The logistics of growing your business on Amazon

By Margaret Bux
clock 6 min

Are you looking to expand your business through Amazon?  

Selling through Amazon allows you to use Amazon’s global infrastructure to sell more items to more world-wide destinations.  It provides a huge audience of new customers and potentially a big boost in sales.  So independent of where your business is physically located, sellers are able to quickly grow their business in other countries through cross-trade, introducing their products from one country to another.  For example, if your business is located in Melbourne, your supplier in the U.K. and your end customers are in Japan.  

As a seller you typically need to organise shipping and manage your inventory.  You can either:

  • Fulfill your own orders by storing and shipping products directly to customers yourself.  This is probably most cost-effective for small business.  In this case Amazon charges shipping rates based on the product category and shipping service selected by the customer, then passes the amount on to you in the form of a shipping credit; 

  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).  You can take advantage of Amazon’s optional shipping service, which allows sellers to store and dispatch their goods through Amazon’s warehouses.  By using FBA your customers will get free shipping on eligible orders and as a seller with a Prime badge, Prime members will receive two-day shipping.  FBA is also pay-as-you-go so you’re charged for the storage space and orders that Amazon fills.  You also have the advantage of Amazon customer service and returns.  This infrastructure can enable you to grow your business fast. 

However when taking your business to the next level, things can become tricky especially if you are shipping multiple item sizes direct to Amazon. So, what are the options?

Delivery direct to Amazon warehouses is specialised with a number of parties and preparation requirements involved.  If a mix of oversize and standard items as well as items requiring preparation/not requiring preparation are shipped direct to Amazon, they will most likely need to go to multiple Amazon warehouses.  The whole process can be overwhelming and costly particularly if you are new to the game.   

In general, if shipping direct from an overseas supplier direct to an Amazon warehouse, you will have to instruct your supplier to prepare your goods completely to FBA specifications.  The supplier will need to apply Amazon barcodes to each item, palletise if required, plus apply labels for each carton and all sides of pallets as per Amazon specifications. There may be significant language issues. You will need to arrange the door-to-door shipment from supplier direct to Amazon, with an experienced freight fowarder.   This service includes sea freight or air freight, overland freight and customs clearance.   

An alternative to shipping direct to Amazon, is shipping and storage via a third-party logistics provider (3PL).   This way you can have one consolidated shipment (or FCL) which enables you to take advantage of bulk-buying and saving costs on shipping.  Once the shipment is received by the 3PL, it can be unpacked at a warehouse, quality inspected, broken up into smaller packages, labeled and prepared for delivery to Amazon FBA when required.  This process can add a bit of handling time and cost to your shipment, however, you can avoid making errors resulting in your shipment being rejected and sent back to the supplier and in general it is cheaper due to the savings in having consolidated shipments.  

The team at Clarke Global Logistics has had significant experience with Amazon carrier requirements and has shipped household goods, food, sporting equipment and clothing direct to Amazon.  We can partner with you at any stage of the process or manage the whole process for you from making your Amazon booking, FBA preparation through to delivery to Amazon.  With international agents, we have a network of trusted contacts that can consolidate your shipments from overseas suppliers and ship direct to Amazon warehouses or to one of our warehouses around Australia where we can unpack and store freight on behalf of our clients, pending delivery to Amazon.

Whatever your online business is or size it is, feel free to call the team at Clarke Global Logistics on +613 98543000 or email to find out how we can help with the most cost-effective combination of shipping options, enabling you to focus on what you do best, your business.

Photo by Wicked Monday on Unsplash


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