Who has set out to improve their Amazon FBA business customer�s buying experience, by improving and altering the quality of their product�s packaging? I know I�m not alone here!
Amazon FBA shipping, the process of having your product make its way safely and stylishly from your supplier’s factory, all the way into your customer�s hands is a challenge. Sound familiar?
Let me tell you, our Amazon Shipping Plan and Sea Freight expenses would�ve looked a whole lot worse if we didn�t know how to do the following…
Creating the most optimized master carton size for your products is one of the most important things you can do in your business to save money. Doing this correctly and effectively, whilst maintaining all of the Amazon FBA shipping thresholds, is easier said than done. This process is crucial to get right, especially if your master cartons are shipped on pallets at any stage of their journey. Lowering your shipment costs, utilizing wasted shipping space, and ultimately lowering your total Cost Of Goods Sold (COGS) is what we set out to achieve. But how do you get this right? Let me tell you what we did�.
How do I optimize my Amazon Master Carton?
Taking responsibility for your master carton creation is the first big step in getting more bang for your buck! After seeing our suppliers master carton size suggestions for our products, we knew there was room for improvement. Our master cartons didn�t fill a pallet completely and it�s build height was also not maximised to Amazon�s Pallet Delivery Requirements. This meant we were paying for the shipping of a full pallet and not completely filling that paid shipping space. We made the decision to start creating our own master carton sizes ourselves
Key points to consider:
�1. Determine if your inventory will be placed on pallets at any stage of your delivery process�.
One of the first tasks you will need to do is confirm with your supplier is if your product will be shipped on pallets or in loose master cartons in your shipping container.�
If shipped by loose master cartons, confirm if your product will be placed onto pallets at any stage of your delivery process into Amazon, (this may be at a 3PL warehouse).�
This is where your master carton size can get interesting. Your aim will be to create a master carton that maximizes as much of the available pallet space as possible. Different size, shape and weighted master cartons will all have a different outcome on your pallet footprint and build height. Trying to think of every combination your product can be packed to create your perfect master carton can be a mathematical nightmare.�
We built ShipSavy for this very reason. It removes the time consuming guesswork of trying to manually create an optimized master carton whilst considering all the Amazon shipping thresholds and Amazon�s Terms of Service. ShipSavy really has you optimized for any shipping method.
�2. Taking Amazon�s master carton and pallet build restrictions into account�
Amazon has strict thresholds on what size, weight and height your inbound master cartons and pallet builds can be. Refer to Seller Central� https://sellercentral.amazon.com/ to know the specifications you will require.
You don�t want to be in a position where you are over these limitations and are getting slapped with Amazon oversize fees and excess weight charges because you didn�t comply. Having a good understanding of your limits is critical to getting your product off to the right start. Preferably from the product validation phase, you should know what size your master cartons will be and what your pallet builds will look like before you even order your product. This will help you accurately calculate your products COGS (cost of goods sold).
ShipSavy is an invaluable tool for this process. We automatically include all Amazon FBA shipping requirements into every calculation and optimization result.
What information do I need to give my Supplier?
Having more control with how you ship and package your products, is a great skill to have as an online seller of physical products. The problem a lot of sellers face, is that shipping may not be their biggest skillset. It�s a part of the business that may be better served outsourcing to your suppliers and manufacturers.
With our experience, no one will take as much care about your business like you would. There�s too much money being left on the table by not knowing what is actually going on with this part of the private label process. Not to mention calculating your COGS correctly or more importantly, how much lower they could be if your master cartons, pallets and shipping were optimized.
With that being said, what steps do you need to take when dealing with a supplier and establishing you will be designing master cartons and pallet builds?
Taking back control�ShipSavy does it all for you�
You are not alone when it comes to feeling like your knowledge around shipping and manufacturers may not be where it could be…and that�s ok. Once you finalise your product�s packaging size and are happy with that, it�s as easy as putting those package dimensions into the ShipSavy Master Carton Optimizer.
In seconds, ShipSavy will give you a selection of optimized results, so you can choose the best to suit your requirements and inform your supplier. It also shows you a 3D render of exact dimensions of your new optimized master carton and how it is packed. This is all your supplier will need to ship your product. You can then be assured your products are optimized for your paid Amazon shipping space.�
The ShipSavy Master Carton Optimizer doesn�t just design your optimized master carton for you, it also calculates and displays your Amazon pallet build. Again with a 3D graphic that you can easily export to your suppliers to have your pallet builds ready for shipping.
We ship our cartons loose in containers…….Do we need an Optimized Master Carton?
This is one of those conversations that I love to delve into with other private label sellers. It�s an area that can be so overlooked when it comes to profits being eaten up by a lack of understanding in the supply chain process.
Filling shipping containers with loose master cartons and optimizing the cubic metres a shipping container can hold, is a great place to start if you want to minimize ��paid for�� dead space in your container. What that means is you will always have space that is not utilized in a shipping container especially when sending inventory on pallets. Sometimes, pallets are your only option for certain products, so it�s important to know the nuances for each different scenario. Whichever method you choose or your suppliers recommend you go with for Amazon shipping, it should be to minimise waste and maximise space. Paying for empty space in a container can be expensive.
Key things to look out for:
Freight Forwarders, 3PL Centres and Inventory Storage�..
If you are shipping loose master cartons in your shipping container and are not sending that container directly to Amazon FBA, it’s likely you will need to have your inventory unloaded and palletised by a third party. This may be by your freight forwarder or a Third Party Logistics Centre (3PL), who ready your inventory for shipping to Amazon.�
Now if you have a reasonably small order, it will be an option to have your master cartons picked up and taken into Amazon as they are. If you have a larger order, your inventory will require palletizing to have your product stored, processed and then loaded onto courier trucks to send into Amazon FBA. Either way, your master carton size will matter when being accepted at Amazon to ensure it isn’t over any of their thresholds and incurring you any oversize/overweight fees.
Where the conversation gets interesting is if you have sent a shipping container load, packed full of loose master cartons and didn�t bother to optimize them for palletizing. This is where a lack of preparation in designing your master carton for optimal palletizing will have your pocket (and Profits) taking a hit.
The simple mistake of not determining that your master cartons would eventually need to be palletized to go into Amazon or into storage at a 3PL, is the most common mistake I see and one that costs sellers the most money.
You need to fit as many products into that Amazon shipping size threshold as possible to reduce how many pallets you will need to pay couriers for to ship into Amazon. Another important consideration is if you are having your freight forwarders or 3PL warehouse store part of your inventory, they charge you a �per pallet, per day� rate. Getting as many units onto a single pallet, all within a pallet build spec, is critical in reducing your inventory storage fees.�
It�s so important to get this part of your business right from the start. Again, ShipSavy does this for you with a few clicks of a button. Have your optimized result/s and 3D pallet build graphics ready to share with your freight forwarders and 3PL centres.
So�.there it is, a sneak peak into what is possible. There shouldn�t be any more reasons why you and your Amazon FBA business can’t benefit from having optimized master cartons, pallet builds and shipping space.�
Let ShipSavy help you keep more of those hard earned dollars, today!
We know ShipSavy will save you valuable Time & Money when creating inventory orders and Amazon Shipping plans, so click this link to see which pricing plan best suits your business.
Check out our other blog posts for more hints and tips to help your Amazon FBA business succeed.
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