How to Ship From China to Amazon FBA: A Comprehensive Guide
You’ve decided to start selling on Amazon. Good for you! Amazon is a great platform with a ton of potential. But before you can start selling, you need to get your products to Amazon.
And that’s where shipping from China comes in. Shipping from China can be a bit daunting, but it’s not as difficult as it seems. In this article, we’re going to walk you through the entire process of shipping from China to Amazon FBA. We’ll cover everything, from finding a China-based freight forwarder to shipping your products to Amazon. So let’s get started!
Step 1: Choose the Right Shipping Method
When shipping products from China to Amazon FBA, you have a few different shipping methods to choose from. Let’s take a look at each one:
Sea Freight to Amazon FBA
The most commonly used method to ship goods from China to Amazon FBA is ocean freight. Amazon sellers who wish to ship their products from China to FBA in the most cost-effective manner prefer this method. Since shipping by ocean takes longer, this method requires early planning. With ocean freight, you can choose between FCL (Full Container Load) and LCL (Less Than Container Load), which saves you even more money because you can share a container.
Transportation time from China to Amazon Fulfillment Centers
Shipping times for sea transportation are protracted. Shipping from China to Amazon FBA takes about 25-35 days. Many factors affect transportation time, such as weather, customs inspection, and force majeure.
USA: It takes about 25 days from China to Amazon warehouse in the western United States. It takes about 30 days to reach Amazon warehouse in the central United States. It takes about 35 days to reach Amazon warehouse in the eastern United States.
Canada: It takes about 25 days from China to Amazon warehouse in Canada.
Europe: It takes about 30-35 days from China to Europe (UK, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Spain).
Calculate the weight and size of sea transportation
Sea transportation shipping costs vary much of the time. However, as a guide, you ought to pay someplace around $200 for every pallet or $300 for every cubic meter.
Other factors for additional costs are port charges, customs clearance, document fees, storage fees, and domestic transportation fees.
Sea transportation dimensional weight method:
Dimensional weight = Length (centimeters) * Width (centimeters) * Height (centimeters) / 6000
Sea Freight + UPS Combined or Air Freight + UPS Combined
Sea Freight + UPS Combined and Air Freight + UPS Combined are not widely used, nor are they considered the traditional shipping methods for international trade.
Most companies providing the two methods are China freight forwarders, as not all shipping service companies can provide this service. Moreover, only when the goods are shipped to Amazon warehouses can you ask for this service from those China Freight forwarders.
Sea Freight + UPS vs Air Freight + UPS:
Under traditional sea freight or air freight, forwarders will find a truck to transport the goods to the Amazon warehouse after the goods arrive at the destination seaport or airport.
In contrast, under Sea Freight + UPS and Air Freight + UPS, UPS will be responsible for the local logistics and transport of the goods from the landing port to the Amazon warehouse.
We’ll share a reference price below so you can do an initial calculation for your shipment to decide on the best shipping method for your shipments:
Sea Freight + UPS Combined:
If you think traditional sea shipping is too slow and air freight or express shipping costs too much, Sea Freight + UPS will be a good alternative. The price for above 100kg of goods going to the US is $1.5 – $2.
Air Freight + UPS Combined:
Air Freight + UPS combined shipping takes a few days longer than express shipping, but the price is 10-20% lower than express. Also, you do not have to wait for your goods to reach over 500kgs to use this option. The price for above 100kg of goods going to the US is $3.8 – $5.
Air Freight to Amazon FBA
Air cargo shipment is the finest decision technique for transporting huge measure of items at affordable prices. Also, it is perfect for wholesalers who require to rapidly fill their stock.
Choosing this alternative is useful over the long haul. If you are low on produce and require your items to continually in stock.
Using China Air Freight Forwarder is the best option when your cargo’s weight is more than 200 KG and is more than 2 CBM. ABL Logistics recommend that you always use a freight forwarder based in China when shipping air freight, as they can leverage their high-volume rates to get you a much lower cost than your China suppliers or if you tried to arrange the shipment yourself.
As a rough estimation, you may hope to pay about $4 to $6 for each kilogram for airship shipping from China to Amazon within the United States. Yet you will likewise need to represent customs clearance charges and duties.
Air transportation dimensional weight method:
Dimensional weight = length (centimeters) * width (centimeters) * height (centimeters) / 6000.
Transportation time from China to Amazon by Air:
Air shipping time will be around 10 days obtuse compared to Express. Yet everything relies upon the flight picked by your forwarder.
