How Will Amazon Prime Day Impact My Supply Chain?
Amazon Prime Day can have a significant impact on FBA sellers. See below for how Amazon Prime Day may affect you, and what you can do to avoid as many issues as possible.
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What is Amazon Prime Day?
Every July, Amazon holds a huge e-commerce event for Prime members, with big discounts on a variety of items throughout their site.
How does Amazon Prime Day impact importers?
Several weeks before Prime Day, we begin seeing a significant increase in the volume of goods being sent to Amazon FBA warehouses. This can result in delays and, depending on the urgency of your shipments, extra fees in order to get your goods to FBA in time for Prime Day.
Delivery appointments are scarce.
Problem: Amazon warehouses require delivery appointments. With products flooding in before Prime Day, these appointments become harder to get -- especially for floor-loaded (unpalletized) FCL shipments, because these take much longer to unload.
Solution: Plan ahead and be prepared for delays. We can transload and palletize your cargo, then secure a delivery appointment for palletized cargo (these appointments are easier to get), but note Amazon appointments will be more difficult to secure in general.
**Amazon’s LTL trucking service is overloaded.
Problem: Amazon’s LTL rates are low, but before Prime Day, their truckers are stretched pretty thin. If you utilize Amazon LTL, you may need to wait up to 3 weeks for your goods to be delivered. Solution: Consider other last-mile delivery options, so that you can do a quick cost-benefit analysis.
- Flexport can arrange the trucking to Amazon, with delivery in 7 days. This will cost more than Amazon LTL, but it’s also about 14 days faster. (Ask your Flexport team for a quote!) Note that Flexport delivery may still be pushed back due to the lack of available delivery appointments.
**Warehouses are busy -- very busy.
Problem: Staff at Amazon’s warehouses work as quickly as they can to unload trucks, but truckers often wind up waiting in a long line before it’s their turn to pull up to the dock. This can result in delays and trucking wait fees. Solution: Unfortunately, this isn’t something that can be controlled. Last year, we received photos from some of our trucking partners showing serious congestion at various FBA warehouses (we’ve talked to truckers who waited 10 hours in these lines!).
How can I avoid these issues?
To put it simply, you may not be able to. However, in addition to the specific suggestions listed above, we recommend the following:
Ensure that all cartons are properly labeled at origin. If this needs to be done, or fixed, at destination, it will cost extra time and money.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure that your Flexport team has the ability to View/Edit shipment plans in your Seller Central account.
Let your Flexport team know ASAP if you have an urgent shipment going to an Amazon FBA warehouse. This way, we can offer and implement solutions such as those listed above.
Clients need to ensure they book and plan shipments early enough, a CSA associate who handles quotes can recommend a time frame or a good rule of thumb for clients.