If you are an Amazon FBA merchant and are looking to transport goods from China to the United States, this guide is for you. China to Amazon FBA freight forwarding companies has become an integral part of exports to the United States – primarily because freight forwarding from China is a necessity for the emerging e-commerce industry.
Amazon freight forwarders in China take care of all logistics and shipping needs so that buyers can focus more on their company and less on logistics. In fact, some of the best freight forwarding services from China to Amazon FBA in the United States offer affordable rates and will do everything necessary to ensure that goods arrive at their destination promptly and without interruption.
If you want to learn how your export, import, and shipping processes can be streamlined to save you more time and money along the way, then read on! Throughout this article, we break down all the essential details for Amazon FBA including shipping options, expected delivery times, packaging and labeling requirements, insurance, and so much more.
The Freight Forwarding Process
Freight forwarding is a widespread method to transport goods on an international scale – both for corporate (i.e. selling on Amazon) and personal reasons. Freight forwarder services are commonly used by small and large companies to ship to Amazon FBA from one country to another. Depending on your final destination of transport, freight forwarding can be accomplished using various carriers such as air, sea, road, and railway freight.
Freight forwarder companies may offer the following services:
- Customs clearance
- Packing of goods
- Import and export paperwork
- Storage of goods
- Inventory management
Tips for Beginners When Shipping to Amazon FBA U.S. from China
As a beginner who is preparing their products to be shipped from China to an Amazon FBA warehouse in the U.S, these are the top 3 recommendations to consider and mistakes to avoid before initiating this process.
1. Select a reputable freight forwarder company
The biggest mistake that beginners make when using Amazon FBA freight forwarding services to ship their products directly from China is not understanding the importance of choosing a reputable Amazon freight forwarding company.
Freight forwarders in China are responsible for ensuring that your goods arrive at their destination within the designated time frame, all while adhering to all government laws, rules, and regulations.
With this in mind, it’s imperative that you know who your freight forwarding company in China will be before the shipment begins, as well as what type of logistics services they offer and how much these costs will affect your bottom line.
To help you out, we’re providing you with a complete overview of the most common Amazon freight forwarding options from China, as well as what you need to look out for when hiring a Freight Forwarder in China.
2. Run a quality inspection on your goods
When the time comes to ship your goods directly from China to Amazon FBA, it’s important to keep in mind that you will not have the opportunity to inspect the quality of your goods before they arrive at the Amazon warehouse.
To give you the added layer of protection and peace of mind, many high-performing Amazon sellers recommend arranging a quality control inspection on your goods while they’re still in the factory. You can accomplish a Pre-Shipment Inspection by hiring a reputable quality control company in China to ensure that all products have been produced to Amazon’s standards.
3. Create an Amazon FBA shipping plan
Once your goods’ have been verified for shipment to Amazon FBA warehouses, it’s time to make a Shipping Plan. Created through your Seller Central account, this Shipping Plan refers to Amazon’s proposed plan for splitting your inventory between different FBA fulfillment centers in the U.S.
As an Amazon Seller, you have the ability to oversee all shipping plans by accepting, changing, or cancelling. After your shipping plan has been approved and the Amazon warehouse has been notified to expect your goods, you’ll be ready to begin the packaging and labeling process – more on this in a moment.
How to Pack and Label Your Goods for Amazon FBA
Once the Amazon warehouse has been notified to expect your goods after the creation of your shipping plan, the next step is to begin packaging and labeling your goods!
If you want to ensure you avoid any delays or rejected goods when using freight forwarders for Amazon FBA, it’s crucial that you follow Amazon’s packaging and labeling requirements for all products. Below, we have provided you with the basic FBA preparations needed for general cargo.
- FBA Packaging – Pack all products sold as a kin in one package, then use a master carton to pack each individual package. Each individual carton must display its own unique private label/FBA shipping label.
- FBA Shipping Label – Individual cartons must have their own unique Amazon FBA shipping label, as do the shipments themselves. The labels may be generated after establishing a shipment plan in your Seller Central account.
- FNSKU – Each individual item packaging must include a unique barcode generated from your Seller’s account when the product was added to the listing. Because different versions will have various FNSKU, it’s important to make sure that all items are correctly identified by color, size, and so on.