China to Amazon distribution center in the US: Takes 10-12 working days
China to Amazon stockroom in Canada: Takes 12 working days
China to Europe (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, Italy) Amazon warehouse: Takes 13 working days
Express Shipping to Amazon FBA
Express delivery time from China to the US and Europe:
The transportation time for Express delivery is the fastest compared to other courier services. Here are the delivery times for the famous Express courier services.
- DHL: 2-4 business days
- UPS: 2-3 business days
- FedEx: 2-3 business days
Express shipping from China to Amazon FBA is ideal for shipments with volume and gross weight of under 1 CBM and 200 KG, respectively. The chargeable weight is either the gross or the volume, whichever is higher. The formula used to calculate the volume weight (using the metric system) is the total CBM divided by 5000.
Typically, China freight forwarders can get a discounted shipping rate for shipments of this size from carriers like UPS, DHL, and FedEx. Getting a quote from your freight forwarder in China may be advantageous if you already have an established relationship in China if a problem arises during the transit.
Rail Transportation to Amazon FBA in Europe
Rail transportation is just accessible when delivering commodities to Europe from China. Cost and time are nearly equivalent to rail and sea transportation to the Amazon warehouses.
It takes around 30 days for the parcel from China to arrive at all Amazon Centers in Europe. The train is secure compared to ocean shipping.
Dimensional weight of train transportation
The dimensional weight estimation of the train is equivalent to air transport, and the volume is distributed by 6000. In the event that the real weight is greater compared to the dimensional weight. It will be measured by the real weight. In the event that the weight is under 1 kg, it is determined as one kg.
Dimensional weight method:
Dimensional weight = length (cm) * width (cm) * height (cm) / 6000.
Transit time from China to Amazon via Rail
From China to Europe (UK, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Poland) Amazon distribution center. For the most part, takes around 25 business days (counting customs clearance).
Step 2: Find a China Freight Forwarder
Now that you have an idea of what you’re shipping, it’s time to find a reputable China freight forwarder to get a quote. This is an important step, so you’ll want to make sure you do your research. You can also consult your freight forwarder for available options if you are unsure which shipping method to use.
Ask around for recommendations, read reviews, and compare prices. Once you’ve found a good fit, be sure to communicate with them frequently, so there are no surprises along the way.
Step 3: Run a Quality Inspection on Your Products
After your product is manufactured, the next step is to run a Pre-Shipment Inspection on them to ensure your products are produced to your and Amazon’s standards. When you ship goods directly from China to Amazon FBA, you won’t have the opportunity to inspect the product quality before they arrive at Amazon’s FBA. ABL Logistics recommends you arrange a quality control inspection while your goods are still in the factory.
Fortunately, these services are relatively affordable in China. When shipping with ABL Logistics, we offer the option of quality control services at your supplier’s factory or in our warehouses.
Step 4: Create an Amazon Shipping Plan
After you’ve sourced your products and got them verified for quality, it’s time to prepare your Amazon Shipping Plan in Seller Central. This is where you’ll tell Amazon how you’re going to get your products to their warehouses. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do that from Amazon.
Step 5: Package and Label Goods Correctly for Amazon
The next step is to have your goods packaged to Amazon’s standards.
Amazon has very specific requirements for shipping, and if you don’t follow them, your items could be rejected.
Here are the basics: Each item needs its own barcode, and that barcode needs to be printed on a label attached to it. The label also needs to include the product’s brand, product type, weight, dimensions, and UPC code.
China factories can follow simple instructions for putting labels on the product’s packaging. A quality control inspection can help you check whether the factory correctly labeled everything. However, when you need a more complicated process for FBA labelings, such as having multiple SKUs for different varieties or products needing kitting. A better option for these instances is to find China Freight Forwarder who can do FBA prep.
Step 6: Get a Container Loading Check Inspection
Now it’s time to get your container loaded and shipped to Amazon. But before you do that, you’ll need to have a loading check inspection. This is to ensure that the goods are loaded correctly and that there are no damages.
The inspector will check the container for visible damages, and he or she will also weigh it to make sure that the weight is correct. Your China Freight Forwarder will need to be there during the inspection, so make sure they have all your paperwork ready.
Step 7: Get Your Shipping Documents in Order
Now that you’ve gathered all your shipping documents, it’s time to get them in order. This is where a lot of people fall down, because the process can be confusing. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!
First, make sure that your commercial invoice is accurate. This document lists all the items you’re shipping, their value, and their specs. You’ll also need a packing list, which just confirms that you’re shipping the items listed on the commercial invoice.
The next document you need is the bill of lading. This is a legal contract between you and the carrier, and it outlines all the details of your shipment. Finally, you’ll need a customs declaration form. This one is self-explanatory—it declares the contents of your shipment to Customs.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! We can help you with all of these documents. Just reach out to the ABL Logistics team and we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step and clear the customs for you.
