DataHawk’s Tips to Avoid Amazon Split Shipments
- How to Ship Amazon FBA
- How to Avoid Split Shipments FBA
- How to Reduce Split Shipments & Save on Inbound Shipping Costs
- Send Products to the Right Warehouse
What are Amazon FBA Split Shipments?
Stored inventory is usually sent to an Amazon FBA warehouse. However, there are times when Amazon splits up shipments and sends part of your inventory to another warehouse. This split generally happens due to a lack of space at the original warehouse or if an order is too large for the original warehouse.
As a result, this can cause some major headaches for Amazon sellers as they now have to manage inventory in multiple warehouses. Not only does this increase the amount of time it takes to get orders out, but it also increases the chances of stakeouts and can result in loss of sales.
Although split shipments have been a problem for quite some time, not much has been done to resolve Amazon split shipments issues over the years. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make it less likely that you’ll experience Amazon split shipments in the first place. It takes some understanding of the process of shipping to Amazon.
How to Ship Amazon FBA
Since Amazon uses the Prime program to provide two-day shipping to customers, it’s essential to ensure your inventory can be located in the correct warehouses.
Thus, it’s crucial that you know how to ship directly to Amazon FBA in order to prevent Amazon from splitting your inventory across warehouses.
You have two choices to do this; You either send your products from your supplier to a location (like your company warehouse) before shipping them to Amazon or deliver using Amazon FBA ship to one warehouse.
When Should Your Supplier Ship Directly To Amazon?
Some sellers like to ship directly from a supplier to one Amazon warehouse to avoid split shipments. This way, you have 100% control of where your inventory is sent, and there’s no chance it will accidentally be sent to another Amazon FBA warehouse.
However, this process can be a little more complicated as you need to have a relationship with both your supplier and Amazon. You also need to make sure that the products are packaged in a fashion that Amazon approves.
Alternatively, some sellers choose to use an Amazon FBA prep service. Shipping prep services help simplify the shipping process and allow you to easily send inventory directly to Amazon’s fulfillment centers without any issues.
When Should Your Suppliers Send Items To You First?
However, this process is more expensive than having an Amazon FBA prep service because sellers need to pay extra for the shipping costs in addition to paying fees associated with using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
Savvy Amazon FBA Sellers can save hundreds of dollars by sending their products to their own storage facility first. This also allows you to control how much stock Amazon has.
You can also control FBA storage costs if you do not ship directly to Amazon from your supplier.
Let’s get into how to ship Amazon FBA while preventing split shipments. Here are a few quick tips that will help:
- When shipping products to an Amazon warehouse, use the “Shipping Manifest” tool in Seller Central. This tool will help you dictate which items go to which warehouse.
- Make sure that you are only sending products to warehouses eligible for Prime shipping.
- When selecting a shipment method, choose the ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ option and then select the appropriate warehouse.
How to Avoid Split Shipments FBA
Although you can’t completely control whether or not split shipments happen, there are some ways that you can minimize them.
One way to do this is by making sure that Amazon has enough of your product in stock. This will assure Amazon you have the inventory to still meet demand.
Another way is by using Amazon FBA prep services. These services will allow you to have complete control over how your products are packaged, labeled, and sent directly to an Amazon warehouse.
Another strategy for avoiding split shipments is having your supplier ship directly from their location to Amazon.
This strategy might reduce some shipping costs, but it could get expensive if they don’t use a proper packaging method that meets Amazon’s standards.
How to Reduce Split Shipments & Save on Inbound Shipping Costs
Pack Cases in Limited Quantities
To help avoid Amazon split shipments, pack your cases properly. Knowing how many units go in a case is crucial. The units-per-case measurement will determine if things get appropriately distributed or not. If the cases have less than 16 items, Amazon would consider this a limited quantity, and they will probably get split up between multiple warehouses. Make sure to include at least 12 units of a product in each box.
Some sellers may avoid packing small quantities when selling through FBA because it can be costly to ship inbound.
Ship Inbound from China
The best way to avoid split shipments is to have all of your inventory arrive and depart from one warehouse. Many Amazon FBA sellers make a mistake because they want their products to be available on Amazon Prime so they allow split shipments.
Having everything centralized in one warehouse will help reduce shipping costs, but it also limits distribution options. If you’re using merchant fulfilled, this won’t matter as much, but if you are profitably selling through FBA, it is vital to think about how you want things distributed.
It may be more beneficial for some sellers to use multiple warehouses, especially if they sell different items that appeal to varied buyers. You don’t want people looking for a specific product to have to go to another Amazon page to find it. You want them to be able to find it on your page without any problems.
Make Sure Your Boxes are Filled Correctly
To avoid split shipments, fill up your boxes as much as possible! If the box is only filled with a few items it will most likely end up being distributed among different warehouses.
You can either do this by making sure that each unit has at least 12 per box or try and group products of similar sizes together so that there is more weight, making shipping cheaper.
Another way sellers avoid these mess-ups is by using multiple merchant fulfilled options. This way, they can control how their products are distributed without worrying about the added costs of inbound shipping.
Send Products to the Right Warehouse
When you are shipping products to Amazon, make sure you send them to the correct warehouse. FBA will split shipments if they think that a product would be better distributed in a different fulfillment center than the one that you have sent it to.
If all of your inventory for a particular item is at one location, there is no need to worry about this. However, if you happen to have some items stored in another warehouse, Amazon may split those items and ship them separately.
This splitting can increase shipping costs and longer wait times for customers.
You should also try and pack similar items together so that they will be easier to distribute. If you are still having trouble sending items to the correct warehouse, use Amazon’s inventory placement tool to help guide you. You can find this tool on the Manage Inventory page of your Seller Central account.
Use Box Level Inventory Placement
You can either do this by making sure that all of your products fall within this requirement or try and group similar items together. That way, when they are sent off to Amazon, it will be easier for them to distribute evenly across their warehouses.
Having Trouble With Amazon Split Shipments?
- Contact Amazon and ask them why they decided to split your shipment. They may be able to provide you with more information about why it happened and how you can avoid it in the future.
- Use Amazon’s inventory placement tool to help determine which warehouse would be best suited for your products.
- Make sure that you are sending all of your inventory to a single warehouse. This will help avoid any confusion on Amazon’s part and ensure that your items are shipped together.
- If you have products stored in multiple warehouses, try and pack similar items together so that they can be easily distributed.
- Contact the seller who sold you the product and ask them to send their inventory to a different fulfillment center. This may not always be possible, but it is worth trying if you think it would solve the problem.
Hopefully, this post has helped shed some light on Amazon split shipments and how you can avoid them. In the end, it’s up to you and your supplier to decide how you want to handle Amazon split shipments. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your products are sent correctly and arrive promptly.