LTL or Truck Load Shipments to Amazon

LTL or Truck Load Shipments to Amazon

Less than Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) shipments, including wrapped pallets, require additional preparations. Here is everything you and your carrier are responsible for when sending large-volume shipments to Amazon.

Note: The requirements for individual boxes shipped to fulfillment centers also apply to boxes loaded on pallets for transport by truck. For more information see Shipping and Routing Requirements.

What you need to do

Here are the items you are responsible for when putting together a shipment to Amazon:

  • Acceptable pallets
  • Building pallets
  • Pallet label requirements
  • Bill of lading (BOL)
  • Scheduling a delivery

You can find detailed instructions for all of the above on this page.

What your carrier needs to do

Make sure your carrier:

  • Has Amazon Reference IDs, Shipment IDs, and tracking (PRO) numbers
  • Schedules advanced delivery appointments
  • Follows requirements for vehicle condition

You can find detailed instructions for your carrier on this page.

Seller Requirements for Less than Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) Deliveries

Related Guidelines:

Box limits

A single LTL shipment cannot exceed 999 boxes. To ship more than 999 boxes, you must create a second shipment.

Acceptable pallets

  • Use 40″ x 48″, 4-way access, wooden pallets. If a single, large Unit cannot fit on a 40″ x 48″ pallet without overhanging the edges, use a pallet size and type that is suitable for the Unit.
  • Ship only on pallets that are in good condition.
  • Do not ship Units on pallets made of weak material such as cardboard or particle board.
  • Broken and damaged pallets are not acceptable and may be rejected at the seller’s expense.
  • Ship Units on GMA Standard Grade B or higher pallets, regardless of the material (lumber, plywood, composite, etc.).
  • Ship food and grocery products on GMA 1A grade pallets. Pallets meeting the GMA grade 1A and 1B are acceptable for Grocery and Health & Beauty products only.

Building pallets

All shipments not delivered by small parcel carriers must be loaded on pallets. For information about Floor-loaded shipments, refer to Floor-Loading.

Watch this brief video for more information about building a pallet.

How to Build a Pallet

  • The Units of each pallet must all belong to one Shipment ID.
  • Place shipping boxes that are intended to be sold together (such as a set) weighing more than 100 lb. on a single pallet (one sellable Unit on each) or clamp them together.
  • Place a single, non-clampable shipping box or Unit (such as furniture) weighing more than 100 lb. on its own pallet.
  • Stage boxes using only standard pallet stacking requirements. Do not bundle shipping boxes using bagging, elastic, or extra straps.
  • Total weight of the pallet must not exceed 1,500 lb.
  • The contents must not overhang the pallet edge by more than 1″ on any side.
  • A label or the shipment ID must be placed on each box in order to help keep your inventory together and processed into the fulfillment center.
  • All pallets must be wrapped in plastic with a “do not break stretch wrap” or “do not break down” notification to the carrier.
  • The stretch-wrap must completely hold the product to the pallet to prevent shifting during transit. The use of clear stretch-wrap is preferred.
  • Wrapped pallets must have shipment labels placed on all four sides and on the outside of the stretch-wrap.
  • Single pallets must not be higher than 72″, including the height of the pallet, unless a single Unit is taller than 72″, or they conform to the “Clampable” instructions, which can be found under Alternative Shipment Options.
  • The overall height of the pallets must allow 6″ of clearance from the top of the stack to the roof of the container.

Double stacked pallets

Amazon fulfillment centers accept double-stacked pallets provided they are safe to load and unload and do not cause product damage during transit. You may double stack pallets as needed to maximize freight efficiency. Follow these guidelines for double-stack pallets.

  • Do not exceed 100″ in height, including the height of the pallets.
  • Use corner boards to help protect and maintain the stability of boxes in transit.
  • Arrange pallets so they are accessible by a forklift from the same side.