Step 8: Track Your Shipment
Now that your shipment is on its way to Amazon, it’s important to track its progress. This will help you ensure that it arrives safely and on time.
To track your shipment, you can use a tool like China Customs’ Tracing System. This will allow you to see where your package is at any given time, as well as the expected delivery date.
If you’re using an Air Express method like DHL or UPS, you can easily track your shipment using the tracking number that the shipper will provide to you.
You should also keep an eye on your email inbox for updates from Amazon about your order. They will let you know when your package has been received and when it has been shipped out to the Amazon warehouse.
You can also track your shipment through your reputable and established China Freight Forwarder.
For example, at ABL Logistics:
- We will keep you updated on the progress of your shipment.
- We will provide you with the detailed shipping plan.
- We’ll send a copy of the bill of lading for your shipment.
- We’ll track the customs clearance and send an actual copy of the Entry.
- We’ll send you the summary for your reference on the charges.
How to Send Directly from Alibaba to Amazon FBA?
You can also use Alibaba to ship directly to Amazon FBA. As a B2B international trade platform, Alibaba also offers logistics services. After you order from Alibaba, you can enter ship.alibaba.com to compare, book and manage freight.
This process is a little more complicated, but it’s worth it if you want to save on shipping costs. Here’s how it works:
- Create an account on Alibaba and find a supplier who can ship your product directly to Amazon FBA.
- Work with the supplier to create a shipping plan that meets Amazon’s requirements.
- Send the product to the supplier’s warehouse.
- The supplier will ship the product to Amazon FBA.
- Receive credit for the products you’ve shipped to Amazon FBA.
It’s great that you can make a simple comparison and estimation of FBA shipping costs by yourself on Alibaba. But most Amazon sellers will let the supplier arrange the shipping because their suppliers always have long-term cooperative freight forwarders, and they can get more competitive prices.
If you choose to find your freight forwarder to ship from China to Amazon FBA, you need to ask your supplier to quote you FOB or EXW price. Then, ask your China freight forwarder to send your goods from a loading port closest to your supplier or your Chinese supplier’s warehouse.
Tips for Direct Shipping from Alibaba to Amazon FBA
Many Amazon sellers complain direct shipping from Alibaba to Amazon FBA has high risks, especially without QC before FBA shipping. The suppliers may not package or label your products correctly, or they will send out defective products. All of these factors can affect your amazon ranking. Also, you will hurt your ranking if your products are out of stock due to shipping delays.
It is a good move to get your products shipped directly from Alibaba to Amazon FBA if you’ve often ordered from a reliable supplier. However, if it is your first order from a new supplier, you must hire a QC team or an agent to aid in quality control inspection, FBA labeling and packaging, etc.
Pros and cons of direct shipping from Alibaba
Shipping directly from Alibaba has a few key benefits. First, it’s cost-effective—you can get your products shipped for a fraction of the price you would pay if you used a freight forwarder. Second, it’s fast—products can be shipped within 2-3 days, which is much faster than the 7-14 day turnaround time you can expect with a China freight forwarder.
However, there are some drawbacks to shipping directly from Alibaba. First, you’re responsible for handling all the shipping logistics yourself, which can be daunting if you’re not familiar with the process. Second, there’s no guarantee that your products will be delivered safely and intact, which is something you can count on with a freight forwarder.
Overall, shipping directly from Alibaba is a cost-effective and fast option, but it’s important to be aware of the risks involved.
Notes from ABL Logistics
If you want to deal directly with Alibaba suppliers, choose a reliable, experienced supplier who can manufacture products and ship according to Amazon specs and customer directions.
Keep in mind that many staff in Chinese manufacturers still cannot speak English very well, which leads to misunderstanding, producing products, or packaging & labeling not meeting requirements.
In this case, you will need a sourcing agent in China to help you choose reliable Chinese suppliers, communicate, negotiate prices and arrange shipments for your Amazon business.
Ship With A Reputable China Freight Forwarder
If you decide to go with a Freight Forwarder, remember that when choosing a China freight forwarder, you must go with a company you can trust. Make sure to read reviews and do your research before making a decision.
As a leading freight forwarder in China, ABL Logistics provides a FULL range of services, from sourcing from China to quality control to warehousing and door-to-door shipping.
Our mission is to help businesses wanting to manufacture from China by dedicating our resources and ability to plan, oversee, and finalize productions. And then ship the exact product they are looking for directly to their warehouse or home.
You’re at the final step of your business plan. You’ve researched, planned, and created a product that you know people will love.
By following our guide, you’ll be able to ship your products from China to Amazon FBA quickly and efficiently, putting you one step closer to success.