How to Start Shipping from China to Amazon FBA

When we talk about running a successful Amazon FBA business, shipping goods plays a substantial role. Whether it is the first shipment to Amazon FBA or restocking your inventory, it can get a little bit complicated.

To make it easier for you, we created this comprehensive guide you need to know about shipping your products from China to Amazon FBA and how to do it efficiently and effectively.

What is FBA?

What is amazon  FBA

In case you didn’t know yet, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a popular service that deals with storage, shipping goods, and customer service for Amazon sellers.

Amazon sellers can pass responsibility for all fulfillment to Amazon for a fee.

Biggest Mistakes that Beginners Make When Shipping from China to Amazon FBA

Biggest Mistakes that Beginners Make When Shipping from China to Amazon FBA

Successful Amazon FBA shipments include planning, following regulations, and collaborating with an experienced freight forwarding company. Make sure you avoid these pitfalls when starting shipping from China to Amazon FBA.

·        Breaching the guidelines and restrictions of Amazon

When we talk about storage safety, Amazon is 100% strict. It’s essential to meet the package’s shipping labels, sizes, and weight limits.

If an Amazon seller ignores or doesn’t follow such requirements and continues sending products overseas (that are prohibited), they may be charged a fine and face bans from selling on Amazon.

·        Sending damaged products to Amazon FBA

Imagine if your goods reach the Amazon fulfillment centers looking shattered, broken, or otherwise damaged. Expect that it will not be going to sell. Amazon could instantly reject your air shipment.

The worst-case scenario is when Amazon rejects the goods, and you have to ship goods back at your own cost, not to mention the damaged goods themselves are considered a waste.

·        Choosing the wrong freight forwarding company

Choosing the best freight forwarder can be challenging. The pricing can vary, with others charging twice as much as others for the same service.

When shipping to FBA, freight forwarders should understand the process of dock appointments and deal with the foods with care from beginning to end.

How to Ship Directly to Amazon FBA from China?

How to Ship Directly to Amazon FBA from China

You can choose from the three methods if you want to ship from China to Amazon FBA.

1.      Ship the goods through a prep service company then to the Amazon warehouse

A prep service company is considered a third-party company, helping you deal with transport goods, transportation, and customs clearance, perform product inspection, and label the goods as per Amazon-specific requirements.

One of the benefits of this method is you can return the products to the factory if any quality concerns are discovered.

2.      Ship to your home and then to the Amazon warehouse

You’ll have no opportunity to check your goods if you send them to Amazon FBA directly. This option lets you fix any concerns before your customers buy them. It will remove the risks of poor customer reviews.

Nonetheless, this solution comes with added transportation costs from your home to the FBA warehouse. It will help if you look for the nearest Amazon warehouse from your home and compute the transportation costs.

3.      Direct shipping from China to Amazon FBA

It’s the most convenient way to ship goods to an overseas importer. You ask the Chinese supplier to handle the shipment or hire your FBA freight forwarders. It will help if you ship from China to Amazon FBA directly, particularly if you use an express shipping company like FedEx or UPS.

When to Ship Directly and When to Use a Middleman

When to Ship Directly and When to Use a Middleman

You can have your goods shipped directly to Amazon FBA. Nonetheless, you should find reliable Chinese suppliers who will prepare the goods following the shipping and packaging guidelines asked by Amazon. Also, you need a third party who can offer all the certifications for your goods to be sold in the consumer’s country.

On the other hand, if your supplier in China ships to a third-party freight forwarder, they can inspect the goods, preparing them for FBA. You can also have the Chinese suppliers ship the goods as a consolidated shipment.

That shipment can be grouped into separate packages for inspection, preparation, and shipping to the fulfillment center.

The initial capital outlay for a middleman consolidated shipping is higher, but proper preparation and inspection could offset the higher upfront costs, as you guarantee a good FBA relationship.

The Pros and Cons of Shipping Directly to Amazon FBA

The Pros and Cons of Shipping Directly to Amazon FBA

Now that you’re fully aware of the science behind Amazon FBA, it’s time we take a closer look at the good and the bad that it provides.

