.
- To schedule an appointment, carriers provide Amazon with the FBA number and reference ID associated with the shipment.
- Accurate FBA number and reference ID details should be provided before pickup, typically included in the special instructions of the Bill of Lading (BOL).
- Appointment Scheduling with Amazon and Potential Delays
- After carriers send an appointment request to Amazon, the scheduling of the appointment is in Amazon's hands.
- Amazon endeavors to respond to carriers promptly, but occasional delays may occur.
- Delays in appointment scheduling are typically beyond the control of the carrier.
- Appointment Acceptance and Rescheduling by Carriers
- After Amazon sets an appointment, the carrier is responsible for accepting it.
- Carriers may occasionally attempt to reschedule appointments, often due to driver shortages or other operational reasons.
- Delivery Scheduling and After-Hours Charges When Shipping to Amazon
- Carriers lack control over the scheduling of delivery appointments for Amazon shipments.
- Appointments may be scheduled outside regular business hours (9 AM - 5 PM).
- This can result in appointments being set for weekends or evenings.
- Sellers may incur additional charges for after-hours or weekend deliveries.
- The scheduling of appointments for Amazon shipments is beyond the control of both the seller's 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) and the carrier.
- Possible Delivery Rejections and Associated Charges When Shipping to Amazon
- Typically, freight deliveries to Amazon proceed smoothly.
- However, scheduled deliveries can be rejected by Amazon under specific circumstances:
- If there's insufficient space to offload a trailer.
- If there's no available dock at the time of delivery.
- When delivery rejection occurs, sellers may incur:
- Redelivery charges.
- Storage fees resulting from the delay in delivery.
- These charges are the responsibility of the seller when such situations arise during shipping to Amazon.
- Understanding Carrier Responsibilities and Additional Charges for Amazon Shipments
- Carriers are responsible for scheduling an appointment once a shipment arrives at the final terminal.
- The initial delivery charge does not include coverage for after-hours charges or storage fees.
- Additional charges may arise, but these are often only known when:
- Amazon provides the appointment through Carrier Central.
- After the delivery has occurred, such as waiting time charges.
- The possibility of these additional charges is considered after the initial shipment booking, and they are separate from the quoted delivery charge.
- Challenges in Tracking Amazon Shipments and Verification Methods
- Tracking Amazon shipments can be challenging due to inconsistent signing by Amazon and the lack of a Proof of Delivery (POD).
- Carriers typically consider the delivery complete as soon as trailers are dropped off at Amazon facilities.
- To verify a delivery, customers are advised to check the Amazon quantity status for the specific product ordered.
- Mitigating Shipment Delays in Amazon Warehouses and Best Practices
- Amazon warehouses in both Canada and the US are experiencing frequent delays and backlogs.
- Sellers can help prevent unnecessary delays by:
- Ensuring accuracy in their Amazon Bill of Lading (BOL).
- Clearly stating the business name as "AMAZON."
- Providing the full delivery address instead of just the location code.
- Supplying the correct FBA # (Fulfillment by Amazon) and Reference ID to avoid delays.
Now that we’ve covered these essentials, here are the key carriers that eShipper has negotiated rates with and that are approved by Amazon to move your LTL freight inland– both cross-border and within Canada.
|Day and Ross||Canada-wide|
|Fastfrate||Ontario to the rest of Canada||Full truckloads|
|Fast Freight||Ontario to the rest of Canada|
|Flash Transport||Within the GTA||Navan, ON not covered|
|Kindersley||Ontario to the rest of Canada|
|Speedy||Within the GTA||Currently disabled on the eShipper platform|
CANADA TO THE U.S.
|Holland Motor||East Side|
|UPS Freight||All terminals|
U.S. TO CANADA
|Day and Ross||All terminals|
|FedEx Freight||All terminals|
|Holland Motor||Ontario - All terminals|
|UPS Freight||All terminals|
WITHIN THE U.S.
You can use eShipper’s discounted UPS courier rates to ship to Amazon as well. By default, you get discounted courier rates in your Seller Central account; however, these are only for domestic shipments. If you have a courier shipment to send across the border either from Canada to the US, US to Canada or even internationally, eShipper provides discounted courier rates from UPS that can be used in these instances.
Because it gives you an instant storefront, exposure to millions of potential buyers, and hands-off order fulfillment, there’s no gateway to success like Amazon FBA. But as with everything in the fast-paced world of eCommerce, sellers must navigate this world with an awareness of the logistic limitations that are well out of their control. Having a clear understanding of these limitations, especially when shipping to Amazon, can help you devise an effective strategy so you’re better prepared for unforeseen delays– and having a trusted 3PL partner is a great place to start. Reach out to us today to learn how we can support you in continuing your growth.