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Amazon FBA Shipping Labels: A Guide for Sellers

This is a guest post from Carla Bauto Deña, a writer who lends her voice to companies like AMZ Advisers, which empowers small and medium-sized enterprises through innovative solutions. AMZ Advisers is a full-service eCommerce consultancy focused on creating growth opportunities for brands, manufacturers, and private labels across the globe since 2014.

Amazon FBA shipping labels are the unsung heroes of online retail, playing a crucial role in facilitating your inventory’s journey from warehouse shelves to customer doorsteps. These labels do more than simply stick to boxes; they carry the vital information that travels through Amazon’s intricate fulfillment network to ensure your products reach their final destination.

As an Amazon seller, mastering the art of FBA shipping labels is a complicated but necessary task that requires precision, understanding, and a keen eye for detail. We’ll unravel their complexities for you and offer insights and tips you need to keep your fulfillment strategy in tip-top shape and your inventory moving smoothly.

What is an FBA shipping label?

Amazon FBA shipping labels are specialized tags that support the accurate processing and handling of products within Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Each FBA shipping label contains crucial information, including a unique barcode that allows Amazon to track and manage inventory throughout their extensive logistics network.

FBA sellers have access to different shipping options when sending their inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. These methods are designed to accommodate various sizes, quantities, and types of shipments and have unique requirements for their shipping labels:

  • Small parcel delivery (SPD): SPD is typically used for smaller shipments consisting of one or a few boxes and is ideal for sellers sending in smaller quantities of inventory. Each box in the shipment must have its own unique FBA shipment label.
  • Less-than-truckload (LTL) or full-truckload (FTL): LTL and FTL are used for larger shipments. LTL suits shipments that don’t fill an entire truck, while FTL is for full truckloads. These options are cost-effective for shipping bulk inventory.

Inventory must also be palletized according to Amazon’s requirements, including specific pallet types and dimensions, wrapping, and labeling. Each pallet requires unique labeling, and boxes on the pallet must also be labeled correctly.

Information included on FBA shipping labels

The information included on an Amazon FBA label consists of:

  • FNSKU (fulfillment network stock keeping unit): An Amazon FNSKU number is a unique identifier assigned to each product stored in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. It’s specific to the seller and the product to distinguish it from similar products featured in other sellers’ catalogs.
  • Barcode: The FNSKU is represented as a scannable barcode, which Amazon uses to track and manage inventory throughout the fulfillment process.
  • Product name: A brief description or the name of the product aids easy identification.
  • Condition: A label must clearly indicate the product’s condition (e.g., new, used, refurbished, such as in the case of Amazon Renewed products).
  • Shipment ID: This identifies the specific shipment that the product is part of, which assists with organizing and tracking inventory batches.
  • Quantity: If the package contains multiple units of the same product, the label will specify the quantity inside.
  • Destination address: The address of the Amazon fulfillment center that will receive the product.
  • Seller information: Depending on the format, Amazon FBA shipping labels may include the seller’s name or other relevant information.
  • Safety and handling instructions: For certain products, FBA shipping labels also include specific handling instructions or symbols (e.g., “fragile” or “keep away from heat”) to ensure proper care during transportation and storage.

FBA label requirements

Adhering to specific FBA labeling requirements greatly contributes to the seamless processing of your inventory. Compliance ensures your products move efficiently through Amazon’s fulfillment system and reduces the risk of delays or misplacements.

That’s a critical guarantee since over 40% of surveyed consumers in the U.S. expect to receive their online orders within two to three days. This data highlights how timely delivery is a crucial aspect of customer satisfaction.

With that in mind, here are the key Amazon FBA label requirements you need to abide by for a smooth delivery process.

Label content

Each label must include the product’s name, a scannable barcode (such as the FNSKU), and the product’s condition (new, used, etc.). The barcode must not be obscured or altered in any way.

If you need help with barcode issues, such as obtaining Amazon GS1 barcodes or GTIN exemption, you can consult with expert eCommerce advisors for guidance.

