How Long Does It Take For Your Product To Arrive To Amazon?

Vova Even Mar 18, 2024
8 People Read
Table of Contents
  1. How Much Time Does it Typically Take for Your Product to Reach Amazon?
    1. The Bottom Line

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! :) 

How Much Time Does it Typically Take for Your Product to Reach Amazon?

Ever wondered about the journey your product takes before it graces the shelves of Amazon?

Not sure?

Well, you're in for a treat!

In this article, I'm breaking down the details of product delivery to Amazon, tackling one of the ten burning questions that often linger in the minds of Amazon FBA beginners.

So, let's dive into question number four from my enlightening conversation with Lucia Cracogna, the representative of all you fantastic Amazon FBA newbies out there.

In this video series, Lucia actually fires away with ten questions that echo the common curiosities of beginners, and I bring you the seasoned answers from my seven years in the Amazon FBA trenches.

Feel free to watch the entire conversation below. :)

I'm Vova Even, your Amazon FBA companion in this e-commerce adventure.

From nifty tutorials to exclusive deals, I'm your go-to guy.

Ready for a journey through the Amazon FBA landscape?

Buckle up, because we're about to know the mysteries of product delivery.


Lucia: How long does it take from when you order the products from the supplier until they arrive at an Amazon fulfillment center?

Vova: That's a solid question.

So, how long does it take?

Well, it depends, and I'll break down exactly what factors come into play.

Let's assume the products are ready – checked packed, and inspected by a quality control company.

They're just waiting to be shipped out.

Now, let's consider the route, say, from China to the USA.

Always bear in mind the origin and destination of your shipment.

Consider where you're sending it.

The first step, I'd say, is to reach out to your freight forwarder.

Related Read: 3 Best Freight Forwarders For Amazon FBA (I Worked With All Of Them)

Below are some people I've personally worked with – you can ask them.

  1. UnreaL China

  2. Unicargo

  3. Proboxx

Provide them with details like the quantity of each product, specifying, for instance, 50 boxes of various sizes and weights.

Provide them with the ins and outs of your product, and be sure not to overlook the HS code – it's a vital detail that needs inclusion.

If you've caught my free Udemy course on shipping with Amit Rosenthal, the owner of a shipping company in Israel, you'd probably know about it.

The HS code acts like a tag from the local authorities on your product.

Think of it as a determining factor for whether you'll need to shell out extra funds or not.

It's a unique tariff, and unfortunately, it's not something you can just wish away.

The rules can indeed vary, and the HS code often hinges on the specific product.

However, it's noteworthy that these tariffs can range from zero percent to five or even thirty percent, contingent upon your shipping origin.

Now, I might be delving a bit too deep here, but it's crucial to explore your shipping options.

You've got the swifter air shipping or the lightning-fast express choices.

Picture this – getting your products from China to the USA in as little as three to five days.

Now, who does this work well for, and who might find it less favorable?

This approach is ideal for those dealing with lightweight products and have ample room for profit margins.

This approach proves particularly advantageous for a new product making its market debut, emphasizing the critical need to maximize profit potential.

The reason is simple: when you're dealing with a product that comes with a remarkably low landed cost, you can offset the expense of air shipping.

It's crucial to note that air shipping, especially express services, tends to be pricier.

Additionally, this expedited shipping option becomes a lifeline when you're at risk of going out of stock on Amazon.

Going out of stock means surrendering your position in the marketplace.

Your products vanish from search results, and competitors swoop in to take your place.

Well, navigating the e-commerce landscape can indeed be a slippery slope, underscoring the importance of sustaining a consistent presence on the platform for long-term success.

Now, let's explore some actionable steps.

Consider opting for air express shipping, which typically takes around three working days.

There are various companies and rates to explore, each with its own time frame.

The schedule usually spans from Monday to Friday, aligning with the typical business week.

But calendar days also play a crucial role in understanding the overall shipping timeline.

So, when communicating with the shipping company, make it a point to clarify whether they're referring to working days or calendar days.

It's an essential distinction because sometimes sellers may present a seemingly shorter duration based on calendar days.

However, in reality, it might include weekends, making it a lengthier process.

To break it down further, a standard working week spans five days, from Monday to Friday.

So, over the course of a month, that adds up to around 20 working days.

Understanding this distinction is crucial as you map out your shipment strategy.

Lucia: That's good to know.

Vova: And there's normal air shipping where the journey from a Chinese supplier to an Amazon fulfillment center takes around two weeks.

However, it's essential to note that these timelines can vary based on the origin of your shipment – whether it's from Russia, Italy, Argentina, or any other sourcing location.

Besides this, there's the middle ground.

Here, you've got the swift express shipping options, ranging from three to five days.

Moving along, there's the mid-express bracket, stretching to about eight to ten days.

Beyond that, you've got the regular air shipping, which clocks in at around 14 to 16 days.

And then, there's the domain of sea shipping.

Here, you encounter the spectrum of slow sea shipping, and as a rule of thumb, the more economical it is, the lengthier the journey becomes.

Picture this – shipments on the slower end can extend up to approximately 45 days.

However, keep in mind that these durations can vary based on the shipping company, each having its unique routes, logistics, and sometimes even innovative transportation methods aimed at optimizing both time and cost for you.

So, within the realm of sea shipping might stretch to a maximum of 45 days.

Certainly, there are quicker alternatives, and the speed hinges on several factors.

One crucial element is the location of the logistics centers, both in the United States and China.

Because, for example, if your products are situated in the heart of China, the internal transfer to another part of the country might be a swift process, possibly taking just a few days.

