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Amazon Pallet Requirements - Avoid FBA Rejection

Amazon has extremely strict pallet requirements that it expects shippers to follow. This guide will show you how to follow those requirements so Amazon doesn’t reject your shipment.

By

Jacob Lee
January 27, 2022
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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, Amazon’s pallet requirements for inbound shipments can be quite strict.

Amazon pallet requirements include specifications that all pallets be wooden, have proper labeling and be ISPM-15 approved. Palletized freight must be shipped on 40 by 48-inch pallets no higher than 72 inches. All freight must be secured to a pallet using clear plastic stretch wrap.

There are many other details to go over in regards 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.

How Do I Prepare a Pallet for Amazon?

Aerial view of a warehouse worker operating a walkie forklift to move a pallet with boxes stacked on it.

There are certain procedures that you must complete before you send your palletized shipment. Amazon requires sellers to provide them with details about the items they want to send and how they will be shipped.

Before you start preparing your pallet, register as a seller with Amazon by making your account. Afterward, you will use a shipment creation workflow that will allow you to submit important information regarding your pallet.

Selecting Inventory

First, choose the address you will be sending your inventory from and the address of the Amazon fulfillment center you want it to arrive at. From there, you will select the inventory that you want to ship. Amazon provides a fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) stock-keeping unit (SKU) list where you can select items from.

When you are selecting inventory to choose from, you can choose single boxes that have one type of item or boxes that have multiple types of items within them. Amazon also allows sellers to add inventory in bulk.  

Packing Boxes

Now that you have selected the items for your Amazon delivery, you will now have to pack your goods into boxes and provide Amazon information about them.

The box information that Amazon requests of sellers include:

  • Item contents in your box
  • How many boxes your shipping 
    • For multiple boxes, provide the number of estimated boxes
  • Box weight
  • Box dimensions

You can choose not to disclose the contents of your box or boxes and have Amazon process them for you. However, choosing this option will require you to pay a fee to Amazon. 

Shipping Method

The next step in preparing your pallet for Amazon is confirming your shipping information. This includes choosing the shipping date and the mode of transportation that your goods will travel. 

Amazon sellers have the option of choosing between small parcel shipments or pallet shipments. Since you are sending pallets, you will choose the less than truckload, or LTL shipping mode.

When you need to ship pallets safely to Amazon FBA you will need the assistance of a good carrier that's partnered with a reliable 3PL.

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.

Pallet Loading Guidelines

Now that you have made the preparations for your shipment of pallets, you can start loading freight onto them. As you load freight onto pallets, begin with the heavier freight first and stack the lighter ones on top. 

Make sure to load the freight evenly on the pallets. That means the freight you load onto your pallets should not look like a pyramid. Freight cannot be hanging over the pallet either.

Some boxes of freight that are too heavy or large will need to be placed on their single pallet. Those types of boxes will have the following features:

  • Non-clampable
  • 100 pounds or over
  • 80 inches long, or
  • 30 inches wide

Lastly, make sure that all freight that is loaded onto a pallet corresponds with the shipment ID. 

Person measuring a pallet with measuring tape.

Dimensions of Amazon Pallets

Amazon has strict rules regarding the dimensions of pallets and how high freight can be stacked on top of them. It’s important to follow these guidelines otherwise your Amazon shipment will be refused.

How Tall Can Amazon Pallets Be?

Under most circumstances, the maximum height that your pallets can be is 72 inches (5.9 feet). This measurement also includes the height of the pallet itself. 

However, there are exceptions to this height maximum. If a pallet of freight adheres to clamping instructions outlined by Amazon’s floor loading guidelines, then its total height can be 98 inches (8.1 feet).

Another exception to the 72-inch weight limit is double stacking your pallet. The maximum height limit for double-stacked pallets is 100 inches (8.3 feet). The table below will give you some added clarity for height requirements.

Pallet with mixed multiple pieces of freight72-inch height limit including pallet height
Pallet with freight that can be clamped down98-inch height limit including pallet height
Double stacked pallets100-inch height limit for each pallet, 50-inch maximum for each pallet

When you place double-stacked pallets into a container, make sure to leave at least six inches between the pallet 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 well. The weight of double-stacked pallets also needs to be centered which will prevent pallets from leaning over and potentially falling.

While accidents can happen, it’s important to have a good driver behind the wheel when it comes to transporting pallets. A qualified driver that works with great 3PL is essential.

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.

How Wide Can Amazon Pallets Be?

Amazon requires pallets to be 48 inches by 40 inches, which is the standard pallet width. Like with the pallet length, this maximum width is flexible.

If one piece of freight is not small enough to fit on the pallet, then a wider pallet can be used.

What Type of Pallets Does Amazon Pallet Requirements Allow?

Worker moving a pallet of stacked boxes with a walkie forklift.

Besides the length and width requirements of pallets, there are other specifications that your pallets need to meet. For instance, Amazon wants sellers to send their goods using GMA pallets. There are different GMA pallets that Amazon wants you to use when you transport certain products. 

Pallets for Shipping Standard Goods

GMA is the acronym for the Grocery Manufacturers Association who creates the regulations for pallets. Pallets regulated by the GMA are classified by different grades. Amazon requires GMA Standard B Grade pallets which are the lowest category of GMA pallets.

Standard B Grade Pallets are characterized as having two or more repairs in each forklift cavity. Sometimes Standard B Grade Pallets are referred to as #2 High Grade. 

