Amazon has become a dominant eCommerce company over the past few years. They provide buyers with a vast array of goods in a short amount of time. Yet, when it comes to receiving goods from potential sellers, Amazon’s pallet requirements for inbound shipments can be quite strict.
Amazons pallet requirements dictate that all pallets sent to them must be wooden, have proper box and pallet ID labeling, and be ISPM-15 approved. Palletized freight must be shipped on 40 by 48-inch pallets no higher than 72 inches for single platforms. All freight must be secured to a pallet using clear plastic stretch wrap.
There are many other details to go over in regard to preparing and sending pallets to Amazon. In this comprehensive guide, you will be given all the knowledge you need to follow Amazon’s pallet requirements.
There are certain preparations that must be made before sending a palletized shipment. Amazon requires sellers to provide them with details about the items shippers want to send and how they will be transported.
Before preparing a pallet, businesses should register themselves as a seller with Amazon by making an account. Afterward, shippers will use a shipment creation workflow that allows them to submit important information regarding their palletized load.
The next sections will outline in more detail the needed steps to prepare a pallet of items.
When selecting inventory, it's essential to consider several key factors to ensure products will be accepted and handled efficiently at Amazon's fulfillment centers.
Taking these steps will ensure shippers are sending goods that will sell and arrive at a facility undamaged.
Now that items have been selected for Amazon, businesses will now have to pack their goods into boxes and provide Amazon information about the load.
The package information that Amazon requests of sellers include:
If multiple boxes are being shipped, or you are unsure of how many boxes will be in the shipment, you can provide a close estimate. Shippers can choose not to disclose the contents of their box or boxes and have Amazon process the load. However, picking this option will require sellers to pay a fee to Amazon.
The next step in preparing a pallet for Amazon is confirming shipping information. This includes deciding the transport date and the method used for moving the goods.
Amazon sellers have the option of sending small parcel shipments or palletized loads. In the case of palletized cargo, businesses will have to pick the less than truckload (LTL) or full truckload (FTL) shipping mode.
Now that all the necessary preparations for a palletized shipment have been made, it’s time to start loading packages onto their platform. Sellers should begin by loading heavier freight on the bottom of their pallet and stack the lighter ones on top.
Make sure to load the freight evenly on the platform. This means the freight shouldn’t be loaded on the pallet in a pyramid formation. Freight cannot be hanging over the pallet, either. Some boxes of freight that are too heavy or large will need to be placed on a single pallet.
Those types of boxes will have the following features:
Lastly, make sure that all freight that is loaded onto a pallet corresponds with the shipment ID.
Amazon pallet size requirements are extremely strict. It’s important to follow these guidelines, otherwise the shipment will be rejected.
Under most circumstances, the maximum height that pallets can be is 72 inches (ca. 183 cm). This measurement also includes the height of the pallet and the freight loaded on it.
However, the exception to the 72-inch height limit is when pallets are double stacked. The maximum height limit for double-stacked pallets is 100 inches (ca. 254 cm).
When placing double-stacked pallets into a container, make sure to leave at least six inches between the platform and the top of the container. Having this extra space will make it easier for a forklift to pick up.
Double stacked pallets should leave enough space for workers to unload them as well. The weight of the cargo on these double-stacked platforms also needs to be centered, which will prevent the freight from leaning over and falling.
While accidents can happen, it’s important to have a good driver behind the wheel when transporting pallets. Luckily, R+L Global Logistics has plenty of qualified drivers on its roster.
Amazon requires pallets to be 48 inches by 40 inches (122 centimeters by 102 centimeters). This is the standard size for pallets, which will make them easy for shippers to acquire.
If one piece of freight is not small enough to fit on the pallet, then a wider pallet can be used.
Besides the length and width requirements of pallets, there are other specifications that pallets need to meet. For instance, Amazon wants sellers to send their goods using GMA pallets.