Options When choosing Amazon FBA Freight forwarder from China to the U.S or Canada
There are many options when freight forwarding from China to the United States. As Amazon FBA freight forwarders in China will ensure that all required paperwork and necessary licenses are completed before shipment, this is the best option for beginners to take advantage of. That being said, it’s just as important to select a direct shipping option that is not only convenient but also affordable to adhere to a low bottom line, no matter your unique situation.
With this in mind, here are the most common freight forwarder China options available to you.
Option #1: Ocean Freight from China to the U.S.
Ocean Freight FCL
FCL, or “full container load” for short, is one of the most popular transportation methods for shipping from China to the United States. In other words, FCL means that your goods will be loaded into a container that is 20’ or 40’ long and is filled to capacity, with no extra space.
Freight forwarders in China usually use this method when shipping at a high volume as it saves both time and money. However, it’s best to ensure that your container is completely full, as pricing is carried out at a flat rate. In other words, FCL will charge you one price, regardless of how much the container weighs.
Ocean Freight LCL
LCL, referring to “less than container load” is the opposite of FCL. With this option, you will be sharing space with other companies that are shipping out of China to the U.S. Freight forwarders for Amazon FBA in China often use this option when their client has a smaller shipment or is looking for better rates on a per cubic meter or per kilogram basis.
It’s essential to keep in mind that when you ship LCL, your items must be merged at the origin port, and unconsolidated when they arrive at the destination port. While this means that LCL shipping may take a few days longer than FCL, the price savings are usually much more favorable for smaller shipments.
Option #2: Air Freight from China to the U.S.
When you are shipping from China to the United States, air freight is usually your best option when it comes to speed. Standard air freight from China to the U.S is expected to take anywhere between 8 to 10 days while express freight services can shave off an extra 2 to 5 days. Generally speaking, many freight forwarder companies in China will use this method for small shipments because of its high degree of accuracy and reliability.
While air shipping is undoubtedly faster, it’s also more expensive. Freight forwarders in China usually price their air shipments based on the number of kilograms shipped, so it might be best to plan your shipment accordingly.
Shipping Time. Amazon FBA Freight Forwarder China to USA
When you freight forward your goods from China to the U.S., it is crucial to understand that different freight forwarders will have varying degrees of speed. For example, freight for Amazon FBA can take anywhere from a few days all the way up to several weeks depending on a range of factors including how far away your goods are being shipped from, where they’re headed, shipment size and weight, time of year, and so on.
This means that when you are looking for Amazon freight forwarders in China, you should always ask about their transit times and if they have any guaranteed services. This will help ensure that your goods arrive safely, on time, and within budget.
What To Expect
For a more transparent overview, we’ve listed some estimated timings for each shipping mode when using a China to USA freight forwarder:
- Sea Freight FCL – 14-42 days
- Sea Freight LCL – 14-42 days
- Air Freight – 1-10 days
Selecting a Customs Broker
A customs broker is an intermediary between you and customs. When shipping to Amazon, a customs broker will handle all documentation necessary to clear your goods through Customs and Border Protection (CBP) without hassle. In some cases, freight forwarding companies offer brokerage services to assist you with this process.
Don’t Forget Your Freight Insurance when Shipping from China to Amazon FBA
Finally, our last piece of advice when using Amazon FBA China to USA freight forwarding services is to never forget your freight insurance. Freight insurance is a crucial step when you are shipping valuable goods anywhere in the world.
Adequate insurance coverage includes:
- Bill of Lading (BL) liability
- Errors and Omissions
- Bailee liability for warehouse and transport operations (i.e. losses or damage to customers’ property due to various factors such as theft, collision, leakage, fire, etc.)
- Packing and container filling liability
- Container and transportation equipment coverage
- Customs liability
- Third-party liability (if necessary)
Although some freight forwarders for Amazon FBA can help your goods get insured, it’s vital that you have your own policy in place as well. Sometimes, even the very best China to USA freight forwarder can be subject to losses, and you don’t want to be caught off guard. Freight insurance can help cover unexpected losses and damages, so we highly recommend using it for your Amazon FBA shipments.