Pallet label requirements

  • Affix an FBA Shipment Label to each pallet (four per pallet, one on each side in the top center).
    • The pallet label can be printed fromthe shipment workflow.
  • Place pallet labels squarely (not on an angle) on all four sides of the pallet so that the forklift driver can see them when approaching with the forklift to lift the pallet. If the pallet is wrapped in plastic, the pallet labels must be placed on the outside of the plastic wrap.
  • Don’t split quantities of the same product if they can fit on one pallet without exceeding the 72″ maximum height for a standard 40″ x 48″ pallet.
  • When shipping multiple SKUs on a pallet, physically separate the SKUs, so they are easy to differentiate when received at the fulfillment center. See labeling requirements below.

Special pallet label requirements for product types

Include the following information on labels when they apply:

Label Applies to:
Team Lift Boxes that exceed 50 lb.*
Mech Lift Boxes that exceed 100 lb.*
Mixed SKU Pallets and boxes that contain more than one type of sellable Unit (different SKU or condition)
Carton #____ of _____ Multiple boxes that are part of a single shipment. Number each box and include the total number of boxes in the second blank
Sold as set Sellable Units that consist of multiple products that are intended to be sold as a single SKU. Whenever possible, wrap Units belonging in a set together within the box to prevent them from being separated.

*Boxes must not exceed the standard weight limit of 50 lb., unless they contain a single Oversize Unit that exceeds 50 lb.

Special packaging instructions can be found in the Improper Packaging section located in FBA Product Restrictions and Packaging Requirements.

Bill of lading (BOL)

For each LTL/FTL shipment you create in your Shipping Queue, you must provide a valid BOL to the carrier, so they can schedule an advanced delivery appointment. All shipment BOLs that do not meet the below requirements will be refused upon delivery.

For Amazon Partnered LTL shipments, a BOL will be generated within 24 hours of the pickup date and time.

Follow these guidelines when filling out the BOL form provided by your carrier. If your carrier does not provide a BOL template, ensure that your BOL includes the following information.

  • A BOL must reference all Amazon Reference IDs and Shipment IDs contained in the shipment. Amazon Reference IDs and Shipment IDs are found in Summary of the shipping workflow.
  • We encourage you to use a standard BOL form. Using a standard form will help ensure that your shipment is easy to identify and receive in a timely manner.
  • The BOL must include:
    • Seller Name
    • From Address (Street address, City, State, Zip code)
    • Legal name of seller
    • Carrier Name and SCAC
    • Carrier’s shippers reference number (PRO#)
    • Handling Unit quantity (pallet, box, each) information
    • Trailer and seal number (Truckload shipment only)
    • “Shipper Load and Count” or “SLC” printed on the BOL if the trailer is loaded, locked, and sealed without enabling the driver to count or inspect the shipment contents.
  • Ensure that pallet and box count quantities listed on the BOL are correct.
  • Include the BOL number on the shipping container or pallet label. This allows for quick freight verification upon delivery to the Amazon fulfillment center.

 

Scheduling a delivery

Download and complete the FBA Booking Form. Most of the shipment information is found in the Summary page of the shipping workflow. Once you have filled out this form, email it to your carrier along with a link to the User Manual for Carriers.

Your carrier will need to schedule an advanced delivery appointment through the Carrier Appointment Request Portal. More information on this process can be found under Scheduling advanced delivery appointments in the Carrier Requirements for LTL/FTL Deliveries.

Related Guidelines:

Carrier Requirements for Less than Truckload (LTL), Full Truckload (FTL), and Full Container (FCL) Deliveries

When you select a carrier, you are responsible for making sure they comply with the requirements below. The failure of a carrier to comply with these terms may cause the delivery to be refused. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with these requirements.