The Benefits

  • Fast and free shipping

  • Your products will be associated with the Amazon brand

  • Fulfillment across numerous channels

  • Amazon handles return management and customer service concerns

The Drawbacks

  • Shipments to numerous Amazon fulfillment centers are complicated

  • You can’t use partnered carriers

  • You cannot inspect the orders domestically before it gets to Amazon

Amazon Shipping Process

Amazon Shipping Process

So, you have done your homework and discovered a killer product to sell on Amazon. Your job here is not done, though. Now, you must find a reliable Chinese supplier eager to ship your goods for a reasonable price. You also must guarantee that the products meet the quality standards of your Amazon marketplace.

1.      Finding the right shipping methods depends on your requirements.

Of course, the most typical seller option that enables you to enjoy the popular Prime Options is FBA. With this, you ship inventory to Amazon. They store it in their warehouses and pack and ship the goods.

They take over most tasks after you list a good on the site. Remember that you need to pay extra shipping costs for Amazon to take over some jobs. Still, it is the simplest option for your products to be qualified for Prime Shipping.

That includes Prime’s 2-day shipping. Some of your items could also mean Prime Now or Prime Pantry. Other types of items may be qualified for Subscribe and Save.

2.      Find the right China freight forwarder.

For an Amazon FBA seller like you, fast shipping is essential as you must never run out of stock. A freight forwarding company uses its network to guarantee smooth and fast shipping. That way, you don’t need to send concerns to numerous companies and wait days for their offers.

Also, without a reliable freight forwarder, you wouldn’t be able to see every route available and thus could not tell which route would be the cheapest and fastest.

3.      Quality inspection before shipping from China to Amazon FBA.

Maintaining top quality control to guarantee your goods are high quality is essential to keep your customers satisfied and safeguard your business’s reputation. It’s also important to satisfy Amazon’s FBA requirements for safety and quality so you can continue selling your products through the program.

The inspection must include a quality control check to ensure your goods meet the quality standards for your business.

4.      Package and label goods correctly for Amazon.

Amazon needs to accept the shipment when it reaches at their FBA fulfillment warehouse to guarantee that your products and shipment have all the proper packaging, barcodes, and labels.

5.      Find a customs broker to do the customs clearance for your amazon shipment.

Remember that a customs broker guarantees that your products clear customs throughout the shipment process by being the middleman between you and customs. A customs broker also informs the freight forwarder of the important documentation to have the products cleared and prepare and submit it to get customs clearance from the customs.

A customs broker is vital as a problem at customs could delay your entire shipment. Most freight forwarders provide brokerage services, so they can also act as your customs broker. That saves you from hiring a separate company.

6.      Buy freight insurance for your Amazon shipments.

Freight insurance is a type of protection that covers the risk of physical loss or freight damage during shipment.

7.      Tracking your Amazon shipments.

There are two forms of tracking details you must check regularly. First is the tracking info for your inventory arriving at the Amazon fulfillment centers. The second is the Amazon fulfillment service tracking order information, which your customer will get after placing an order.

Methods to Ship to Amazon FBA from China

Methods to Ship to Amazon FBA from China

Three major shipping methods are available: express shipping, air transportation, and sea freight. You must identify the most suitable shipping method for shipping products overseas from China to other countries.

Express (DHL/UPS/FEDEX) to Amazon FBA

When to choose Express?

Air express shipping is considered the fastest option accessible when using shipping companies such as DHL, UPS, and FedEx. Express delivery can be extremely cost-efficient if you are shipping cargo with a gross weight of fewer than 20 kilograms and a volume of one cubic meter or less.

On top of that, the logistics company will charge you based on the volume or weight, whichever is higher.

Depending on the value of goods to plan to import, customers may still apply. Nonetheless, the process is less complex than it is with air freight. You can also prevent requesting quotations.

Express shipping is practical for low-quantity shipments that may order to identify the product’s viability or its demand before placing a bulk order with your Chinese supplier.

How much does it cost for Express Freight from China to Amazon FBA?

The cost of air express shipping to America will range from about $4 to $6 per kilogram. These express shipping costs have risen to over 10 percent after the COVID.

How long is Express from China to Amazon FBA?

Express shipping can be expedited overnight or within three to five days.

Air Freight to Amazon FBA

Air Freight to Amazon FBA

When to choose air freight?

One of the best things about this shipping method is it arrives faster than sea freight. Suppose your cargo’s gross weight is less than 200 kilograms and two cubic meters. Air transportation is one of the most cost-efficient shipping methods accessible.