GMA is the acronym for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. We have included data and information on different GMA platforms that Amazon will accept.
|GMA Standard B Pallet||6 or 7 Board on topNo less than 4 boards on bottomLongitudinal beams are included for enhanced supportFour-way fork|
|GMA Standard 1A Pallet||7 boards on top5 boards on the bottomLongitudinal beamsFour-way fork Wooden blocks used for longitudinal beams that haven’t been repaired|
|GMA 1B Pallet||6 or 7 boards on topNo less than 4 on the bottomLongitudinal beamsFour-way forkOnly 1 longitudinal beam can be fitted with a plug or have undergone other types of maintenance|
Source: Amazon FBA Instruction Manual
While GMA is not a specific brand, it is a specific standard. Regardless of where businesses obtain their pallets, they must meet GMA standards.
The GMA Standard B Grade pallets are the lowest category of GMA pallets, a used pallet that has been broken but repaired. Standard B Grade Pallets are sometimes referred to as #2 High Grade.
Shippers can use the pallets for just about any load of freight they want to send. However, it’s best to use these lower-quality platforms for goods that are less expensive.
If grocery products make up a seller’s Amazon shipment, then they should use GMA Standard 1A Pallets. These types of platforms are great for transporting grocery products to stores and are even used when displaying food in a store.
GMA 1A Grade pallets, also known as Premium Grade A, are extremely high quality. This makes them excellent for carrying sensitive grocery products. These well-made platforms will also give these items the stability and protection needed to survive transit.
When shipping health or personal care and beauty products, Amazon recommends that sellers use two different types of pallets. GMA 1A Grade and GMA 1B Grade pallets are both great options when moving this kind of cargo.
GMA 1B Grade pallets are also called Melon Grade pallets. Typically, these platforms are of the same quality as GMA 1A Grade pallets, except they have some cosmetic damage.
With R+L Global Logistics, you can trust that important health and beauty products will reach the Amazon warehouse at a reasonable time.
All pallets sent to Amazon fulfillment centers must be wooden. The platforms must be heat treated as prescribed by ISPM-15.
The reason pallets must receive this is due to parasitic organisms that can live within the wood. These small creatures can threaten the well-being of the environment. Heat treating wood eliminates these organisms. The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) regulates ISPM-15, and they require all pallets that have been heat treated receive their stamp of approval.
Before wrapping the pallet, make sure the freight stacked on the platform can stand without assistance. Stretch wrap shouldn’t compensate for a poor loading job.
After making this quick check, sellers will need to use clear plastic stretch wrap to secure it.
Use these steps to wrap a palletized shipment:
Securing freight with stretch wrap to a pallet will help prevent it from falling over while being transported. It will also prevent injury to workers when they unload the cargo.
The last part of preparing pallets for FBA is to create and print out pallet and box ID labels. Amazon pallet label requirements dictate that an FBA needs four pallet ID labels placed on each side of the load. Shippers will need additional FBA box ID labels for each package in their shipment.
Labels for the boxes should put placed in the corner, while labels for the palletized load should be placed in the center on each side. This ensures the labels will be visible when Amazon workers unpack it.
Shippers can create a PDF of their label and print as many copies as they require. After printing them, place the labels on the boxes that will be secured to your pallet.
After printing labels, shippers will have to confirm with Amazon who their carrier is and provide information about their pallet(s). Business can choose between an Amazon-partnered carrier or a non-partnered carrier.
Whether shippers pick an Amazon-partnered or non-partnered carrier, they will have to pick a date for their pallets to be retrieved.
After selecting the pickup date, review the pallet estimates and their configurations. After confirming, shippers can then review transportation cost estimates for their palletized shipment.
USA Truckload Shipping has the ability to ship freight of all shapes and sizes, palletized or non-palletized, anywhere in the country. If you need to ship a pallet to an Amazon warehouse, secure full truckload or LTL shipping with us, and we can get your freight where it needs to go.
Navigating the complex pallet requirements set by Amazon can be extremely difficult. That's where USA Truckload shines. Our team has plenty of experience moving palletized loads of freight to various retailers. We can guide you through these regulations and ensure every shipment you send to Amazon is a success.
Services you can take advantage of include:
R+L Global Logistics
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