Question about Amazon's new Amazon Warehousing and Distribution program (AWD) program


#1

Hi, I joined the Amazon Warehousing and Distribution program (AWD, also nicknamed “Amazon Upstream”), and I am currently creating my first shipment from my China supplier to an Amazon upstream warehouse with it.

(For context, AWD was just officially announced at Amazon Accelerate yesterday, but it has been available for a little while in beta to some US sellers who regularly import from China.)

I’m pretty confused on something – could someone who has already used AWD together with Amazon Global Logistics (AGL) help me?

The issue is that, upon having created the AWD shipment in the Send With Amazon workflow, I am prompted to generate the shipping labels for cartons. But the shipping labels look very different from the regular FBA shipping labels – and they don’t have addresses on them! There is no origin address, and no destination address. There is just the SKU, the FNSKU, the words “DC: IUSL” and a bar code – that’s it!

Is this a bug? Or is this intentional, and I should have my supplier use only these address-less shipping labels on the cartons? Or is there some other way I should generate labels with addresses on them?

I have already opened a ticket with Amazon Seller Support about this, went back and forth with them, and they had no idea what I’m talking about.

I’ll also mention @Tiff_Amazon here in case you could help me with this confusing aspect of Amazon’s new program. I bet other sellers interested in the new program would benefit too.

Thanks in advance!


Anyone using Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD)?
#2

(Answering my own question for others’ future reference.) I had emailed the Amazon Warehousing and Distribution Team earlier, and I just received a response from them:

“Thanks for reaching out to Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD) Team. You just need to apply these labels on the boxes. The same label will be used for receiving boxes in AWD and FBA. You don’t need to apply any other labels.”

So it sounds like I don’t (i.e. my supplier in China doesn’t) need to apply any labels to cartons and pallets other than those address-less labels that I generated in the Send To Amazon workflow. I’m surprised to hear this (and frankly it makes me nervous to think of my freight moving across the world with no written address labels on it), but it certainly simplifies things for me and my supplier.

BTW, I asked another seller on Reddit who has used AWD before, and echoed this same info: “There is an AWD ID specific to the shipments which is used to scan in the cartons. The cartons don’t need addresses because amazon controls the shipment to the Upstream storage facility end to end. Once the shipment delivers and the cartons are scanned the items will appear in your Global Inventory page.”

Hopefully this is useful for other sellers who end up using AWD + AGL.


#3

Hi SiseEnt - Thank you for mentioning me in this post and I appreciate your patience as I was supporting sellers at the Amazon Accelerate conference last week. I see that you received a response from the Amazon Warehousing & Distribution Team and shared it below. It also looks like you have a related seller support case open on the same topic, so I'll monitor that for updates. I would be happy to reach out internally and see if there are any additional details on the process. Would that be helpful for you or other sellers?

Tiff


#4

Hi Tiff, thanks for following up and I hope Accelerate was good. Yes, if you happen to learn anything else about how to set up and manage AWD (aka “Upstream” or “STAR”) shipments, or anything else about this new program that sellers might be interested to know, please do share it as we move forward. I bet I’m not the only one who will be interested. Thanks.

BTW, another thing sellers should know about this program is that (for now anyway), it’s FCL only. LCL is not a selectable option in the Send to Amazon workflow when setting up an AWD shipment. So the AWD program is only going to make sense for sellers who are importing significant volume.


#5

That would explain why they don’t need addresses on the boxes, no?

It is the container that needs to get to the distribution warehouse. If the contents see the light of day before then, you may have bigger problems to worry about…


#6

Great point audio_depot. Agreed.

Though I’ll point out that, when using AGL to ship a full container load directly to an FC in a regular inbound FBA shipment (non-AWD), FBA shipping labels with printed origin address and destination address are required. 🤷


#7

Hello again @SiseEnt - I escalated this question to see if there was any more information to provide. I was able to confirm that your current case (10781010091) is assigned to the correct team and they will share an update as soon as the AWD team has more information. You are also welcome to send additional questions or feedback through the existing case.