Freight Forwarder FAQ
Here are our most frequently asked questions we get asked about freight forwarding services from China to the U.S. If you have additional questions, feel free to drop us a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
+ How is freight forwarding different from transportation?
The transportation of goods refers to the delivery process alone while the freight forwarding services assist with the transportation, handling, storage, and packing – among many other things.
+ What are the common problems seen with freight forwarding?
Although freight forwarder companies offer peace of mind when transporting your goods from one place to the next, there are some common challenges they may face as well. Here are three common problems seen with freight forwarding:
- Customs clearance complications
Given that the majority of freight forwarding companies do not have the same in-depth knowledge of a customs broker, there may be some complications during customs clearance. With uneven customs regulations worldwide, it can certainly pose a challenge for some freight forwarding companies; although, this may not always be the case.
- Varying rules of competition
Based on the varying international rules and regulations, freight forwarding processes can become complicated or potentially uneven due to differing rates, fees, and charges.
With the growing demand for more digitalization, many freight forwarding companies are behind the times in offering new technology to assist their customers. Many e-commerce businesses require more up-to-date freight forwarding services offering extensive technology to track and monitor their goods.
+ Can freight forwarders be customs brokers?
As mentioned in this article, customs brokers work for the international trade community to handle the customs process for all shipments of goods to and from specific destinations (i.e. China to the U.S.).
Oftentimes, the role of freight forwarding companies and customs brokers can overlap. While it may be convenient to have these two roles merge, there are many reasons this can be problematic for the customs clearance process. For this reason, it’s important to understand the role of the representative you decide to use for your transport services.
+ Why is it beneficial to use freight forwarder services for Amazon FBA?
There are a ton of great benefits to consider when hiring a freight forwarding service for Amazon FBA. Here are some of the many ways these services may be helpful for you and your business:
- Cost-effective: working with bulk freight shipments, many freight forwarding services can save you a ton of money by giving you the lowest rates per dimensional weight compared to competitor carriers.
- Flexible: many freight forwarding services allow you to easily change your choices regarding shipment companies or specific mode of transportation without any trouble.
- Hassle-free: freight forwarding services help coordinate the entire shipment process for you. With in-depth knowledge of the technical requirements needed to ship your products through customs and into Amazon warehouses, these services make your job that much easier!
- Versatile: quality freight forwarding services are able to react quickly, solve problems, and provide solutions to nearly any issue that comes up (i.e. rerouted sea freight shipments)
- Additional services available: depending on the features that are essential to you, freight forwarding services offer several options including purchase tracking, packaging, on-demand reporting, and so on.
+ Do I need a freight forwarder for my e-commerce business?
When transporting a large supply of goods within the country, it’s best to use either a smaller carrier service designed to deliver individual parcels to customers or clients or courier services (i.e. FedEx, UPS, Purolator, etc.) for any bulk or heavy parcels. It’s also necessary to hire multiple carriers to help speed up the delivery time.
When transferring goods internationally, such as in the case when shipping from China to Amazon FBA in U.S. or Canada, it’s necessary to opt for a quality freight forwarding service. As a carrier, storage service, and in some cases, a customs broker, you will get the all-inclusive benefits using freight forwarding.
In addition, because freight forwarding services are responsible for any lost or damaged goods during transport, they are both the most reliable and accurate shipment service for your e-commerce business.
Claim Stress-Free Shipping, Just for You
Here at ForwarderOne, we know that shipping your valuable products to Amazon FBA can be a stressful process. Freight forwarders in China are sometimes unreliable or hard to work with, and there is always the risk of goods being lost or damaged during transit.
That’s why we want you to know that when it comes to finding the best China to USA freight forwarding service for Amazon FBA services, ForwardOne has got your back.
Using our Amazon FBA freight forwarders in China means you’ll get the best service at competitive rates with no hidden fees or surprises along the way. No more waiting for deliveries to arrive on time, and no more lost packages or damaged goods.
Are you ready to get started on a hassle-free delivery? Then, head over to our Amazon FBA freight forwarding cost calculator, and find out the estimated cost for your freight forwarding with ForwarderOne. All you have to do is just input your cargo information, and let us handle the rest.
Whenever you have any inquiry, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .