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Amazon Seller: Don’t Go Broke Sending in Pallets of Stuff

A truck freight carrier may be your best option to send products in to Amazon.

Q: I have hundreds of products I want to send in to Amazon for fulfillment. How can I do this without going broke?

A: You just scored the mother lode of merchandise, and it’s the hottest-selling item on Amazon. Good for you, Amazon seller!

Now comes the $1 million question: How do you send in that merchandise to Amazon without breaking the bank, especially if the items are big and heavy?

Perhaps using a truck freight carrier is the answer.

Truck freight companies can haul just about anything you can think of, and it’s really no harder to use them to send a shipment to Amazon than it is to use the U.S. Postal Service or UPS.

Using a truck freight company is pricey, but this method of shipping can actually save an Amazon seller money when you have large and heavy items

Get your shipment ready

Don’t get me wrong, using a truck freight company is pricey, but this method of shipping can actually save an Amazon seller like you money when you have large and heavy items, or if you need to ship a mass quantity of merchandise.

Before you choose to ship this way, however, there are some things you need to know.

First of all, you are going to need a wooden pallet, a pickup truck or U-Haul to deliver the pallet shipment to the freight terminal, and probably some heavy duty plastic shrink wrap (more on the shrink wrap in a bit).

Fortunately, wooden pallets are easy to find. You often see them abandoned next to trash bins behind retail and wholesale stores, or you can usually inquire about them at types of businesses that do a lot of shipping and receiving. Since pallets are usually thrown away, you should be able to get one for free.

Amazon does want the pallets to be in good condition, however, so check the pallet before you bring it home to ensure it is not broken or damaged.

Once you get the pallet home, decide how you are going to put the items on the pallet. If the items are in boxes, it is simply a matter of stacking them with the heaviest items on the bottom and the lighter items on the top.

If they are not in boxes—for instance if you have a bunch of baby car seats to ship—stack them as neatly as possible onto the pallet. Once everything is in place, use the shrink wrap to go around the items and secure them to the pallet.

Amazon does want the pallets to be in good condition, so check the pallet before you bring it home to ensure it is not broken or damaged

If the items are large and need to be strapped to the pallet, you might be able to get the people at the terminal to supply the strapping materials for free, as long as you bring along the pallet.

Also, unless you own your own forklift, you may find it works best to load the pallet on the back of the pickup truck or in the U-Haul instead of trying to figure out how you are going to lift and load it later on.

Finding the right carrier

Now that you have your pallet ready to go, the next step is finding a freight carrier. Type “LTL freight carriers”—LTL means less than truckload—and the nearest city into an Internet search engine, and choose your freight carrier from the available options.

Since not all carriers are familiar with Amazon’s shipping practices, you may want to talk to someone at each nearby company to not only compare shipping prices, but also to find out if they have delivered to Amazon before. Since Amazon has specific guidelines for shipping, it is best to use a company that knows how it operates.

One you may wish to consider is ABF Freight System, LLC. Although I have not used it personally, it is mentioned on several Amazon seller forums as a freight carrier that is familiar with how Amazon likes things done.

Since Amazon has specific guidelines for shipping, it is best to use a company that knows how it operates

Before you deliver your pallet to the freight terminal, check the Amazon seller requirements for less-than-truckload and full-truckload deliveries to make sure you have dotted every “i” and crossed every “t.”

Amazon will refuse shipments that do not meet its requirements, and you really do not want to have a pallet sitting on a dock somewhere while you try to straighten everything out.

One note of warning, your freight carrier needs to schedule an advanced delivery appointment through Amazon’s Carrier Appointment Request Portal. If your freight company misses the appointment, there can be a delay with your shipment getting checked in.

Although we will hope that doesn’t happen, it is something you should consider, especially if you need a quick turnaround on your investment from your inventory.

About the author

Kat Simpson
Respected as a trusted e-commerce speaker, educator and entrepreneur, Kat Simpson has been a successful e-commerce merchant for more than 10 years. Simpson is an eBay education specialist and Silver PowerSeller, who also maintains stores on Addoway, Bonanza, Buy.com and iOffer. She is the co-host of the popular weekly e-commerce podcast, eCom Connections. Connect with Simpson on Twitter and Facebook. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Most LTL Carriers offer pickup at your location. Let them know if they need to send a truck with a lift gate. There is a cost for this but I think you will find it is cheaper than renting trucks and such.

  • joeandtrina@windstream.net

    “Fortunately, wooden pallets are easy to find. You often see them abandoned next to trash bins behind retail and wholesale stores” Those pallets aren’t trash, most retailers reuse them, just as someone can’t come to your house and take your lawn furniture that is sitting outside, we can’t go to a store and take pallets that are sitting outside.

    • disqus_iquGa2x7xb

      An abandoned pallet should never be used for shipping purposes without being assessed by a wood packaging recycler who has the expertise to repair pallets to a safe-use standard. Shipping on a random pallet may lead to product damage and injury to workers in the distribution system. Also, some pallets behind retail facilities are proprietary pallets belonging to pallet rental pools; taking them constitutes theft. You can find a wood pallet company in the member directory of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association: http://www.palletcentral.com/nwpca-directories/palletcontainer-companies.

  • Freight shipments are definitely the way to go if you have an abundance of heavy items to ship. It might seem expensive but not as pricey as going through the typical shipment companies.



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