Shipping from China to Amazon FBA for Beginners

fulfillmentSelling on Amazon is the easiest way to start a business online for ordinary people. That means you could not avoid the Amazon FBA (fulfillment by Amazon). However, you have to move products from the supplier to the Amazon warehouse before that. Especially, shipping from China to Amazon FBA will be required.

Why do you need to know this? Because this is what happens to many beginners with no experience. As a beginner, after finding your suppliers on Alibaba, other B2B platforms, or through Google ads and finishing production, you have to face a shipping problem to keep your goods undamaged and safe to reach the destination. And figuring out all the details of FBA and shipping.

Whether you’re new or an established e-commerce company like many of our customers, in this article you will learn more about shipping from China to Amazon FBA.

Shipping Direct or Using a 3PL to Amazon FBA

There are two choices if you want to ship products from China to Amazon FBA. The first is to have the products sent directly from the supplier to Amazon's warehouses or to have them sent to you or a fulfillment company first. Each choice has pros and cons, and we'll talk about both in this post.

Shipping Direct

Shipping from China straight to the FBA warehouses has a few pros, but the cons are more than the pros. For example, shipping directly cuts down on the time it takes to get to the customer, but it also leaves more room for mistakes and quality control problems. Each pro and con will be talked about below.

Save Time

When you ship straight from your supplier to Amazon FBA, it takes less time for your products to get from the factory to your customers. This is great if you are short on time and want to get your items to and from the warehouse as quickly as possible. But if you don't stop at a fulfillment company (or do it yourself), you miss out on an important quality check.

Duty and freight must be paid in advance

Amazon knows that shipping hundreds of items can get expensive, so they don't pay for any of those costs. If you send them a shipment and they get charged any amount of money for it, they will reject the shipment and leave you with the bill (plus all the extra costs). If you want to ship directly to Amazon FBA, you need to make sure that your products are Delivered Duty Paid (DDP). This means that you pay for all of the costs associated with getting your goods to Amazon (shipping, insurance, duties, etc.).

NO inspection before arrival at Amazon

The biggest problem with shipping from China directly to FBA warehouses is that you can't do proper quality control and inspection on your products. This could hurt your business the most. Even though many sellers use third-party inspection companies, a shocking number of mistakes still happen when your products don't have that second set of checks. When mistakes get through, unhappy customers, refunds, and (worst of all for an online business) a lot of bad reviews could happen.

3PL Fulfillment Company

When you use a third-party fulfillment company to handle your shipments, the products will take longer to get to the FBA warehouses. This is the biggest con. The difference in time comes from the fact that the middleman has to get your products, get them ready, and then send them to Amazon. Compared to shipping directly from China, this will add about a week to two weeks to the time it takes for your products to get to FBA.

Quality Control

Having someone else look over your products before they go to FBA can make the difference between customer complaints and rejected shipments and everything going smoothly.

One of the main reasons why many FBA sellers choose to use a fulfillment company as a buffer between their suppliers in China and Amazon is so that they can keep a closer eye on the quality of their products. This is the best option for beginners and people who want fewer rejected shipments.

Take longer for packages to get to Amazon.

When you use a third-party fulfillment company to handle your shipments, the products will take longer to get to the FBA warehouses. This is the biggest con. The difference in time comes from the fact that the middleman has to get your products, get them ready, and then send them to Amazon. Compared to shipping directly from China, this will add about a week to two weeks to the time it takes for your products to get to FBA.

Rejection Less

Even though Amazon's packaging and labeling rules aren't too strict, each item must have a barcode that can be scanned (FNSKU) and each box must have a carton label. Usually, if there are mistakes, they will fix them for you, but you will be charged. Labeling is done for you by third-party fulfillment companies, which cuts down on mistakes in the warehouses and saves you money in the long run. They also get rid of the need to figure out shipping costs, which makes sure that products don't get to Amazon with an unpaid balance (meaning your shipment will not get rejected from the warehouse).

Best Shipping Way You Must Know

Choosing the right way to ship is very important for your business. Sellers lost the chance to make more money because they didn't decide which shipping method was best for them at the start of their sourcing.

There are three main ways to ship. Here they are,

1.       Express Shipping

2.       Air Freight

3.       Sea Freight

How you ship your goods will depend on their size, weight, and how soon you need them. Let's talk about them when you might want to use them, and some of their pros and cons.

Express Shipping

Express shipping is the fastest, easiest, and most convenient way to get your items to Amazon FBA. He only has to sign for the goods when they arrive. The express company will also take care of the import process. There are many different kinds of express companies all over the world, like UPS, FedEx, DHL, and many smaller ones. With this method of shipping, it usually takes between 3 and 7 days for your goods to get from China to the USA.

Express shipping from China to Amazon FBA works best for packages with a volume and gross weight of less than 1 CBM and 200 kilograms, respectively. Depending on which is higher, the chargeable weight is the gross weight or the volume weight. Using the metric system, to figure out the volume weight, you divide the total CBM by 5000.

However, it has to take a lot of money. So you have to know when you use it and get your calculator first.

Air Freight

If your cargo weighs more than 200 kg and is bigger than 2 CBM, Air Freight is the best way to ship it. And to hire a freight forwarder based in China to take care of all the paperwork, customs clearance, taxes, and fees when shpping from China. As a result of their high volume, they will be able to get you a much lower price than your supplier.

The average time for air freight to get to its destination is between 5 and 9 days after it leaves China. Most of the time, the price per kilogram is less than Express. To figure out the volume weight, divide the total CBM by 6000.

Even though air freight is usually much cheaper than the Express, there are times when it could be more expensive. So the best thing to do is talk to your Forwarder to find out what your best option is.

Sea Freight

If you are not in a rush and the good has a volume of at least 2 CBM or weight of at least 21 kg, sea freight is usually the best alternative.

Sea freight is the best mode of shipping for some low-value but high-volume goods, such as plastic lunch boxes, wine decanter bottles, wine glasses, etc., because express or air freight may cause you to spend more on transportation than you do on sales.

However, it is also the most complicated means of transportation, and it takes a long time (from China to the USA takes around 25-40 days). And you have to find a trustworthy China Forwarder who can assist you with this challenging task.

Pay attention to the shipping time and your Amazon Stocks.


It's time to get a quote from us after you've thought about the best way to ship from China to Amazon FBA. If you are confused about which approach to take, you can also consult for the best solutions.

We at China Freight Group would like to take the time to learn about your business and industry and join your team so that we can consistently and thoroughly assist you in meeting your unique requirements.

We want to give you a delivery that is dependable, secure, and timely. We'll treat your cargo with the same respect as if it were our own, giving you the satisfaction of a job well done.

Finally, we hope the information in the post on shipping from China to Amazon FBA was clear enough for you. Any questions contact us!

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