How much Air freight to Amazon FBA from China?

Air transportation may be less costly than air express shipping per kilogram. Even though it’s faster than sea freight, air transportation is also subject to more restrictions. from China to the USA, Amazon fba by air freight usually costs 5USD/KG-8usd/KG depending on the charge weight and products name.

How long is Air Freight to Amazon FBA?

Air freight is a more complex shipping method than express shipping. This shipping method will take at least 5-10 days to transport the goods from China to the United States following departure.

Sea Freight to Amazon FBA

Sea Freight to Amazon FBA

When to choose sea freight?

Are you shipping a cargo weighing 400 kilograms or more and with a volume of 2 cubic meters or more? Then sea freight is the best shipping method for you.

How much sea freight to AMAZON FBA?

On the good side, sea freight lets you ship bulky, heavy goods cheaply and is subject to fewer restrictions. by Ocean DDP methods cost 2.5USD/KG -3.5USD/KG based on the product’s name and charge weight.

How long is sea freight to Amazon FBA from China?

Sea freight is comparatively slow. Depending on the products you must transport, sea freight could take up to a month to arrive at a US port.

Remember that it may be efficient to invest in faster transit now that air freight capacity is back to sync with passenger travel. Also, last-minute shipping is always expensive, and sending sea freight from China to the US is more complicated than ever.

The journey to the west coast may take at least four to six weeks, and the journey to the east could take about 5 to 7 weeks. That’s why we highly suggest that Amazon FBA sellers organize and plan their delivery for about 35-60 days beforehand, especially if they choose the sea freight option.

How to Find Reliable Freight Forwarders for Shipments from China to Amazon FBA

How to Find Reliable Freight Forwarders for Shipments from China to Amazon FBA

Suppose you are shipping cargo in and out of China. In that case, you should find a reliable freight forward partner that you can depend on.

·        Search online

Try a simple Google search, and you’ll find a selection of freight forwarders who can ship your shipments from China to Amazon FBA. Make sure you do your due diligence and choose only the most trusted.

        Social media

Various social media accounts are also filled with numerous freight forwarders. Some of the platforms you can use are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others.

·        Recommend by your China Suppliers

All of your China suppliers should have their standard China Freight forwarder if their factory is experienced do international business for their products. so you can ask them to recommend a standard for you.

Welcome to read this article to get a better idea. How to Find and Select a Freight Forwarder in ChinaThis will be similar when Searching Amazon Freight forwarders from China.

Things to Look for When Choosing a China Freight Forwarder.

Things to Look for When Choosing a China Freight Forwarder.

Most freight forwarders claim excellent capabilities in China, but only a few deliver on that promise. This section covers the top things you must look for when choosing a reliable freight forwarder in China.

1.      Understand the import customs clearance process in China

When looking for a reliable freight forwarder in China, you must understand China’s customs. Duty payments must be top of your mind.

It will help if the freight forwarder you pick has experience in your chosen industry. They can use that expertise to pick the right HS code and tell you the shipping documents you must ready to guarantee a smooth import process.

One of the questions you may like to ask your forwarder is about their experience in the market. The longer the freight forwarder has operated in China, the more knowledgeable they are.

For instance, DFH Global Logistics is a licensed and trusted freight forwarder in China with decades of experience. You can count on us for all your shipping needs.

2.      Dependable capacity

Look for a freight forwarder with robust relationships with top China or Asia-based carriers. Forwarders with pre-booked space agreements with such carriers can guarantee available capacity for emergency and ongoing freight.

3.      Local knowledge

No freight forwarder has its solution for each need that may arise throughout the shipping process. You might require emergency trucking services at a remote location in China. In such scenarios, success depends not only on what you know but on who you know.

A freight forwarder who has operated in China for years will understand what local partners can depend on to react fast without compromising service quality.

4.      Owned offices

Be extra careful of freight forwarders who service China through agents. A China shipping agent may be experienced, but service and communications may suffer with an agent model.

A forwarder that handles its network of offices works under customer-centric SOPs across global offices, leading to service-level consistency.

5.      Bonded warehouse capabilities

Other freight forwarders provide 3PL capabilities, which may involve bonded warehouse services in China. That can benefit companies importing goods to China and wishing to defer duty payments until goods are bought locally and shipped out to customers.

