Shipping from one country's FBA warehouse to another?


#1

Hi! I am an FBA seller in the US and I’d like to like to expand into Canada. The US Amazon warehouse has my inventory (over 3000 units) and I’d like to divert about 1000 to Canada. Can a shipper pick up the 1000 from the US Amazon warehouse and drop off at an FBA warehouse in Canada (I can specify which one once I create the shipping label)? Is that doable? Or would I have to ship the 1000 to my home and then have the shipper pick up and ship to Canada? Thank you so much!


#2

You can not currently do that directly.

You can create a removal order to ship to a US address for consolidation and the have that shipped across the border to be cleared through customs with appropriate re-labelling for boxes, and possibly units (FNSKUs will usually be different) before being shipped to the Canadian warehouse.

You should contact a logistics company familiar with FBA if you want them to handle the details.

Dave


#3

Thanks Dave! I appreciate it! I wish I could do “remote fulfillment by FBA” but that option is not available to our SKU yet. Thanks!


#4

It has down sides. Because of the import timeframe, more customers will cancel or declare it late and there will be more issues with returns.

It is not good for Canada.

Dave


#5

Aaaahhhhhh. Thank you for dropping some knowledge. That is so true! Never about that! Quick question, since you sound so knowledgable, Dave. :). I have 5000 units (a very small product) of a new SKU for FBA, but FBA only lets me send in 50, since it’s a new item. I know I’ll sell out in 1 day (since I have a loyal customer base that I can email). So I’m wondering if I should wait.

If I wait, it could be 6 months. But if I don’t wait, I will be out of stock on day 2, and then what? Maybe they will let me ship in 200 more? But shipping in small quantities is more expensive. And I hear Amazon doesn’t like out of stock items. What would your advice be? Really appreciate anything you might suggest!


#6

Remember that Amazon is still focused on “essential” products like hand sanitizer. They are also engaged by the government of Canada to store and distribute medical PPE supplies. That will take storage and transportation capacity. It is going to be a while (more than another month) before that will change to the point that you can ship larger quantities.

I suggest that you look into establishing temporary storage on the right side of the border (to be inbound to the warehouses you want to restock) and have them ship out suitable quantities as are appropriate from that staging area. You could ship a pallet to be kept in storage that you could ship multiple boxes from based on meeting your demand.

Dave


#7

Thank you for your council, Dave! I appreciate it! I’ve never used a 3rd party storage before. That’s a good idea. Question - would it be much more expensive than sending straight to FBA? Currently I spend about $2K on sea shipping + about $70 in monthly storage w/ all units at Amazon FBA warehouses. My fear is leveraging a 3rd party storage “staging” area would be hugely expensive. e.g. spending $2K on sea shipping to the 3rd party storage, then have them drop ship small quantities (50 and up). I probably will have to raise the price. Maybe I should just wait. But my fear is that I can be waiting for a year, before Amazon may decide to revert back. Or worse yet, they may never NOT have restrictions on total quantities. Sigh. Sorry for the rant. I really just don’t know at this point. Thank you for sharing your advice! :).


#8

Usually, the storage costs will be less than Amazon - especially, if it is on pallets and does not need to be cataloged and organized. There would also be additional costs to take boxes (or more for items) off the pallet and then reshipping them to Amazon.

I guess the key question for you is what will be the cost to you of lost revenue while waiting along with what will be the benefit for competing products or sellers.

You also need to consider what your long term position will be, especially with regard to avoiding long term storage costs and even potentially reducing your monthly storage costs for unsold items. Amazon will charge you about $55 for the storage of a pallet volume. Most warehouses will charge less. However, they will charge to prepare the shipment for Amazon and additional shipping to Amazon’s warehouses. The preparation should not be duplicated, but the rates will likely be more than at the overseas warehouse. Shipping twice will be more than shipping once.

I think it all comes back to comparing additional storage (both monthly and long term) against the loss of sales while waiting.

Regarding how long the wait will be, it is difficult to say, but based on what is happening in many countries and even within specific states, things should be heading toward a more normal existence within a few months. The products that Amazon is giving priority should gradually be less in demand on Amazon - returning toward normal levels - during or following that time. The fact that some products and some volumes are being allowed is a positive sign, but at any time, if infection rates start to increase, that may get reversed.

It is going to be a tough call, but you will need to consider the near term and long term in your strategy.

Dave

Dave


#9

Awesome and thorough analysis, Dave! Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to draft such a detailed and cogent answer! I truly appreciate you taking the time to understand my uncertainty and plight. Thank you so much! I’ll figure out next steps. Fingers crossed it’ll be soon back to normal, for the sake of all small businesses! :). Thanks!