International Freight Forwarder and Customs Broker Based in China

Step-by-Step Guide to Amazon FBA Shipping from China (2024 version)

Table of Contents

1. Understanding Amazon FBA Requirements


As an e-commerce business owner looking to sell on Amazon, certain guidelines and requirements need to be adhered to. Sellers must always comply with fixed policies on the types of products accepted in fulfillment centers as counterfeit and hazardous materials are prohibited.


2. Preparing Your Products in China


Generally, as a business owner, it is important to source products from suppliers that are reliable and have quality goods. Aside from the fact that only products with good quality can be sent out to inventories at fulfillment centers, you should only relate with suppliers that can consistently produce the same quality of products to build brand credibility and customer loyalty, save time and prevent losses.


A few tips that can help you find trustworthy suppliers include:


●identifying your business needs,
●researching market trends and industry to identify the best suppliers,
●asses potential suppliers in the location you are considering, in this case, China,
●verify their credentials before choosing a supplier and finally,
●order samples from them before buying the actual amount you need.

You can verify supplier credentials by asking for their certifications, checking out their web presence and making enquiries about them with sellers they have previously worked with.

Product inspection and quality control are required to confirm product quality, its compliance with the defined standards and ensure the safety of customers. Hiring third-party inspection companies is especially useful when you are dealing with suppliers for the first time.



Amazon FBA has policies that every FBA seller must comply with to prevent the refusal of your product, payment of additional charges and damages during transit. When it comes to labeling packages, the eligible products must be prepared and packed according to the required box size, and weight limit.

They must be correctly labeled with the product name, condition, quantity and a scannable barcode (UPC, EAN, or ISBN) which is later converted to an FNSKU number. Sellers must also include expiring dates for perishable goods and warnings on dietary supplements and medications. In Some cases, a team lift label is added for heavier packages.

This detailed labeling ensures proper product identification and inventory tracking to ensure that goods are not misplaced goods or delivered wrongly.


3. Choosing a Shipping Method


As a business owner, product shipping requires careful consideration since there are many types. However, you need to choose the one that suits your business needs. The three major ways to ship products from China include Air, Sea and through express shipping.

Express shipping is limited to small shipments and involves the use of international couriers like DHL, FedEx and UPS, which means that you do not have to go through the stress of customs. Express freight is convenient, and fast and the delivery takes about 3-5 days. On the other hand, Air Freight shipping occurs by air, it is fast but more complex than express shipping and it prevents products from getting damaged easily, it usually takes about 7-14 days.



Ocean Freight is a type of shipping that is cheaper than air freight but it is very slow and less reliable as ships can be prone to bad weather, port congestion and customs issues. Delivery usually can take about 25-40 days.


4. Working with Freight Forwarders


When it comes to international shipping, the role of freight forwarders is vital. These professionals are responsible for the logistics of goods from one location to another. They act as intermediaries between those sending the goods and the receivers which could be companies, individuals and entities that transport them.


Also, freight forwarders handle customs clearance, international documentation and regulation, cargo insurance, and logistics. They are international experts who ensure that goods move smoothly across international borders. Some of the factors to consider when selecting reliable freight forwarders include:

●Their experience and knowledgeable expertise on challenges and regulations that apply to your goods
●A global and extensive network of partners and connections that can provide more options for the routing and delivery of your products
●Range of services they provide. For example: custom clearance, warehousing, cargo insurance
●Reputation and customer satisfaction, ensure you check out reviews from those who have worked with them in the past.
●Creative technologies and communication can help improve the efficiency of their operations.
●Companies that use technology and innovative solutions to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their operations.
●Reasonable cost for value delivery.



Additionally, it is important to maintain effective communication with your freight forwarder and provide the necessary documents and information needed to secure your cargo and easily track your shipments. Some of these documents needed for shipping include a customs declaration or commercial invoice, bill of lading contract, export license, export packing list, certificate of origin statement, inspection certificate and shipper’s export declaration document.


5. Customs Clearance and Import Duties


One must always comply with the trade regulations of Customs and pay import duties and taxes to ensure that goods are processed correctly and to avoid unwanted repercussions. Based on the regulations of international trade, certain documents will be required at customs to assess, evaluate and protect your shipped goods.

To prevent delays at customs, ensure that the contents of these documents are correct and consistent. Some of the documents required for customs clearance and import duties include:

A commercial invoice: also known as The Goods’ Identity Card is a detailed portrait of your shipment. It contains the full names and addresses of the shipper and consignee, a precise description of your goods (types, quantities, materials), the correct Harmonized System (HS) code for each item, declared value in the currency of the sale, and the terms of sale.

Packing list: this provides a detailed inventory of your shipment, listing each package type, quantity, weight, and dimensions.



Bill of lading/air waybill: this is your Proof of Passage which serves as your contract of carriage with the shipping company, documenting the journey of your goods from origin to destination. It details the shipper, consignee, notifying party, port of shipment/arrival, type of vessel/aircraft, and identifying marks and numbers for each package.

Certificates of origin:  This document verifies the country where your goods were manufactured and sometimes it helps lower your import duties.


6. Shipping to Amazon FBA Warehouses


To ship goods to Amazon FBA warehouses, you’ll need to fill out a shipping plan in Amazon Seller Central. An Amazon shipping plan is a set of shipping instructions that allows you to send multiple inventory shipments to Amazon under strict guidelines and requirements. With this, you can save time, money and ensure that your products arrive at Amazon’s warehouses safely.

First of all, you will need to set up a seller central account and create listing pages for the products you want to ship to the Amazon fulfillment center. Thereafter, you will send in your shipping address, freight forwarder information and other accurate details about your products such as the number of items ordered, dimensions of shipping boxes, units per shipping box, and weight of the shipping boxes.


After choosing how you want your goods to be shipped, that’s when you create your shipping plan for Amazon FBA.

To create and submit a shipping plan you will need to:

●Select the items that you want Amazon FBA to carry from your inventory,
●Pack your units or items into shipping boxes according to Amazon fulfillment center requirements,
●Confirm shipping by verifying Amazon shipping destinations and fees before selecting the shipping dates and methods and
●Print FBA box ID labels after confirming your shipping details.

Another major thing you should pay attention to prevent your goods from being rejected is the labeling requirements for Amazon FBA shipments. They include:

●FNSKU labelings which indicate that the seller has sent his or her shipments to the Amazon fulfillment center,
●Sold as set Labels which inform Amazon about the units that are supposed to be sold in sets and must not be separated and sold individually,
●Suffocation warning Labels on products protected by polythene bags and should be kept away from children to prevent suffocation and
●Shipment labels which are labels required to be placed on the outermost packaging/cartons of the product to inform Amazon about the shipment details.

Sometimes, one shipment can have its cargo assigned to more than one FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) location but Amazon will assign a different FBA ID for each fulfillment center, so your shipment may have multiple FBA IDs which will incur additional warehousing costs.

If your shipment is split into multiple fulfillment centers, ensure that your supplier labels the FBA shipment IDs for each fulfillment centers, so that each product is sent to the right fulfillment center. But if you would prefer to send your Amazon shipment to a single fulfillment center, you are required to sign up for Amazon’s inventory placement program.


7. Receiving and Managing Inventory


Amazon FBA receives shipments from sellers and processes them between two- to six days. However, this can be delayed due to some factors such as the holiday season, missing shipments or unforeseen delays, staffing problems, errors in processing, FBA storage restrictions, etc.

These discrepancies and issues can be addressed by:

● identifying the cause,
●Recording and reporting the discrepancies
●Correcting and adjusting the discrepancies and errors
●Reviewing and analyzing the discrepancies and errors
●Prevent and reduce discrepancies
●Learn and improve from the discrepancies and errors

Furthermore, the common issues can also be resolved by monitoring inventory status, ensuring that your product is properly packaged and labeled according to the requirement, planning holiday inventory ahead of time, Choosing freight forwarder companies that are knowledgeable in Amazon FBA, Shipping your inventory to the right fulfillment center, using the right shipping method for your goods and managing inventory properly.

Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Inventory management is a system that allows your business to organize, track, and optimize your product inventory in their fulfillment centers to manage your inventory properly.

You may also need to employ replenishment strategies which are necessary to maintain inventory levels. To monitor inventory levels using Amazon Seller Central:

●Log in to your Amazon Seller Central account
●Click on the ‘Inventory’ tab
●Set up automated replenishment orders if needed.


8. Cost Management and Optimization


While you ship goods as a business owner, it is also important to control expenses and allocate resources to be cost-effective.

Before we leave, here are some tips that can help reduce shipping costs:

●Using Amazon’s partnered carriers for discounted shipping rates to help save significant costs.
● shipping rates from different logistics service providers and choose the one that meets your business needs and delivers quality.
●Consider alternative solutions like drop shipping or splitting your packages into smaller parcels for ground shipping instead of air shipping as this can help bring down costs.
●Choose the right packaging that can protect your products during transportation and is lean enough to maximize space. This helps to reduce the weight of your goods and eventually the fees charged.
●Utilize technology such as shipping software to help automate tasks and manage inventories
●Find a reliable logistics partner/freight forwarder who is familiar with Amazon FBA requirements and can be trusted to deliver quality goods on time and in good condition.

Finally, as you navigate your journey in the world of e-commerce, here are a few strategies that can give you an efficient inventory turnover:

●Aim to maintain around 60 days’ worth of inventory
●Consistent communication with your supplier is crucial
●Lower the Demand for Your Product if Running Low on Inventory
●Reduce excess inventory that isn’t selling
●Plan for the unexpected
●Use Inventory Management Softwar