Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) has transformed the way in which businesses across the world operate. It has opened up new marketplaces, made it easier to sell globally and has helped to simplify the shipping and distribution of products on a larger scale. For businesses that are in the process of scaling upwards, it can be a powerful tool for growth and expansion.
It’s a service provided by Amazon that provides packaging, storage and shipping assistance to sellers. This helps businesses to focus on their core competencies and gives them a greater deal of flexibility in their selling practices. Sellers ship their products to an Amazon fulfillment centre. These items are then stored in warehouses until they’re sold, when Amazon employees will prepare these orders for shipping.
While this sounds simple enough there is still a significant issue surrounding how goods are shipped to the Amazon fulfillment centre. If you’re dealing with large amounts of goods, and there are peaks and troughs in sales, then this can become a complex process.
For that reason, many sellers who use Amazon FBA also use a freight forwarding service to make the process easier.
What is a freight forwarder?
Freight forwarding companies take the complexity out of shipping goods. They are companies that arrange for goods to be transported from one place to another. They take care of a range of logistical and administrative tasks to safely get your goods from your location to their end destination.
A good freight forwarder will make the whole process look efficient and simple, but in fact there is a great deal that goes on behind the scenes. They will usually be very responsive, able to quickly turn around any instructions from their clients.
Often, freight forwarders will work internationally, where they take care of the considerable administrative and compliance requirements of importing and exporting. They make the process of shipping quantities of goods efficient and cost effective, passing on considerable economies of scale to their customers.
Freight forwarders allow businesses to concentrate on the core aspects of their business safe in the knowledge that their logistics are in capable hands.
Why might you need a freight forwarding service for Amazon FBA?
While Amazon FBA takes considerable hassle out of shipping goods to the end customer, it still requires you to get your products from your own location to the Amazon warehouse. Often, this will require international shipping. For instance, many UK businesses might use factories in China or other international locations. You will have to cover all of the shipping and holding costs, while successfully moving your goods through customs clearance. It can all add up to something of a logistical nightmare, particularly if you’re inexperienced and your business is growing rapidly.
A freight forwarder is a partner in your business growth. It gives you the confidence to expand and move more goods.
What services might a freight forwarder provide for Amazon FBA customers?
A freight forwarder will administer of all of the shipping logistics for your business. They negotiate competitive freight charges, take care of any warehousing or finding storage space. They will consolidate freight to further reduce your shipping costs and also take care of customs clearance and prepare and export documentation.
Freight forwarders will conduct product inspections and look after any ancillary issues that may arise throughout the shipping process. They will ensure that you always have sufficient stock at the Amazon Fulfillment Centre to meet the growing demands of your business.
Freight forwarders will manage the potentially time consuming and difficult task of shipping goods in an affordable, efficient and timely manner.
Can I do it myself?
It’s perfectly possible to take care of all the activities that freight forwarders undertake yourself, but there are some key factors to bear in mind. The process is involved and complicated and can take you away from other aspects of your business.
Freight forwarding companies are able to negotiate much more competitive prices for shipping and have an established network of carriers and other service providers to call upon. They keep abreast of export and import issues and ensure that your products are compliant removing the risk of delays and hold-ups.
For this reason, an increasing number of Amazon FBA businesses are making use of freight forwarding services to further simplify their operations. It can help your business to grow and develop while introducing increased efficiencies into your shipping operations.
How much does a freight forwarding company cost?
The cost a freight forwarder will charge will depend on a variety of factors. This will include the quantity of goods that you’re shipping, how it’s packed and palletised, the cost of insurance and shipping costs. As a general rule, the cost per unit will drop the greater the quantity of goods that you’re shipping.
What’s important to bear in mind, however, is the savings that freight forwarders can give your business. You get to spend more time developing and growing your business, knowing that a potentially complex and time-consuming aspect is fully taken care of.
How SSO Logistics can help
At SSO Logistics, we offer a complete freight forwarding service to our Amazon FBA clients. We tailor what we do to match your needs and ensure a quality service at every stage of the process.
If you’re ambitious to grow your Amazon FBA business, then SSO Logistics can provide you with the tools to help you achieve your goals. We’re a one-stop shop when it comes to shipping and logistics.
To find out more about what we do and how we can help your business contact us today.