The Pros and Cons of Shipping to a Third-Party Logistics Company (3PL)

The Pros and Cons of Shipping to a Third-Party Logistics Company (3PL)

Third-party logistics companies offer warehouse processes, transportation, and other supply chain functions for their partner companies.

Here are the pros and cons of shipping to a 3PL:


  • Outsourcing to 3PL companies has been proven to lessen the time needed to process returns and minimize the need to hold inventory for contingencies.

  • They can make strategic suggestions and perform supply chain functions at a high level because it’s their core function.

  • 3PL companies stand at the vanguard of IT advancements in the supply chain.

  • The key to its success is to scale to meet growing customer demand or move into other market verticals.


  • Unless contracts are correctly structured, as costs to supply such functions, the company outsourcing its logistics could see its cost perks melt rapidly.

  • Companies outsourcing to these companies must be eager to incorporate their IT functions to make new, secure network settings for their logistical data.

How to Package Your Cartons for Amazon FBA

How to Package Your Cartons for Amazon FBA

It’s simple to get overpowered by the requirement details of Amazon FBA packaging. However, if you break them into categories by type of shipment and product, they make a lot of sense.

Here are the general packaging requirements of Amazon:

  • Every unique product or unit type should have a unique FNSKU.

  • Every unit should have an exterior scannable barcode with matching readable numbers, which are easily accessible.

  • You can utilize Amazon barcodes (FNSKU or ASIN) or manufacturer barcodes (ISBN, EAN, UPC, GCID).

  • Existing barcodes on the shipping boxes’ exterior should be rendered unscannable. That can be performed by covering the redundant code with a black felt tip or tape to block it out. That guarantees the wrong barcode can’t be accidentally scanned.

  • Every unit, including various volume book sets, should be in a single secure package.

  • Units may not include numerous pieces needing assembly by Amazon.

FBA Items Sold as Boxed Units

Do you plan to ship boxed sets to Amazon FBA warehouses? Ensure you follow these guidelines:

  • Boxes containing watches or jewelry should not exceed 40 lbs.

  • Boxes may not surpass the standard weight limit of 50 lbs. unless they have one single oversized item that exceeds 50 lbs.

  • Boxes containing different standard-size items should not exceed 25 inches on any side. That limit may be topped if the box has oversized units measuring over 25 inches.

  • If the product doesn’t pass the test, it should be placed inside a poly bag with a suffocation notice.

  • The box unit should pass a 3-foot drop test with perforated openings or sides. It involves one drop on every side and one drop on a corner.

  • The box shouldn’t breakdown when medium pressure is applied to any sides.

  • If the box can be opened easily, staples or adhesives should be used.

  • Boxed units should be 6-sided and have openings that won’t open independently.

How to Label the Goods for Shipping to Amazon FBA

How to Label the Goods for Shipping to Amazon FBA

Any labeling on the product packages of your Amazon goods should comply with their regulations, such as:

1.      Labels should be printed in black and white

Amazon obliges every label to be printed in black and white. Also, a removable adhesive should be used, and no labels should be non-reflective. For more prominent labels, the general size must be between 1 X 2 inches and 2 X 3 inches.

2.      Spacing on barcode labels

Labels placed and printed on the packages should have white space around the barcode with an ASIN or SKU number included in the label. Companies wishing to add their barcodes to the packages should also offer a GS1 standard UPC barcode.

3.      Proper printer usage

Amazon sellers should ensure the proper types of printers are used. Inkjet printers must not be used as they can be hard to read in certain scenarios.

4.      Label placements

An Amazon seller should guarantee the proper barcode on the items. The other barcodes shouldn’t be visible or on top of the prep materials. Labels must not be placed on the package’s curves or corners.

There should be a 0.25 inches gap between the package and the label.

Amazon Requirements for Product Compliance Documentation

Amazon Requirements for Product Compliance Documentation

Product compliance documentation means complying with policies related to selling particular items. Amazon sellers should offer proof that their items are safe for custom use.

Some of the documentation a seller needs are the following:

  • UL – a non-mandatory certificate in America that applies to test the product’s safety.

  • FCC – most electronics and electrical goods sold in the US must get this certification.

