The Challenge of Finding a Freight Forwarder – $25K Challenge

By Patrick Muir | $25k Challenge

Apr 27

I have many of ideas of products I want to sell after visiting the China Import/Export Fair. Now the problem to solve is getting the stuff into Amazon FBA and that will require building a supply chain.

I’ve only sourced one product from China and sold it on Amazon–Soap Molds–but I had those air freighted; I want to ship container loads of product. This will require a freight forwarding company in China and one in the United States. People do this everyday so I’m hoping it’s not too difficult to find good partners. If you know of a great company to work with, please leave a comment below or email me at patrick@nextdistributions.com.

I’ve spoken to several Amazon sellers who order by the container and don’t touch the product. They have products from multiple factories sent to a warehouse inside of China. The freight forward company combines the shipments into one container and sends it off. The items are then received by the US based company, which breaks the shipments apart and sends them to the proper Amazon FBA distribution center. You never touch the product.

But not touching the product does cause issues. To solve this issue you must hire an inspector in China who will review the shipments and ensure that everything is proper. Solving the problem in China is crucial to ensure large quantities of the wrong product, or bad product is not shipped to the US. I also learned a full container costs almost as much to ship as a half container; you’re not saving money by not loading the container full of product.

I have also heard of companies that ship containers directly to Amazon. Typically these are larger customers who do $30 million plus on Amazon each year and have a very strong track record.

There were numerous logistics companies at the China Import/Export Fair, but I had little confidence in the ones exhibiting. There was no company that does an end-to-end solution by having offices in China and the US. After talking with some people, I learned it’s easy to start a logistics company–and there are many wannabe startup logistic companies in China. After talking with vendors and not gaining anymore confidence, I’m hoping to get a referral of a good vendor.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. Freight Forwarding companies in China and US help get container loads of product into Amazon FBA
  2. A Freight Forwarding company in the US will accept your container, break up the shipments, and send to the proper Amazon Fulfillment Center
  3. Get a referral of a Chinese freight forwarder because there are a lot of wannabe companies
  4. It doesn’t save money to send a half a container load compare to a full container load

Want more? Read the other China Demystified blog posts now!

About the Author

Patrick is the star seller of the 25K Challenge. He's broken into and maintained several top Amazon search ranks using all of Seller Labs' tools.