Print quality

The Amazon shipping label must be printed in high-quality, black ink on white, non-reflective labels. Poor print quality can lead to scanning issues and in turn cause delays in the fulfillment process.

Barcode scanability

Barcodes on the label must be easily scannable. This means they should be clear, not smudged, and free of distortion.

For reference, here’s a comparison of an acceptable and an unacceptable Amazon shipping label according to the Amazon Shipping Label Guide:

No additional markings

FBA shipping labels should not have any additional markings or text that aren’t stated in Amazon’s required label information. That helps avoid confusion during the scanning and sorting process.

Safety and compliance

For products that are regulated (such as hazardous materials) or require specific handling, the necessary safety and compliance information must be clearly indicated on the FBA shipping label.

Amazon FBA box label requirements

Aside from shipping labels, you also need to abide by Amazon’s box label requirements.

Label size and visibility

The standard size for an FBA box label is 3 ⅓ inches by 4 inches. The label must be clearly visible and affixed to a flat surface of the box. It shouldn’t be placed over a seam or edge where it could be damaged or become unscannable during handling.

Label placement

Place FBA shipping labels on the top or side of the box so it’s easily reachable and scannable without opening the box. Avoid placing the label on box corners or folds.

No duplication

Each box in a shipment must have a unique FBA label. Although you can customize an Amazon template, be careful not to duplicate labels across multiple boxes, as this can cause confusion and errors in the fulfillment process.

Existing barcodes are covered

If the product has existing manufacturer barcodes, the Amazon FBA shipping label should cover them to prevent any confusion during the scanning process.

Legibility and durability

The Amazon box label should be resistant to smudging and wear. To ensure all text and barcodes remain legible throughout the shipping process, avoid placing the label in areas where packages see frequent handling.

Dealing with incorrect shipping labels

Mistakes in labeling can lead to significant issues, including delays in processing, inventory misplacements, or even returns. Here’s the basic process to remedy problems that arise:

  • Identify the error: Determine the nature of the labeling error. This could range from incorrect product information and unreadable barcodes to labels placed on the wrong items.
  • Contact Amazon Seller Support: If the shipment with the incorrect label has left for a fulfillment center, contact Seller Support promptly. Provide them with detailed information about the error and the specific shipment ID.
  • Reprint labels: If required, reprint the correct labels. Use a reliable printer for clear and accurate labels to replace the incorrect ones, adhering to Amazon’s guidelines for label placement and quality.
  • Work with logistics partners: If you’ve contracted with logistics partners or third-party fulfillment services, communicate the issue to them. Ensure they understand Amazon’s labeling requirements to prevent future occurrences.
  • Learn from your mistakes: Take these incidents as learning opportunities to refine your processes. Analyzing why the error occurred can help you implement more robust systems and checks.

Wrapping up — Navigating the details of Amazon FBA shipping labels

Along with their myriad of other policies, mastering Amazon FBA shipping labels is critical to thrive on the marketplace. From printing high-quality labels on a reliable printer to dealing effectively with incorrect shipping labels, it’s imperative you abide by the program’s requirements to maintain a smooth operational flow.

As you continue your journey in the Amazon FBA landscape, keep in mind that the small details have a substantial impact on your overall success. Stay informed, be diligent, and let your seamless fulfillment speak to your commitment to excellence — one perfectly labeled package at a time.

Frequently asked questions

Does Amazon provide shipping labels?

Yes, Amazon provides FBA shipping labels. When you create a shipment in your Seller Central account, Amazon generates the necessary shipping labels, including the FNSKU labels for individual products and box labels for the shipment, tracking, and processing.

How much do FBA labels cost?

Rather than a separate expense, the cost of Amazon FBA shipping labels is typically included in the overall FBA fees, which cover fulfillment and storage services. However, sellers are responsible for the cost of printing these labels. The total expense will vary depending on whether you print them yourself or use a professional printing service and the type of printer and labels used.