An Expert Guide to Amazon FBA Master Carton Packing

Vova Even Jan 25, 2023
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Disclosure: Hi! It's Vova :) Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. I get a commission if you purchase after clicking on the link, this does not cost you more money, and many times I can even get a nice discount for you. This helps me keep the content free forever. For you. Thank you! :) 

All You Need to Know About Amazon FBA Master Carton Packaging & Shipping Requirements


Hi there, it’s Vova Even and I am more than glad to welcome you to my Amazon FBA blog

Ever since 2016, I have been actively selling on Amazon, and of course, learning everything it takes to ace the marketplace. 


I also share hacks, techniques, and insider information on YouTube and Udemy. My goal is to help Amazon FBA sellers at all levels save & make more money while sustaining healthy business growth. 


With over 6.3 million sellers competing on Amazon, it’s no surprise that you need to have that edge to survive. That said, nothing beats having in-depth knowledge about FBA Master Carton Packaging to avoid all the additional fees that get in the way of your success! 


Today, I am going to delve into something that will change your selling perspective once and for all. And especially if you’re already actively selling on Amazon. 


My guest is Amit Rosenthal from Rosenthal Logistics and Proboxx.


We will be sharing with you all there is to know about packing your Amazon FBA master cartons, and everything that’s connected to the subject. 


But before we begin, here’s our YouTube video which covers all the contents of today’s blog. This video is also a part of our full free course about Amazon FBA logistics.

You can access it for free here on my YouTube channel.


In case you don’t feel like reading more, check it out below: 


Amazon Terms of Service for Shipping Goods 

If you wish to thrive as an Amazon seller, it’s critical to get the hang of their packaging requirements (this link requires login to Amazon seller central), before all else. The best part is, we’ll cover all their Terms of Service (ToS) and more. Here are some general rules of thumb we need to remember in regard to packaging: 


  1. The carton size should not exceed 25 inches or 63.5 centimeters.

  2. The carton cannot exceed 50 lbs. or 22.7kg, otherwise, you’ll have to pay an additional fee that’s needed for oversized cartons.

  3. Another thing that’s essential to note is that you cannot put more than 150 units in a Master Carton. 

  4. You need to put the Amazon FBA labels on the carton, which were saved earlier in the shipping plan. 

  5. Do not add any stripes or cover the labels with plastic or any other material, as well.

  6. Remember to ensure that the labels face outside, and are super clear to Amazon for scanning. 

Packaging 

Now let’s get to the main subject of the blog post – the Packaging itself. Usually, the suppliers that provide you with the products already know how to put the labels right, only if they’re aware of how to work with Amazon FBA. They’re aware that they needn’t put different things that should not be on the carton. 


Additionally, the logistic service providers continue to save master cartons up until there is damage to the label or the carton itself. 


Otherwise, they never open the cartons. Another thing they do is ensure that the carton is going where it's meant to go. 


Let’s say, you’ve advised them that the carton will go to the ONT8 warehouse in California, but they receive one that says FTW1 on the labels. 


In a situation like this, they will always contact you to confirm where it's headed. 


Another pressing question that surrounds packaging is - are the products shipped as loose cartons or shipped on skids? Well, firstly, if the client wants to ship the goods on skids or pallets, the goods need to be breakable. 


For instance, when you’re shipping glasses or other fragile products, there is a good chance the product will be damaged during transportation. That’s when you’re advised to ship the goods on pallets. But essentially, unless told otherwise, these logistics providers will ship all the products in loose cartons. 


In case you’re curious, they do it so that the total volume of CBM is minimized. For 100 cartons, let’s say the total CBM is 10. If you put the same 100 cartons on skids, the total volume is around 14-15 CBM. 


In logistics, no matter if it's sea freight or air freight, we pay based on our total CBMs. So, obviously, the more we minimize CBM, the better it is for us! 


When the logistics providers load the containers in China, they put in all the loose cartons - a thousand cartons on top of each other, and ship them to the US. Once it arrives at the destination, the rest depends on the FBA Center. 


In short, the major factor when deciding whether to ship the goods by loose cartons, or by skids is - seeing if they’re breakable. Secondly, as long as the goods are general cargo, they’re shipped in loose cartons. 


I highly recommend you ask your logistics provider (freight forwarder) for the best solution for your specific case.

Shipping 

The logistics providers want to minimize the logistics costs for the sellers. 


Hence, they almost always suggest the clients ship through loose cartons, unless another option is better, of course.


Just so you know, you can put around 1.5 CBM on a pallet. So let's say you have a 15 CBM, you will need around eight pallets. That’s another reason they advise us to ship by loose cartons instead of pallets. So yes, the goal of these logistics providers is to optimize the shipping costs for us. 


That said, there’s another issue about shipping that many sellers get stuck with. So, once you open a shipping plan, your request to advise is run by SPD or LTL. 


The question that arises here is - what’s the difference between the two? If you’re curious about what these stand for, then SPD is Small Partial Delivery, while LTL is Less than Truckload. 


As long as you ship the goods as regular sea shipping, we use SPD. Whereas, when delivery is done by truck, we use LTL. 


Here’s another fantastic piece of news – if for example, a novice seller gets stuck with figuring out which shipping plan they should open, the logistics providers will come up with the best suggestions for them. 

Labels 

While sending the cartons for shipment, every seller must ensure the labels are super clear, and on the outside of the carton. The logistic providers will put two labels on each carton. If we ship by skids, they need to put four labels on the pallet itself.


Further, keeping the carton clean without any distractions is highly critical, so you don't cause any problems for Amazon to read your labels, or scanning them. If you put stripes or cover the carton with any material, you will most likely get a warning from Amazon. 


That makes one thing pretty obvious – Amazon TOS is something that you must strictly follow, otherwise, they can close your list or maybe even suspend you. And yes, I must reiterate: Keep it Clean! 

The Bottom Line 

So, that’s pretty much it from my side today. I firmly hope that by reading the Amazon FBA Shipping Requirements I’ve listed, you’ll have a better grasp of Amazon's policies.


Just make sure to stick by Amazon’s Terms of Service, and you’ll master the art of selling, and even shipping! Happy Shipping! 


Yours, 

Vova :)

Disclosure:  Hi! It's Vova :) Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. I get a commission if you purchase after clicking on the link, this does not cost you more money, and many times I can even get a nice discount for you. This helps me keep the content free forever. For you. Thank you! :)