  • CPC – this is issued by the US manufacturer or importer, certifying the product is compliant with every CPSIA requirement.

  • FDA – any food or drug product must have this certification.  

How Do I Track the Amazon Shipments from China?

How Do I Track the Amazon Shipments from China

There are different ways you can track your Amazon shipments.

·        For express cargo

Visit the air express shipping company’s site and input your DHL air express tracking ID number.

·        For air or sea cargo

Small freight forwarders often don’t have a system where you can check your cargo’s shipment status. In that case, you can ask their sales team to know where your cargo is.

You can also track the status of the goods through sea shipping companies and airline companies. If you wish to know when your items pass through customs clearance or ship to the Amazon FBA warehouse, you can ask the freight forwarder to help you schedule the shipping.

Documents Needed for Shipping from China to Amazon FBA

Documents Needed for Shipping from China to Amazon FBA

Other products need certification or extra documentation. Research your good’s Harmonized Tariff Schedule code beforehand to understand the documents needed for your product upon importing.

Some examples of product categories with particular documentation are:

  • Products using Bluetooth technology should be registered with the Federal Communications Commission.

  • Medical devices, medicines, and other goods that impact the human body may need FDA registration.

  • Creams, powders, liquids, batteries, and other hazardous materials need a Material Safety Data Sheet.

  • Children’s products need Children’s Product Certificates given b a CPSC-accepted lab.

Also, the commercial invoice must be complete and accurate. The information should match the corresponding fields on the packing list. You must have all the certifications and documentation needed for your imported product.

Apart from the commercial invoice, other documents you need are a Bill of Lading, packing list, etc.

Do You Need to Buy Insurance for Shipments from China to Amazon FBA?

Do You Need to Buy Insurance for Shipments from China to Amazon FBA

Yes. Your business’s protection is why Amazon wants its sellers with professional selling plans to have insurance. It offers protection from unnecessary scenarios. Commercial general liability insurance is suitable as the policy will safeguard your assets and cover financial obligations leading to litigations, injuries, or accidents.

If you are an FBA seller, you will benefit from the convenience of having Amazon pick, pack, and ship your items for you. However, you must comply with the platform’s insurance requirements to achieve such benefits.

Obliging sellers to carry insurance helps the company safeguard its brand, customer experience, reputation, and Amazon warehouse functionality.

While those extra steps might seem like a hindrance in the path to setting up your seller account, you can also benefit from fulfilling those insurance requirements. That’s because Amazon will cover the costs of property damage and personal injury claims under $1,000 for FBA sellers with valid insurance.  

Tips to Save Cost for Shipping from China to Amazon FBA

Tips to Save Cost for Shipping from China to Amazon FBA

Despite the advantages of selling on Amazon, FBA shipping costs can become expensive. Buying, packaging, and shipping your products is costly, even before considering custom clearance fees and Amazon seller fees. Here are some saving tips to help you minimize your Amazon shipping fee:

1.      Partner with a dependable China Freight Forwarder.

International shipping is a complicated and costly process that needs expert knowledge. Hiring a dependable FBA shipping company and freight forwarder helps guarantee you don’t ignore important factors like shipping labels, product packaging, taxes, and customs clearance.

2.      Pick the best shipping method

Choosing the best shipping plan and method is the most cost-efficient way to lessen the shipping and freight costs of sending inventory to the FBA amazon warehouse.

Explore all available shipping methods and find opportunities to save. You can consider sea freight since it has a low sea shipping price.

3.      Ensure you have the right documentation

You must perform your custom duties when shipping goods from China to Amazon FBA. Failure to process mandatory documents may lead to delays, product confiscation, and expensive customs clearance fees.

4.      Amazon Shipment Package Optimization

We know the international shipping chargeable weight based on the volume and gross weight. So when it comes that Diametion weight is bigger than the gross weight. Optimize the package can help to save much cost.

5.      Avoid shipping during Chinese public Holidays.

From our 13years experiences of shipping from China oversea, the shipping price after or before each Chinese public holiday is higher than on standard days. Meanwhile, after each public holiday, many goods waiting to ship out from different China suppliers, That also makes the shipping time not stable. It may be longer than common working days.

6.      Label and pack cartons under the Amazon package requirements.

This is very important to ensure your products and cartons are Labeled and packed correctly before shipping out from China. If your suppliers don’t help to handle this, or you can’t do it yourself. Then cooperate with a China Freight forwarder who provides these kinds of services.

