Ship Smarter, Not Harder: Avoid Amazon FBA Late Fees with FlockDirect
If your business relies on frequent LTL shipments to distribution centers, you’re well aware of the fine line you must constantly walk to ensure your deliveries arrive on time. And with Amazon specifically, you have a defined delivery window
There are ways to ensure that you meet all delivery requirements Amazon lays out, and we’re here to help break them down. But first, in case you’re unfamiliar with Amazon’s FBA program, we’ll go over the basics with a quick refresher.
Fulfillment by Amazon 101
New to the distribution center game? Welcome! You may not be quite as familiar with the ins and outs of Amazon LTL shipping. If you’re just starting to explore how the FBA fulfillment model could work for your business, here’s a brief overview of how it works.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a program in which you ship your goods to an Amazon fulfillment center, and Amazon does the rest. Once a customer purchases one of your products, Amazon is responsible for packing, shipping, and tracking that purchase—as well as following up on any customer service needs that may occur along the way.
Products fulfilled through the Amazon FBA freight forwarder are eligible for Amazon’s coveted free “Prime” two-day shipping, making them even more attractive to a large swath of Amazon customers. This translates to potentially higher sales for you, as free shipping can often be the deciding factor of a product purchase. Other benefits of using Amazon’s FBA include:
- Wider exposure to a massive customer base
- Top product placement
- Built-in bulk listing and reporting tools
- External support for customer shipping and service
- Customized shipping rates
- Better SERP rankings in the search engines
Of course, there is a cost for convenience. Depending on the delivery model you choose, you’ll either pay a small fee per item sold through Amazon (currently around $1), or a monthly subscription of $40 to sell unlimited goods. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in other costs such as inventory storage fees, returns processing fees, and others.
Amazon FBA Shipping Requirements
In order to become an Amazon seller, you’ll first need to meet a series of delivery requirements to ensure Amazon can fulfill your orders in a prompt and efficient way.
- You must use pallets, and they must be of a specific size—40 inches by 48 inches, to be exact.
- Your shipment can’t go over 5,000 boxes.
- Your pallets need to be labeled on all sides.
- Your bill of lading (BOL) must be printed, not written out, and needs to meet a set of specific guidelines to be accepted for delivery.
- The carrier must get your shipment to the fulfillment center on time—or you risk incurring a late fee.
How to Avoid Amazon FBA Late Fees
While many of the above points are completely in your control, once the pallets have left your loading dock, their fate is often left in the hands of the carrier. There are some things that you can do to help guarantee your LTL shipping makes it on time, and you subsequently stay on budget.
- Ensure your BOL is properly filled out and meets all of Amazon’s requirements. Otherwise, Amazon will refuse your goods upon delivery… and your items will be late.
- Pay for faster (but pricier) truckload (TL) service to avoid hub-and-spoke terminals and slowdowns.
- Utilize a freight broker that partners with trusted carriers to ensure on-time delivery—like Flock Freight!
Flock Freight’s premium FlockDirect algorithm ships your LTL freight via shared truckload service, which combines freight from multiple shippers that’s moving in the same direction into one truckload. With shared truckload, you receive truckload (TL) service without the exorbitant cost—so your delivery doesn’t suffer from slowdowns or damage due to frequent unloading. We match your shipment to the perfect carrier on the most efficient route, so it travels straight from your business to Amazon’s fulfillment center. We’ll help you ensure your BOL is in tip-top shape, and give you full control over your pickup and delivery schedule—at no additional cost.
Try FlockDirect for your next LTL shipment, and see the Flock Freight difference.