  • The carrier must have a complete list of Amazon Reference IDs, Shipment IDs, and tracking (PRO) numbers included on or with the BOL; Amazon will require this information when scheduling a dock appointment. Amazon Reference IDs and Shipment IDs are found in the Summary of the shipping workflow. PRO numbers are obtained from your carrier.
  • The carrier must communicate box and pallet counts before an appointment will be scheduled. The fulfillment center may request Unit counts if they are provided to the carrier. Floor-loaded trailers should be indicated on the carrier freight bill and when requesting an appointment.
  • Upon arriving at the fulfillment center, the carrier must provide a physical BOL document that meets Amazon requirements. Alternately, the carrier may use an electronic BOL document, if the carrier provides a soft copy to the fulfillment center prior to the scheduled arrival.

Scheduling advanced delivery appointments

The carrier you select to deliver your shipment will need to schedule an advanced delivery appointment. Please ensure that both you and your carrier complete any required steps prior to requesting a delivery appointment.

  • Amazon does not allow general public deliveries – only professional carriers are allowed to make delivery appointments to Amazon fulfillment centers.
  • All carriers must register with Amazon before appointments will be granted.
  • No shipments will be accepted at an Amazon fulfillment center without a scheduled appointment. If the scheduled appointment is missed by 30 minutes or more, the freight will be refused at no cost to Amazon. A new appointment request will need to be submitted and approved by the carrier for attempted re-delivery.
  • Carriers must adhere to Amazon’s delivery requirements and safety standards.
  • Carriers are required to schedule a delivery appointment no less than 24 hours ahead for all inbound deliveries.
  • A standing appointment may be requested for regularly scheduled appointments, but Amazon Reference IDs and Shipment IDs notification are still required 24 hours in advance of the appointment.
  • If a shipment is delayed due to unforeseen weather conditions, the carrier must notify Amazon. Appropriate schedule changes will be made based on availability.

To schedule a delivery appointment, follow these steps:

  1. Download and complete the FBA Booking Form. Most of the shipment information is found in the Summary page of the shipping workflow.
  2. E-mail the form to your carrier along with a link to the User Manual for Carriers.
  3. Have your carrier create an account (if they don’t already have one) and log into the Carrier Appointment Request Portal to request an appointment.

Amazon will respond to your carrier’s request within 24 hours, at which time they will schedule a delivery appointment date and time based on availability.

Important: When scheduling appointments, carriers need to explicitly mention the shipments are for Fulfillment by Amazon and provide the FBA Shipment ID (found in the Summary page of the shipping workflow); this will help expedite appointment scheduling and help ensure accurate receipt of your inventory.

Floor Loaded Deliveries

NOTE: If you are using Amazon’s Partnered Carrier Program for LTL deliveries, you should palletize the shipment. Our partnered carriers do not accept floor loaded (non-palletized) shipments.

For LTL shipments, Amazon fulfillment center prefer palletized shipments. If you cannot palletize the shipment for any reason, then your carrier must select “Non-Palletized” as the load type when booking an appointment at the fulfillment center.

Vehicle Condition

The following standards of vehicle condition are required when delivering goods to Amazon fulfillment centers:

  • The vehicle floor must be able to withstand a pallet jack fully laden.
  • The vehicle floor must be well-maintained, safe, and free from any obstructions and damage such as holes.
  • The vehicle must be water tight, clean, and free of strong odors, especially when delivering food and health-care products.
  • Straps, unless actually securing a load, must be firmly fixed to the vehicle, so they present no danger to staff and ensure accessibility to the goods being unloaded.
  • Due to safety concerns, the use of trailers with uneven or corrugated floors (such as in refrigerated trailers) is not permitted.
  • Any trailer, shipment, truck, or portion of a shipment is subject to refusal at the fulfillment center if the fulfillment center associates are unable to safely unload the product with no additional cost to Amazon. Notification of such events will be sent to the e-mail address currently associated with your seller account.

Floor Loading Policy

While it’s one of the most labor-intensive types of loading, you may not be able to avoid Floor Loading your products when shipping Less than Truckload (LTL), Full Truckload (FTL), or Full Container Load (FCL) deliveries to Amazon fulfillment centers.

