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Help required with Amazon FBA shipments

I received below call for assistance from Claire based in UK regarding Amazon FBA shipments that she wants to make from China to USA..

Since I have no idea about the processes and procedures involved with shipments to Amazon, I thought to post the question(s) here, so someone who probably has some info can assist..

We’ve in the process of setting up an Amazon seller account and are looking to import low-weight kitchen items, initially 500 units or pieces.

Our company would like to run an initial launch to test market response to our product/brand, hence the initial smaller consignment.

Image for reader questionWe’re struggling to keep up with all the costs, acronyms and process to send 500 units via a Chinese manufacturer to Ningbo, then Ningbo via Air Freight to Amazon FBA inspection site, in Fort Bragg, California.

There are also certain criteria Amazon require for products to pass inspection and then process onto Amazon’s warehouse/s for resale.

Do you have any advice or guidance you can offer for Chinese Manufacturers through to Amazon inspection and subsequent resale?

If anyone can help Claire with the answers, pls comment here..

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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiar
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


  1. Since Amazon is really warehouse/distribution center they, as was mentioned, will not take responsibility for anything especially acting as Importer of Record. You can obtain a Foreign Power of Attorney but you will still need a U.S. consignee EIN#. Customs will not clear without a U.S. Importer of Record. Our shipments for Amazon are DDP whether coming from the UK or China. Makes it easier when invoicing. Once cargo has cleared Customs and setting up for delivery, Amazon requires the FBA# on the delivery order. That is the only way they can identify the cargo is for them. The Shipper should supply that FBA#. I am sure there are many carriers that deliver to Amazon’s on a daily basis, one we deal with is Dayton Freight. I hope this helps some.

  2. I suggest finding out if US Customs will allow the material into the US as the first step. I do not believe Amazon takes on the liability of US Customs clearance (a small parcel company would and charge you for the service). I would check with a US Customs broker about what is needed to clear “kitchen” items through US Customs and other agencies. Certain kitchen items may need to get additional authorization from Food and Drug Administration (“food contact items”) or if your kitchen item is made out of bamboo, you will have to be concerned about fumigation/heat treatment against pest (and associated declarations).

  3. Hi, when I look at the query and have looked at the Amazon site, I went through the section on FBA. From what I have read it appears that this is Amazon’s own version of what we normally call the Incoterms rules. The latest version being the Incoterms 2010 rules.

    It must be borne in mind that the Incoterms sets out strict rules as far as risk, cost and responsibility. Under the Amazon FBA conditions, they appear to not accept any risk, cost or responsibility in getting the items to their warehouse. This would be at the risk, cost and responsibility of their client, being you the supplier from China.

    Whenever cargo of any description is moved be it internationally or even locally, there is always some risk involved. It is thus always prudent to ensure that you have adequate cargo insurance in place. Under Incoterms 2010 rules, this is spelt out clearly as to whom is responsible to take out the cargo insurance. Must admit that under some of the rules, it does state that insurance is not necessary, but any prudent seller/buyer will ensure that whilst the cargo is under their risk, that insurance is in place.

  4. Hi;

    Firstly you can check the links below for acceptable packaging and deliveries to AMAZON FBA;

    As you can see they are providing very clear explanations. You can also check youtube videos they have uploaded for packaging and shipping to Amazon FBA. If you are not able to visit your supplier on packaging documentation and shipments, these videos would be helpful I believe. But to visit your supplier and train them on these point would gain you time and money in the long-run.

    “We’re struggling to keep up with all the costs, acronyms and process to send 500 units via a Chinese manufacturer to Ningbo, then Ningbo via Air Freight to Amazon FBA inspection site, in Fort Bragg, California”

    In order to give specific answers I need to know the weight and dims of your packaging, how frequently you are planning to send and the urgency of the items also the exact location of the supplier.

    But with these info you have given, I can tell you that;
    -It is only 16 days to ship from zhejiang china to San Francisco (port-to-port).
    -If your supplier is close to Zhejiang, 1-2 days for local transportation and Oakland San Francisco to Amazon warehouse another day, maximum in 20 days your items would reach to its final destination (unless there is a problem in any customs).
    -Price would range USD 60-70 per CBM and USD 1000 for a 20ft (25 days for FCL).

    Airfreight would take 5-7 days and price would vary based on packaging, weight, dimensions, and the frequency (you may get a discount and if you have an account).

    What kind of acronyms problem you have? Working with China, I would recommend ex-works, and you arrange your freight forwarder (a reliable one), however in this case you should be able to export from China (freight forwarder or a custom broker can be used).

    I hope I could help a littlle.

    Esma Deniz Zsobrak

  5. With the order you described it is not nearly as difficult as you’re making it out to be. 500 units of some kitchen widget can probably be shipped air express using your suppliers best shipper, (DHL or UPS) They can be shipped directly to Amazon if using air express and bypass Shapero or you can have them shipped to a company like FBA Inspection to put labels and such on. The Chinese manufactueres are usually familiar with the Amazon process as well.


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