Tiff


#8

@Tiff_Amazon Hi Tiff,
I have a large shipment (~4000 units) going to AWD. Based on my UPS tracking information, the shipment was delivered last week, but there has been no update in seller central. (The status for the shipment in SC only shows only as created) Do you have any idea how long it’s taking Amazon to receive AWD shipments? I want to make sure my products are processed and not lost. Thanks


#9

Hi Kosha_Products:

Thank you for your message. I'll reach out to you via your case log to gather some additional details. Please look for a new case communication from me by the end of the day today.

Tiff


#10

Hi @Tiff_Amazon

Just created our first shipment to AWD and we have around 3500 units ready to be shipped. We were not able to choose Amazon’s preferred carrier so we used our own, are there any special delivery instructions we need to pass to our carrier? Don’t find any information about this. Thanks in advance for your support

Br


#11

Hi @Johan_John:

Thank you for sending this question. I'd like to ensure you receive the most accurate answer possible regarding your first AWD shipment, so I'd like to suggest opening a Seller Support case and mentioning that you are using "AWD" or "Amazon Warehousing and Distribution" program. That will help route the support question to the appropriate team. Please share the Case ID number with me once you open it so I can track it.

Here is what I found on the program detail page, which you may have already seen:

  • To book without Amazon Global Logistics and use your own carrier, do the following in Step 1 of the Send to Amazon workflow:
  • Uncheck the box next to I want to ship with Amazon Global Logistics
  • Follow the rest of the steps in the default Send to Amazon workflow to complete the booking.
  • Note: In step 3, Print upstream storage-specific box labels, separate FBA labels aren't required when shipping to Amazon Warehousing and Distribution.

Here are a few FBA related articles that may provide assistance on shipping requirements, too:

Thank you,

Tiff


#12

Nice, thank you @Tiff_Amazon :raised_hands:

We are following the standard carrier requirements. Just want to make sure the same applies for AWD deliveries :slight_smile: Case ID 11195212591

Br,


#13

Thank you! I will monitor the case replies. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Tiff


#14

what bout pallet labels?


#15

I didn’t use AGL, only AWD. Does anyone know if my Freight Forwarder needs an appointment for dropping off the shipment to the warehouse? Is the process same as for FCs? Apparently, he cannot create an appointment and my shipment is sitting. As usual, Seller support was useless.


#16

Hello @Johan_John:

Thank you for opening the Seller Support case 11195212591. I see it has been resolved earlier today. Were you able to obtain all of the answers you needed from the AWD support team?

Let me know if you need any additional support.

Tiff


#17

Hello @MERCHANDISER_PLUS:

Thank you for this question. To obtain the most specific answer for your question about pallets, I would suggest opening a Seller Support case and mentioning that you are using "AWD" or "Amazon Warehousing and Distribution" program. That will route your question to the AWD support team to provide a program-specific answer.

The AWD program also has details available within Seller Central; however, pallets were not specifically addressed on the page.

Please share the Case ID number with me once you open it so I can track it.

Thank you,

Tiff


#18

Hi Tiff, is there any way around the restriction for items with a shelf life? Our products have 3 years on them. We ship 6K unit pallets at a time which sell out in under a month.

Right now, we are locked out of shipping normally due to the limits and this is causing a lot of losses for us (thousands a week).

Any help or guidance would be appreciated greatly.


#19

Hi @ToughArmour:

Since this is a newer program for some sellers, I have been suggesting the creation of a Seller Support case and mentioning that you are using "AWD" or "Amazon Warehousing and Distribution" program. That will route your question to the AWD support team to provide a program-specific answer.

Since you mentioned that you have already connected with Seller Support, can you please share the Case ID number with me so I can review the information?

Thank you,

Tiff


#20

We had two loads delivered to AWD nearly four weeks ago but Amazon still has not located them! We opened case ID 11116130151 but they just keep telling us to be patient (they must be hoping they will eventually locate the goods, maybe next year). Patience doesn’t pay the bills. We are losing an arm and a leg. Our capital is tied up and our sales have dried up. If the roles were reversed, Amazon would be issuing warnings, threats, and penalties.

Had we known AWD was this bad, we never would have shipped our inventory there. Let this be a cautionary tale to anyone thinking of using AWD.