When loading packed products directly on the floor, rather than using pallets or other containers, it takes longer for the fulfillment centers to process, which may impact your products availability for sale on Amazon. Carriers may also apply additional charges if your shipments require extensive handling.

Important: Failure to comply with FBA product preparation requirements, safety requirements, and product restrictions may result in the refusal of inventory at the Amazon fulfillment center, disposal or return of inventory, blocking of future shipments to the fulfillment center, or charging for preparation or for noncompliance at the fulfillment center. Please share these requirements with your carrier or vendor to ensure that they fully understand these requirements.

Floor loading requirements

Although pallets are always preferred, when they are not an option follow these instructions.

You must inform your carrier that floor-loaded shipments are only accepted when they identify them on the Carrier Appointment Request Portal (sign-in required) in the Appointment Information Section by selecting “Load Type > Non-Palletized.”

Screen shot of the Carrier Appointment Request Portal tool showing Load Type—Non-Palletized

Labels for all boxes must contain the following:

  • PO#: The Amazon Inbound Shipment ID
  • To: Amazon
  • Attn: Fulfillment by Amazon
  • From: Your company name
  • Carton#: #_____ of total #_____
  • BOL#:
Note: Remember to follow all box label guidelines for the specific product sent.

Follow these requirements while readying the floor-loaded shipment:

  • Stack boxes into columns.
  • Maintain at least 3 inches between column stacks and container walls.
  • Stack boxes no higher than 72 inches, unless they conform to the slip sheet or clamp truck instructions below.
  • Make sure that the overall height of the column stack allows 3 inches of clearance from the top of the stack to the roof of the container.
  • All shipments should be properly secured using the load cars or straps.

Load quality requirements

Correctly staging your floor-loaded shipment will ensure there are no delays in processing your products once at the fulfillment center. Remember to:

  1. Stack cartons into columns. All shipments should be properly secured using load bars/straps. It is the shipper’s responsibility to ensure that shipments are loaded into a trailer in a manner that prevents the load from shifting during transit. When using Intermodal transportation (COFC), always use a load strap, never a load bar to secure loads.
  2. Floor-loaded freight should only be loaded into containers that are at least 96 inches tall and make sure that the overall height of the carton stack allows 3 inches of clearance from the top of the stack to the roof of the container.
  3. Ensure that all cartons (regardless of weight) comply with the clamp truck instructions listed below.

Example of a correctly staged floor loaded shipment

Important: If the load quality does meet Floor Loading policy, your shipment may take longer to receive and you may be contacted about your shipment. Load quality issues may result in charges for unplanned services or refusal of shipments.

Clamp Truck Guidelines

Use these instructions to accommodate forklifts with hydraulic attachments that open and close around a load to squeeze and pick it up:

  • When loading the trailer, maintain at least 3 inches between stacks and between stacks and container walls.
  • Make sure that the overall height of stack allows 3 inches of clearance from the top of the stack to the roof of the container.
  • Arrange each tier to be uniform and aligned relative to the other tiers on the footprint so that all four sides of the freight stack can be safely accessed by a clamp truck. Tier heights may vary.
  • Use spacers between stacks to prevent them from shifting during transit. All shipments should be properly secured using load bars/straps. It is the shipper’s responsibility to ensure that shipments are loaded into the trailer in a manner that prevents the load from shifting during transit.

Slip Sheet Guidelines

When slip sheets are used instead of pallets, be sure to following these instructions:

  • Insert slip sheets between the floor and product, as well as between layers. The overall height of the stack should allow 3 inches of clearance from the top of the stack to the roof of the container.
  • Use only slip sheets of industry-standard pallet size (40 inches by 48 inches).
  • Products exceeding 48 inches in length must be loaded along the length of the container or trailer.

Related Guidelines: