Guide on International Freight for The Amazon FBA Sellers

Freight and shipping the items is a big concern for the Amazon sellers. You have found a profitable product, now the first challenge is whether you can ship it? You have to check if the Customs Department and other agencies involved in regulating what’s coming to US won’t restrict its import.

Check with the Amazon freight forwarder if there’s specific restrictions or approvals required from any agency before importing the product in to US. Double check to verify that you may not violate any patents or trademarks. You can Google about the patents and if not sure get a legal advice. Otherwise, a small mistake can cost you big money just on shipping the products.


What Freight Terms are The Best to Start?

You have done your homework to find the right supplier in China for your product and you are ready to place order with them. You need to bargain to get best price and payment terms for your order. You might get the good price but the freight terms can easily ruin your deal. There are three major freight terms for you to understand in the beginning. Most of the Chinese suppliers and Amazon freight forwarders will quote you prices and work with you on one of these terms;

Ex-Work (EXW): You will pay for everything, from the pickup of shipment at supplier’s warehouse until the final delivery.

Free On Board (FOB): When you order a full container, the supplier will pay the Chinese Custom charges and freight including the loading charges on the ship.

Free Carrier (FCA): This shipping term is for relatively smaller packages that has to be consolidated with other small shipments to fit into container. Supplier takes care of Chinese Customs and transportation charges and you only have to pay small consolidation and loading charges.

Related Topic: 3 Tips to Sourcing Amazon Products from China

FCA and FOB are good terms to start business but in each of the above three terms you have to pay transit and all the charges when the shipment arrives in US. Many suppliers do work on other freight terms but you have to be careful because there are many bad experiences out there regarding the international freight. Mostly because buyers use other options without understanding the full implications. You will keep learning once you start getting deeper into your business and get experience over time but for now this is all you need to know.

Choosing Amazon FBA Freight Forwarder

Now that you know the major freight terms and what those means while dealing with a supplier or freight forwarder. Next step is to choose the FBA freight forwarding company but before that you need to contact all the shortlisted companies and confirm few things mentioned below:

  1. Ask if the company deliver to all of the destinations that you might need.
  2. Check all the insurance options and whether your products are covered under the quoted price.
  3. Does the freight forwarding company have membership with any trade associate or the freight network?
  4. Do they have their physical presence or agents in the destination country?
  5. Check all the authentic communication options with real persons are available or not such as telephone line, email, mail, etc.
  6. Do they have any tracking system set up to check the location of your shipment at anytime?
  7. Who are their clients and have they ever handled products similar to yours?
  8. Does the company offer branded packaging, what are the charges and what packaging options available?

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