So, recognizing the importance of logistics centers' strategic placement is key in understanding the efficiency of the entire shipping process.

This way, you can align your logistics strategy with these geographic considerations.

Now, let's shift gears and explore another shipping method called fast sea shipping.

In this category, there are different lines, each offering varying transit times.

Interestingly, fast sea shipping can nearly rival the speed of slower air shipping, clocking in at around 20 days or so.

So, here we have a more expedited sea shipping option to consider – often dubbed "slow sea shipping."

Within this spectrum, there's a middle ground, offering a range of possibilities.

It's advisable to engage directly with the shipping company and inquire about all available options.

Sometimes, they might not proactively share the full array of choices unless prompted.

Absolutely, taking the initiative and seeking a comprehensive overview of your shipping options is crucial.

When reaching out to the shipping company, inquire about sea shipping, air shipping, associated costs, and the spectrum of speed – from fast to slow.

Having a clear picture of all these aspects is paramount.

Now, let's delve into the timeframe.

Your shipping duration can span anywhere from approximately five days to a maximum of 45 days, factoring in potential delays.

It's worth noting that unforeseen events, like port congestion, can occur, causing delays.

For instance, there was an issue at the Los Angeles port, leading to ships awaiting clearance.

Reflecting on our own experience, we faced a hurdle during the shipping of products in September, and it can serve as a reminder of unforeseeable challenges.

In this instance, our shipment only made it to its destination in late December – a three-month journey.

The unexpected culprit?

Challenges in Canada, where roads and bridges collapsed due to severe weather conditions.

While such occurrences are rare, they do highlight the unpredictability of the shipping landscape.

It's essential to acknowledge that while incidents like these can happen, they are not really common.

In most cases, the shipping process proceeds smoothly.

So, to sum it up, while I've shared the times and potential hiccups, it's crucial to remember that, more often than not, the journey from order to fulfillment center goes off without a hitch.

Lucia: I'd like to add that it's beneficial to inquire about DDP pricing from the supplier and compare it with their initial quotation.

This comparison allows you to gauge the total cost of the product and the overall operation.

It's a practical step to ensure transparency and a clear understanding of the financial aspects involved.

Vova: Absolutely, and for those tuning in who might not be familiar with the terminology, "DDP" stands for Delivery Duty Paid.

It's an important aspect, and I appreciate you bringing it up.

Now, to delve a bit into the details, there's another term to be aware of – "EXW," or Ex Works.

Let's break it down with an example.

Consider the price of a product, let's say scissors, is set at a dollar.

The production cost might be around 70 cents, give or take.

Now, this is where the distinction between DDP and EXW comes into play.

Let's simplify it by considering a one-dollar production cost for our scissors.

This becomes our EXW price, which encompasses the manufacturing of the product and packaging it into boxes, complete with logos, ready for shipment from the factory.

Now, this one dollar is what you'd pay if you're handling everything from the factory, and that's the EXW price.

On the other hand, DDP involves not just the cost of the product but also the expenses incurred in shipping it from the manufacturer's doorstep to Amazon's warehouse.

It covers the entire journey, door to door, and includes all associated fees.

When you opt for DDP pricing, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the total cost, covering everything from production to delivery.

This holistic approach allows you to make informed assumptions about the profitability of your venture.

An additional point to consider is that when negotiating with your supplier, they might secure an even better deal for you compared to what a freight forwarder could offer.

It varies, as some suppliers have their own established connections with freight forwarders.

In my experience, I've found that independent freight forwarders, those who operate separately from specific suppliers, often provide more transparency.

This transparency can be invaluable for making well-informed decisions., especially when dealing with shipments.

As I mentioned earlier, I've collaborated with some reliable partners like UnreaL China, Proboxx, Unicargo, FBA BEE, and Forwarder One.

These professionals can provide valuable insights into the whereabouts of your shipment.

It's not uncommon to encounter situations where the factory assures timely production, but details about the shipment's location become a bit vague.

Working with independent freight forwarders often ensures a higher level of transparency.

However, I must note that experiences may vary, and not every factory may exhibit the same level of openness.

In some instances, tracking information might not be readily available, but this isn't a universal norm.

Lucia: A lack of communication might be the issue sometimes.

Vova: Yeah, perhaps you didn't express yourself clearly, or there was a misunderstanding.

It's a valid point to consider.

So, when you're in communication with your supplier, not only inquire about DDP prices but also ask about the specifics of the shipping boxes.

What are the dimensions of the boxes that will house the products you're planning to create?

Simultaneously, even before initiating the project, don't hesitate to reach out to a freight forwarder.

You can proactively ask them questions about the logistics involved.

Lucia: You can also ask for the packing list.

Vova: Absolutely, a packing list is crucial.

Requesting and reviewing the packing list early on is a smart move.

Send it over to the freight forwarder to get a comprehensive understanding of the logistics before you even commence production.

This proactive step is essential to ensure that your production aligns with the logistics plan.

It helps you avoid scenarios where you might realize, after investing time and resources, that the project isn't as profitable as expected.


The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, mastering the ins and outs of shipping for Amazon FBA is all about communication and transparency.

We've covered key steps like understanding DDP and EXW pricing, the importance of a packing list, and the need for open communication with both suppliers and freight forwarders.

It's a bit like putting together a puzzle – each piece, whether it's clarifying shipping terms or asking for a packing list, contributes to the bigger picture of a successful FBA journey.

So, don't hesitate to ask questions, be proactive, and enjoy the process.

Here's to smooth sailing and profitable ventures!


Vova :)

Table of Contents
  1. How Much Time Does it Typically Take for Your Product to Reach Amazon?
    1. The Bottom Line

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! :)