Amazon FBA shipping rates can inadvertently hurt your bottom line. In general, shipping your inventory can be expensive. Besides Amazon FBA fees, you need to invest in high-quality packaging materials and hire a reliable freight forwarder. It would be more challenging when you are planning on selling on Amazon.com and shipping to Canada. This is why it is crucial to choose the right shipping method and shipping carrier.
This article will discuss how to cut your Amazon FBA shipping rates, how much is Amazon shipping, and a brief overview of how to prepare your first shipment.
Shipping method: SPD or LTL?
SPD (Small Parcel Delivery) is for shipments with less than 30 cartons. Meanwhile, LTL (Less Than Truckload) can carry more than 30 cartons of shipment. So, which one is cheaper? Let's differentiate the two.
Use SPD if:
- The shipment is time-sensitive.
- The packages must follow the dimensional (DIM) pricing restriction.
- The packages weigh less than 150 lbs.
Use LTL if:
- You are looking for a lower-cost option for your palletized shipments.
- The shipment is bulky.
- You want to get a discounted rate when you meet your volume quota.
On top of that, you will only pay for the space you occupied in the trailer in LTL, but expect to share the whole truck with multiple shippers. Also, it requires that your shipment weighs from 150 lbs. to 15,000 lbs.
Moreover, LTL is more secure since each truck contains well-stacked pallets. It is also eco-friendly since multiple different shipments use the same truck, thus reducing the carbon footprint.
Shipping carrier: Amazon-partnered carrier or other carriers?
We advised you to opt for Amazon-partnered carriers if you don't want to deal with the erratic changes in shipping fees of non-partnered carriers. According to Amazon.ca, Amazon-partnered carriers "offer deeply discounted rates, and the cost is billed to your account as an 'Inbound Transportation Charge’."
Besides being less expensive, Amazon-partnered carriers have several advantages. Amazon will process your deliveries right away and make your inventory readily available whenever someone orders your products. They also offer competitive and negotiated Amazon FBA shipping rates with UPS, their preferred carrier partner.
Furthermore, Amazon will cover for lost or damaged inventory as per its standard FBA policy. Yup, it is like having an insurance shipping policy for your goods. Also, you can bail out any time if you are not satisfied with Amazon-partnered carrier's service.
Transportation method: sea freight, air freight, or air express?
This one is tricky because each option has its pros and cons. And it also depends on your goal: To reduce shipping cost or to reduce the delivery time?
If you want to lower your Amazon shipping costs, choose sea freight or maritime shipping. Global Trade advised, "Sea freight is much more affordable and, consequently, the number one choice of a vast majority of clients." It is like the model of LTL, where you are sharing the cost of the specific vessel.
But note that it is the slowest among the three because the lead time is usually around 30 days. Despite this drawback, maritime shipping is the most eco-friendly among the three. Airplanes give off 500 g of CO2 per metric ton of cargo per km of transportation, while sea vessels emit only 10-40 g of CO2 per km.
On the other hand, if time matters to you the most, go for air freight or air express. But what is the difference between the two?
Air freight's cost is calculated by the size, weight and destination of the shipment, and it is more expensive than sea freight. The lead time takes about 7-14 days. Alternatively, air express is the fastest but the most expensive transportation method. You can utilize this when you want to replenish your stock or for urgent orders. The lead time for air express is around 4-7 days.
So, if you are budget-conscious, you must plan ahead of time when sending your cargo via sea freight. Ensure that you have proper preparation and planning. Or better yet, work with an experienced logistics company that can expertly handle your shipment.
What about cross-border shipping?
In case that you are selling on Amazon.com and shipping to Canada, you might consider cross-border shipping since Canada and the U.S. are practically neighbors. But is it cost-effective?
Cross-border shipping is like road freight or ground shipping, which is a way of transferring goods at an affordable price. You only need to pay for the gasoline, driver's time, and maintenance fees, unlike air freight's expensive airline fuel. Further, launching an international expansion or trading in the global market is easy with cross-border shipping.
How to create a shipping service on Amazon?
Here is the step-by-step guide in creating a shipping service:
1. Log in to Seller Central.
2. After you created a new shipping plan, go to the Prepare Shipment page.
3. Select your desired shipping method (SPD or LTL).
4. Select your preferred shipping carrier (Amazon-Partnered Carrier or Other carriers).
5. Complete the next form called Shipment Packing.
6. Hit the Confirm button in the bottom right corner.
7. In the fourth section called Shipping Charges, you can estimate or check your Amazon FBA shipping rates.
8. Fill out this section and hit Calculate. Do not accept charges if you have not decided yet.
You may try comparing Amazon shipping costs by switching your options for shipping methods and shipping carriers to develop a cost-effective delivery strategy. After you have accepted the charges, you can now download and print your shipping labels.
But how much is Amazon shipping, and what is the overall cost-efficient shipping plan?
We may not have an exact answer to this burning question of yours because there are several factors to consider, like the type of shipping method, shipping carrier, and transportation method. We can suggest that you try an Amazon-partnered carrier LTL via sea freight shipping strategy to slash your Amazon FBA shipping rates. However, it still depends on your business' requirements and goals. Because at the end of the day, you need to decide what will be advantageous not just for your business but also for your customers.
Do you want to save more money from your Amazon FBA shipping rates? Stallion Express has a dedicated and experienced team willing to assist you with your Amazon FBA needs. For inquiries, you can call +1 877-863-7447 or email [email protected].