By Robert Khachatryan
Amazon shipping during COVID-19
Amazon seems to have fulfilled its goal of adding 100,000 employees to meet the heightened demand for essential products. It has also started to lift some of the restrictions for inbound shipments of non-essential goods.
However, the rapidly-changing reality of “shelter in place” continues to pose new challenges.
Planning for success with rapidly-changing trends
When it comes to selecting products, Amazon sellers face a dual challenge in these unprecedented times: first, sales are not adhering to normal trends, and second, even products within the same category are seeing widely varied success.
For example, school closures have meant that sales of some school-related products have plummeted (think backpacks, pencil boxes, lunch boxes, snacks, etc) while others, driven by homeschooling, have skyrocketed (pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks, whiteboards).
Another example: Who would have thought that sales of home theater sound systems would increase during a pandemic, while sales of smaller, cheaper speakers would plummet? But millions of people are staying home and consuming enormous amounts of TV content, and many of them are deciding to finally buy that surround system they always wanted.
And another: With many summer programs likely to cancel, the sales of backyard toys are hitting new heights.
Savvy sellers should consider what products can benefit consumers in these highly unusual times.
Solutions for storage challenges
Despite the lifting of restrictions on many categories of non-essential items, these changes in consumer behavior, as well as the need to fulfill essentials, mean Amazon is still restricting the quantities it will receive into its FBA network of warehouses.
Many Amazon sellers have been importing goods in larger quantities than Amazon will currently accept. This means that sellers need to warehouse goods, primarily on the US West Coast, to be ready to boost their inventories as soon as their stocks in FBA facilities drop.
Freightos.com freight providers are stepping in with warehousing solutions. Companies like Freight Right have over one million square feet of warehousing space available in the United States and Canada. We are holding millions of goods and feeding them into the FBA system as fast as Amazon will accept them. We expect this to continue at least through the end of May.
Whether you use Freight Right solutions or not, be sure to research your warehousing options to maintain your inventory and keep fulfillment as smooth as possible.
To learn more about how coronavirus is affecting freight shipping, check out our coronavirus shipping updates.
Robert Khachatryan is the Founder and COO of Freight Right, a logistics and transportation company based in La Crescenta, CA, catering primarily to technology-centric companies, including freight marketplaces, international freight forwarders, 3PLs, and other resellers of international freight. Freight Right is a provider on Freightos.com.