FBA Prep Services
When you ship through Amazon’s FBA service, they have certain packaging and fulfillment prep requirements for your products. Properly packaging and preparing units (FBA prep) helps to reduce delays in receive time, protects your products while in fulfillment centers, and creates a better customer experience.
What is FBA?
With FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon), Amazon requires all products to be prepared for shipping, including checks for safety and other restrictions. Amazon and other warehouses charge a premium to prep your products for shipment through FBA.
Before you send your items to Amazon, use AEB Logistics as your dedicated prepping partner. We’ll package your items to Amazon’s specifications, print and apply labels and bar codes, and ship them to a regional facility.
Best of all, we do it for LESS than the other guys – with our simple pricing model and NO hidden fees.
How we do FBA prep?
If you use Amazon’s own FBA prep service, Amazon can prepare your eligible products for a per-unit fee. AEB Logistics can perform the same prep for significantly less. We’re a leading fulfillment prep services provider, designed specifically for Amazon FBA merchants.
- We receive your products, verify quantities, and inspect for visible damages.
- We set up and notify Amazon of the pending shipments.
- We repackage, bag, and tag your products, applying FNSKU labels and even other labels if needed (choking hazard, expiration date, etc).
- We divide your products to ship out to different Amazon fulfillment centers, using either small parcel or LTL service.
How should the cargo be labeled?
Each carton in an Amazon shipment must have the proper Amazon label attached. This makes sure that it arrives safely and quickly to the correct Amazon fulfillment center.
You can print shipment labels from within the Amazon Shipment Creation Workflow or, if you already created the shipment, from your Amazon shipping queue.
Be sure to read the Amazon specifications about label placement – for example, the entire label must be visible, and no other bar codes should be visible on the carton. Also, labels should only be put on a flat surface of the box, like the side or top- avoid the seams or corners so that the barcode is clear.
If you’re shipping boxes, each box needs its own label. If you’ve got enough boxes to ship a pallet, you need four additional labels, one in the center of each pallet side.
Who Labels the Boxes?
Your supplier can label your boxes as long as they have the correct Amazon labels and understand the correct way to label the boxes.
Alternatively, if you aren’t sure whether your supplier can properly handle the labeling, AEB Logistics can label your boxes for a fee before sending them to Amazon’s warehouses. In this case AEB will need to palletize your shipment after its labeled, also for an additional fee. Palletization fees do not apply if you ship via small parcel delivery (i.e., UPS).
Which incoterm is suitable for FBA?
Use an incoterm which will create no billing to Amazon – you will pay for all the fees including delivery. The DDP (Delivered Duties Paid) incoterm is the most common, and will be the one suggested – it also costs more than average. With this term, the shipper (you) will pay for the entirety of freight travel, duties payment, and customs clearance.
A better option, one that we recommend using, is to ask for EXW (Ex-Works) or FOB (Free on Board) incoterms. These incoterms allow you to take responsibility for payment and still find the best price. Amazon will not be billed (which is what they require), and the shipper saves by using a better priced incoterm.
Remember, Amazon will not act as an Importer of Record for any shipper. This means the shipper is responsible for following international and US shipping rules and regulations. The shipper will always be responsible for any costs and risks that come with shipping.
What should I know about customs and tariffs?
Familiarize yourself with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), which determines the amount of duties that an importer must pay for a particular type of commodities. The HTS code will alert you to any trade agreements or other regulations you may need to know about the cargo.
Search the government data base to view the tariffs on your items.
Find your commodity’s category on the left, click on it, and you’ll be able to see the duty rates for the countries of origin in the first column on the right, if that country has “Normal Trade Relations (NTR)” with the US.
Keep an eye out for special sub-columns that come up for countries with special trade agreements with the US. If the country does not have Normal Trade Relations with the United States, you’ll find it in the second column – some industry people refer to these countries as “Column Two” countries.