FAQs about Shipping from China to Amazon FBA

Q: Can you ship from China to FBA?

Yes, you can. In fact, there are three ways to do this. You can select to ship from China directly to Amazon’s FBA warehouse. That method is cost-efficient and faster than other options. Meanwhile, you can decide to ship it to your home first or utilize a middleman for quality inspection before shipping it to amazon.

Also, air freight is the fastest way to ship your goods to Amazon FBA warehouses. It can be helpful for sellers who are shipping lighter or smaller items and need the goods to arrive quickly.

Q: Can I ship directly from Alibaba to Amazon FBA?

Amazon FBA and Alibaba are nearly indispensable. If Amazon is the home for consumers, Alibaba is the home for sellers and retailers. Wholesale suppliers like Alibaba have supported FBA sellers to meet the demands of their consumers for more than twenty years.

If you wish to sell directly from Alibaba to Amazon FBA, here’s what you need to do.

  • Open your Seller Central account and click “Manage Inventory.” Your item must have an “active” status in that section.

  • Select the “edit” menu on the right-hand part of the page on your seller central account.

  • From the drop-down menu that pops up by clicking “edit,” select “Send/Replenish Inventory.”

  • That will bring you to another screen asking you for the “Ship from” address and the “Packing type.” In that situation, the “Ship from” address will be the address of your Chinese supplier and not yours. You can ask an Alibaba Chinese supplier to ship straight to an Amazon FBA warehouse.

  • The following screen will request information like name, address, country of origin, and more. Fill that section as per the information of the Chinese supplier mentioned on the Alibaba page.

  • Confirm the packing type. Select “Individual Products” if you sell individual goods with SKUs. If there are no variants or SKUs, you must pick “Case-packed products.”

  • The following screen will request your concerns about the products’ details. Provide information such as “Number of cases” and “Units per case.”

  • The next page will ask about “who preps,” and you have two choices. One is “Merchant,” and the other is “Amazon.” After that, you need to fill in the details about labeling the products, including FNSKU labeling.

  • View your shipments. Here, you have the details about the relevant Amazon fulfillment center where you wish to have your products delivered.

  • The next part is preparing the shipments. Fill in the details about your shipment methods. In the case of Alibaba, you must pick the shipment method, either sea freight or air freight. You must also tell Amazon about FedEx, UPS, or DHL carriers. Ask your Chinese supplier whether they’ll use LCL or FCL and fill in the information accordingly.

  • The next section will involve shipment packaging. You must mention if everything will be in multiple boxes or one box.

  • Finally, tell Amazon about the paper type your Chinese supplier will use as a shipping label. You can pick from a thermal printing label, a blank rectangle label, or plain paper.

Q: What is the cost of shipping from China to Amazon FBA?

Calculating shipping costs is not that easy. However, depending on which means of transport and the product’s size, the shipping cost could range from as low as $2 for a standard product up to $137 for an oversized item.

Combined with the method of transportation, the shipping cost through air freight or air shipping could be as high as $4,000, while sea shipping would cost around $1,200.

Q: What is the shipping time from China to Amazon FBA?

Note that shipping to Amazon FBA warehouses will take 4 to 40 days, depending on the modes of transportation you pick, whether it’s sea freight, air freight, or express shipping.

The express shipping method will take about 4 to 7 days, the air freight option will take a little bit longer, and the sea freight often takes 25 to 40 days.


There you have it! Now you are ready to make an Amazon FBA shipping plan like most experienced Amazon sellers. Remember that the FBA offers sellers different tools to enhance customer service, particularly concerning refunds and return processing.

Also, your listings will get updates more often as your inventory page is rarely out of stock. You can also send inventory to Amazon from your desktop browser or mobile phone.

With its robust and solid FBA program, you can expedite and simplify your shipping journey and turn your eCommerce into a lucrative venture.

At DFH Global Logistics, we understand the value of lowering shipping costs to guarantee competitive pricing, long-term profitability, and high turnover. As a world-class and top-notch logistics company, we provide specialist services to FBA businesses, allowing you to flourish and succeed.

For further details on our forwarding services from China to Amazon FBA or to request a quote, Contact us now to get started.

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