Businesses and consumers are still feeling the effects of the pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions. Full containers from China to Mainland US increased from about $4,000 to as much as $40,000. This has been causing months-long delays for goods to be received as well as significant downward pressure on profit margins.
Unfortunately, this has forced many brands to pass some of the rising shipping costs onto their customers.
Brands selling on Amazon are facing their own supply chain and shipping hurdles. They have also had their Amazon seller storage limits reduced.
First, Amazon reduced limits by ASIN before updating it to a seller account-wide limit based on overall inventory sell-through performance for all ASINs combined. Effective January 1, 2022, the IPI threshold for storage limits decreased from 450 to 400.
The combination of supply chain issues, massive shipping costs, and Amazon’s reduced inbound shipping storage limits means that brands previously shipping a lot of inventory directly from China to FBA warehouses could no longer do so.
The good news? Amazon Global Logistics now has a solution for brands that ship full containers of inventory dedicated to Amazon 3P selling!
What is Amazon’s Ship to Seller Storage (STS) Service?
Sellers can take advantage of a program called Ship to Seller Storage (STS). This service allows brands to work with Amazon and ship full containers directly to US storage warehouses.
Sellers must apply to use the program. Once accepted, the shipper will need to provide inbound shipping details. They’ll then choose from 11 US Storage facilities located near Amazon Fulfillment centers. Inventory will be held at the storage facility until the seller is ready to transfer some or all of their goods to a fulfillment center.
According to an email sent by Amazon, “STS is now available on Shipper Central, where you can ship full-container-load (FCL) ocean cargo from Asia to a storage facility of your choice in the US, UK, and Germany. We provide end-to-end services, including pickup, floor loading, and customs clearance at origin and destination. Here are a few STS Ocean container prices in April: Hong Kong to the US starts at $7297, China to Germany starts at €5387 and China to the UK starts at €6349.”
STS Solves Major Issues for Sellers Importing from China
Amazon STS currently offers shipping from mainland China and Hong Kong, and these are the benefits it provides:
- More Flexibility: Ship inventory of any size. Mix standard-size inventory with oversized or heavy/bulky, and ship both FBA and non-FBA inventory.
- Save on Shipping Costs: Ship ocean cargo in bulk with competitive transport pricing from Asia directly to your destination warehouse.
- One-Stop-Shop: Conveniently book, track, and pay for your shipments through one single portal.
STS is a program that seems to make perfect sense for brands that are already shipping full containers. With potentially better pricing, the ability to transfer and mix inventory of any size, and the convenience of managing the shipments from one place, STS could help solve the shipping and storage hassles that many Amazon merchants are facing today.
Channeled is a full-service marketplace agency. We combine strategy and execution to deliver full channel management for multi-channel, direct-to-consumer brands that sell on Amazon, Walmart, and beyond. From strategy to brand management and advertising to logistics, we are a trusted partner for scaling DTC brands. Contact us to learn more about our suite of services.
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