Amazon has specific requirements for FBA shipments. Some of these include:
- Packaging and labeling standards
- Specific palletizing guidelines
- Delivery regulations
- Timing requirements
Let’s explore each of these in detail.
FBA packaging & labeling requirements
FBA shipments typically require three sets of labels:
1. Amazon FNSKU label
FNSKU stands for Fulfilment Network Stock Keeping Unit. It is the barcode label that goes on the product itself. (If you’re not shipping a private label product, a FNSKU label may not be required.)
A FNSKU label serves the same function as a UPC, but for most FBA sellers, using a FNSKU is the better choice since a FNSKU is unique to each seller. This prevents goods from getting mixed up with goods with identical UPCs sold by different sellers.
2. FBA carton labels
FBA carton labels are generated by Amazon Seller Central when you book an FBA shipment. They must be printed by thermal or laser printers.
Typically, either your supplier or freight forwarder handles attaching these labels. Make sure to clarify who will manage your carton labels, since incorrect labeling can result in shipments getting delayed, misplaced, or even refused by Amazon.
Check that your labels are accurate. Here are some crucial details to look out for:
- Make sure your ‘Ship From’ address lists your forwarder’s warehouse – not their office address
- Check that your destination address is accurate
- Confirm that you’ve selected the correct carrier. If you select an Amazon carrier initially but later opt for a third-party carrier, Amazon will not refund the shipping fees.
3. FBA pallet labels
Pallets for FBA must have four Amazon shipment labels, one on each side, in addition to the carton label.
Once your forwarder palletizes the shipment, you can generate the pallet labels from Amazon Seller Central.
Here, too, it’s important to be sure about your carrier in advance.
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FBA prep & palletization rules
All FBA shipments must be delivered on pallets, except for some small parcel deliveries.
Palletization makes the handling of goods easier and also helps prevent misplacing cartons – and adhering to Amazon’s pallet guidelines is mandatory. Here are some FBA pallet requirements:
- Pallets must be wooden
- They must be US standard pallets (GMA Standard B Grade or higher), with dimensions of 48” x 40” or 122 cm x 102 cm
- Maximum pallet height: 72” (unless it’s a single unit cargo that exceeds the height)
- Maximum pallet weight: 1,500 lbs
Several other FBA Amazon palletization guidelines need to be followed strictly. Work with your freight forwarder to get the correct pallets for your FBA shipments.
FBA delivery regulations
Amazon requires products to be delivered to FBA warehouses. To deliver your FBA shipment, your freight forwarder will need to make an appointment using Amazon Carrier Central. The appointment request is based on the number of pallets, boxes, or units and the PO number or FBA shipment ID of the order.
Amazon requires appointments to ensure they can plan their warehouse inventory in advance.
FBA shipping timing
Amazon has strict key performance indicators (KPIs) for forwarders and sellers. That’s why it’s so important to provide a precise delivery time for the shipment.
In case of unavoidable freight delays, Amazon decides how much delivery window to offer. This window is determined by several factors, including warehouse unloading capacity, global events, traffic, and weather.
Keep in mind that Amazon reserves the right to cancel or postpone deliveries. It’s best to book in advance and keep some buffer time as a shipper.