As a manufacturer, once you are done producing, the next thing to worry about is shipping from China to the Amazon FBA storehouses. Questions like “cheapest method of shipping,” “how to ship from China” and “how to clear customs” also come up.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at all the processes starting from the different china shipping companies available, the total time for shipping and arranging the shipment when you are located in a different country.
#1: How to Ship from China to Amazon FBA
For your inventory to never run low on Amazon FBA, it is essential to adopt a good strategy. When shipping from China to Amazon FBA over time, the following solutions are available:
Solution #1: Ship directly from suppliers in China to Amazon FBA
Perhaps the cheapest method and the best solution possible. You do not have to go through a third party. There will also be no added cost for third-party storage and inspection.
Delivery of the goods to you ensures that inspection activities also get carried out by you. Amazon places great emphasis on quality products as well as customer satisfaction. If your products do not meet this, your listing gets closed down. As a result, this method is useful.
Solution#3: Delivery to a third party who then checks the goods then delivers to an Amazon FBA
The US has explicitly several companies who act as intermediaries to help sellers ship their goods from China to Amazon FBA. They also provide inspection services.
If the Amazon warehouse and the third-party company are in the same location, shipping from China cost gets reduced. However, it is located in a different state, the price might increase.
#2: Methods of Shipping from China
The primary methods of shipping from China to the Amazon warehouses in the US are:
Method #1: Express
The specific shipping method is the fastest and most convenient method if the goods imported are small in quantity. That is, anything less than 1000lb. Operation of the express is by courier companies thereby taking the burden of customs off you.
To ship goods from China, three major courier companies exist DHL, FedEx, and UPS. FedEx and UPS are advisable when shipping to the US. However, DHL is more useful for those shipping to Europe as they are a German company. Out of the three companies, DHL is the cheapest, but oftentimes delayed shipping occurs.
China shipping options charge for express companies get based on the dimensional weight of products and not the real importance. The formula is L*W*H/5000. For example, if you ship a feeding bottle whose actual weight is 100g but the dimensional weight is 150g, charges are calculated on dimensional weight.
Delivery costs are not static. They often change. The best you can do when looking for china shipping companies is to ask for the per kg rates of the couriers. The estimate can then be used to determine if a product is worth importing.
Method #2: Sea Freight
Sea freight offers the lowest cost of transportation and can take large cargos, but has its complications. There are various stages to using sea freight:
- The supplier ships from their warehouse to the Chinese port
- Goods are transferred from the China port to the US port
- From the US port, they are shipped to Amazon FBA.
There are two options when going through those three stages for sea freight above:
In China to Amazon FBA business, it is essential to develop long-lasting ties. Find someone who has experience shipping from China to the US. These forwarders can also offer you all-inclusive charges ship from the Amazon warehouses to other locations.
- Get your supplier to find a freight forwarder
Your Chinese supplier does not have only you as a client. He or she must have arranged to ship for other sellers. Ask them to help to ship from China. Ensure that the charges are inclusive of all costs and not just getting the goods to the port.
Customs clearance is also essential as Amazon does not offer assistance on this. A freight forwarder with custom clearing capabilities is what you need.
In China, different months have different shipping costs. You can always benchmark your expenses against the minimum of $300/CBM to ship from China to an Amazon FBA warehouse. However, if your warehouse is located in the west of the US, shipping costs are cheaper.
Shipping from China via sea takes about a month to 40 days. It is affected by various factors from festivals to forces of nature.
Method #3: Air
When your goods are over 1000lb for express, another alternative is air freight. The convenience provided by express is absent here as you have to go through customs. Therefore, you may need a freight forwarder to handle it for you.
Always remember to clarify with your forwarder that the charges presented to you are all-inclusive. Like an express, goods are charged on dimensional weight, but it is divided over 6000. That is, L*W*H/6000. Express and air shipping have almost the same time although air might take longer.
The costs of China shipping companies are also dependent on exchange rate thereby making it hard to get an accurate estimate. The choice between air and express should be dependent on the quantity and weight of goods shipped.
#3: Import Duty on Shipping from China to Amazon FBA Products
Calculation of import duty is based on:
- Customs value: Cost of product + Transport cost to port + Export clearance in China
- HS Code: Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System or Harmonized System. It is a system of numbers and names used to classify products.
Generally, freight forwarders ought to calculate the import duty, but this only serves as a guide for you to know the least amount to pay. The tax bill is what determines the actual tariff.
Arrangement of shipping from China determines who customs duty is paid to. Freight forwarders that offer all-inclusive shipping also integrate customs charges in final costs. However, to clear it yourself, you need to go to the port, customs check your invoice and give you an amount to pay. You may also need to pay a tariff before the goods arrive at the port.
Shipments under $800 are exempt from paying tariffs. However, those above need to pay duty.
#4: Customs Clearance of Products through Shipping Options from China to Amazon FBA
The customs clearance is the tricky stage. As a result, hiring a customs broker, logistics company or freight forwarder to assist is advisable. Going through these individuals means getting expert help which saves you a lot of time and money.
Finding a freight forwarder is quite straightforward but, ensure you get a US freight forwarder as they are closer to the location of the warehouses. A freight forwarder with a bed record is likely to have problems clearing your goods. Ensure you choose someone with a good rating.
For documents required to clear your goods at customs, they include:
- Commercial Invoice
- Certificate of Origin
- Bill of Lading
- Bill of Entry
- Packing List
- Importing country required documents
- Financial papers
- Other materials
#5: Compliance Certificate
Certain products need a certificate of compliance before they can be introduced. China shipping companies also require this for products like electronics which have restrictions on them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulates goods a wide imported or domestically created in the United States. Non-compliance to the rules can bring a fine of up to the US $15 million.
Also, by not having the certificates, customs and hold your goods and Amazon will not create a listing for your products. It is also essential to check the Amazon site for rules on certificates.
#6: China to Amazon FBA Products Barcode and Box Requirements
For boxing size and weights, China to Amazon FBA Products has different requirements. So, endeavor to read the site documents carefully. The boxes on the site should:
- Not have any deformity
- Master carton should be double-walled and corrugated
- Multiple-standard item in boxes should not exceed 25 inches on either side
- Boxes must not exceed 50lb for more than one thing and 40lb for watches and jewelry
- Shipping label
- FBA label
- Team lift for over 50lb boxes
- Mechanical lift for above 100lb boxes
- Battery identification for air and express freight
Barcodes are for inventory tracking in Amazon FBA. There are two classes of barcodes for product identification:
- Amazon barcode (FNSKU or ASIN)
- Manufacturer barcode (ISBN, UPC, EAN, GCID or JAN)
The printed labels must include:
- SKU or ASIN
- Item condition
- Name of product
Getting the FNSKU or FBA label is easy. Just print it from the Amazon system which generates it.
So, there you have it. All you need to know about the shipping from China to Amazon FBA process. If you want to get a quote, feel free to contact Zigpac. And you can click here to know more about Amazon marketplace: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Marketplace.