A ten digit HTS code will be included on your product’s customs forms. AEB Logistics will use this code to fill out all necessary paperwork for both the import and export countries. AEB will also pay Harbor Maintenance Fees (HMF) for ocean freight, which comes to 0.125% of the value of the product.
You will be assessed a Merchandise Processing Fees (MPF) whether you are shipping via air or ocean, which will amount to 0.35% of the value of the product. This does not include any freight fees, insurance or other duties. The MPF has a maximum value of $485 and can never be less than $25.
All fees will be paid before your cargo reaches an FBA center, as Amazon cannot be billed for any amount.
How will the shipment arrive at Amazon warehouse?
After your cargo clears customs, the shipment is ready to be delivered to Amazon warehouse. There are two options for delivery: using Amazon-partnered carriers (which may cost a little bit more), or use your own carriers as arranged by AEB Logistics.
If you decide to use your own carrier, you need to provide AEB with a Bill of Lading (BoL, or B/L) for each shipment, so that we can schedule a delivery appointment at the Amazon warehouse. You will need to complete the Amazon FBA booking form and email it with the Amazon carrier manual to AEB. With this form, we can schedule a delivery appointment via Amazon’s Carrier Appointment Request Portal.
Because Amazon requires that all FBA shipments be delivered to their warehouse at very specific times (sometimes late at night with a very narrow delivery window), this may result in delays in the initial transit time presented for your shipment.
For LCL, only once the goods arrive at AEB’s warehouse in the country of destination can we make delivery appointment with Amazon.
Feel free to reach out with any questions about this delivery window.
How are taxes and duties paid?
The Importer of Record – which is you, not AEB Logistics – will be responsible for paying all the taxes and duties. An Entry Summary must be filed along with payment for duties and taxes within 10 days of entry submission.
Depending on the agreement with AEB Logistics, we can also pay the taxes and duties on your behalf, and we will bill the amount to you afterwards. In this case, you should have filled up Power of Attorney when you first worked with AEB Logistics to authorize us to clear the customs, pay the duties & taxes for you.
Amazon will not be responsible for or collect any duties, taxes or shipping costs associated with FBA inventory. All shipments are required to use Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) shipping terms. Any shipment arriving at an Amazon fulfillment center with collect charges, including any duties, taxes or shipping costs, will be refused without further concession.
While Amazon will not act as the Importer of Record, Amazon may be listed as the Ultimate Consignee on your shipping documentation only if the name of the Amazon entity is followed by “in care of FBA.”
Using UPS for Last-Mile Delivery to Amazon Warehouses
If you’re planning to use UPS to deliver to the Amazon warehouse itself, then your initial shipping destination will be a warehouse of AEB Logistics which will then schedule UPS pickup from there once the goods arrive.
Labeling would be handled as usual – ideally at the factory. The supplier would need to put on both the FBA labels and the UPS labels.
Alternatively, AEB Logistics can do the labeling (FBA and/or UPS) and then coordinate UPS pickup from our location. Note that we will charge for the labeling.
UPS delivery is ideal when Amazon gives you multiple destination warehouses; you can arrange for one international shipment to AEB’s warehouse, and have AEB split them up for you.
UPS will generally only take loose cargo, usually about a dozen or so boxes at a time. If your goods exceed this size or are being shipped on pallets, then UPS may have difficulty with the final transport.
Importing FBA for Non-US Based Businesses
In order to pay the required customs and duties when your goods arrive from overseas, you need to provide two contacts based in the country you’re shipping to:
Importer of record – responsible for paying customs and duties, plus any liabilities related to the customs.
Ultimate consignee – that’s essentially the official contact for the customs authority if there’s any problem.
Most US imports are done by US companies – it’s simply the most straightforward way of importing goods because the CBPA (Customs Border and Protection Agency) will only approve shipments for companies that have an American Tax ID.
Many companies get concerned that they won’t be able to import into the US if their business is not based in the US.
But have no fear – you can indeed import into the US – as long as you establish a Foreign Importer of Record. Please contact AEB Logistics for all arrangements.