Some other characteristics that the Standard B Grade pallet have are:

  • Six to seven boards on the top deck. The amount of boards on the top deck depends on the thickness of the boards which are usually 3.5 to 5.5 inches.
  • Top deck boards have an average spacing of 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
  • Four boards or more on the bottom deck
  • Three stringers between the top deck and the bottom deck
  • Repairs have been made to the stringers

Pallets for Shipping Grocery Products

If grocery products make up your Amazon shipment, then you can only use GMA 1A Grade Pallets. These types of pallets are generally used for transporting grocery products to stores and helping display food for customers. 

GMA 1A Grade pallets, also known as Premium Grade A, are extremely high quality. Some other characteristics of these pallets are:

  • Seven top deck boards. Top deck boards have an average spacing of 2.5 to 3.5 inches
  • Five bottom deck boards
  • Three stringers in between the top and bottom decks. Block repairs are not permitted to be made on the stringers. 
  • 4-way entry

With R+L Global Logistics you can trust that important health and beauty products will reach the Amazon warehouse at a reasonable time.

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.

Pallets for Shipping Health & Personal Care Beauty Products

When you ship health or personal care and beauty products, Amazon gives you the option between using two different types of pallets. You can use the GMA 1A Grade pallets like you would for shipping grocery products or GMA 1B Grade pallets.

GMA 1B Grade pallets are also called Melon Grad pallets. Typically, these pallets are of the same quality as GMA 1A Grade pallets are except that they have some slight cosmetic damage.

Other features of the GMA 1B Grade pallets are:

  • Six to seven boards on the top deck
  • Four boards or more on the bottom deck
  • Three stringers that separate the top and bottom decks. Only one of the stringers can have repairs done to it.
  • 4-way single entry

ISPM-15

All pallets sent to Amazon fulfillment centers must be wooden. If you are sending a palletized shipment to a fulfillment center in another country, then your pallet must undergo heat treatment as prescribed by ISPM-15.

The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measure No. 15 requires all wooden packaging materials to be heat treated. The reason pallets must be heat treated is because parasitic organisms live within the wood. 

Heat treating woods eliminate these organisms. The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) regulates ISPM-15 and they require that all pallets that have been heat-treated receive their stamp of approval.

Securing and Wrapping Pallets

Before you wrap the pallet, make sure that the freight you have already stacked can stand on its own. Stretch wrap shouldn’t compensate for a poor stacking job. If you have followed the pallet loading guidelines then your freight should be just fine. 

Once you have finished stacking your freight onto the pallet, you will use clear plastic stretch wrap to secure it. The following steps to successfully wrap your freight is:

  1. Start from the pallet and work your way up the stack.
  2. Work your way up the stack and have the plastic wrap around multiple times.
  3. Once you have wrapped the very top of the pallet, work your way down again.
  4. When you are back at the bottom tear the wrap and then put the excess under one of the layers on the pallet. 

Securing freight with stretch wrap to your pallet will prevent it from falling over while being transported. It will also prevent injury to workers when they unwrap it.  

How Many Amazon Shipment Labels Do I Need?

The last part of preparing pallets for Amazon is to create and print your pallet labels. Amazon requires an FBA box ID label for every box that is secured to your pallet. 

This ensures that the label will be visible when Amazon workers unpack it. You can create a PDF of your label and then print multiple copies. After printing them, place the labels on the boxes that will be secured to your pallet. 

Every pallet that you have will require four shipping labels to go on each side. Do not put labels on at an angle. Instead, place the shipping label straight up and squarely. 

Confirming the Carrier of Your Pallet

Warehouse worker on a loading dock using a pallet jack to move a pallet with freight stacked on it.

After printing labels, you will confirm with Amazon who your carrier is and provide information about your pallet. When you ship your pallets, you can use an Amazon-partnered carrier or a non-partnered carrier.

Each option has a slightly different process that you will have to follow. When you choose an Amazon-partnered carrier, then choose the date your pallets will be ready to be picked up.

Once you have chosen the pickup date, review the pallet estimates and their configurations. When you confirm the configuration of your pallets, you can then review shipping cost estimates for your pallets. 

When you ship your goods with a non-partnered Amazon carrier then you will need to print four printing labels that will correspond with each one of the pallets that you ship. 

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. 

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.

Each of the four labels will go on every side of the pallet. Then, you can schedule a time for your carrier to come and pick up your pallets. Once your carrier has picked up the pallets, give Amazon the PRO/freight bill number so they will know that the shipment is on its way.

When you're looking for a partner, regardless of whether or not they’re Amazon partners or not, find one that has a dedicated shipping lane. Our article on dedicated shipping lanes can teach you more about how important these lanes are. 

Why You Can Trust USA Truckload to Transport Your Amazon Pallet Shipment

If you want to use a non-partnered carrier to transport your amazon shipment, then consider R+L Global Logistics. We have an experienced team of logistics experts that can get your goods to Amazon promptly. 

After many years of transporting goods, we have formed partnerships that allow us to transport goods quickly and effectively. We also provide multiple shipping options such as heavy haul and refrigerated shipping. 

Our ultimate goal at R+L Global Logistics is to satisfy your needs and form a lasting relationship. Start your business relationship with us by getting your fast and easy-to-fill-out quote form on our truckload site today. 

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.
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