Amazon Pallet Requirements: Ensure 100% Accepted Deliveries

by Tomer

May 23, 2022

FBA sellers should know how to properly ship items to Amazon warehouses, especially for full truckload and less than truckload deliveries. In addition, learning about Amazon pallet requirements can help prevent the non-acceptance of pallets and shipping and pay additional fees. 

In this blog post, I will discuss all you need to know about Amazon pallet requirements, the involvement of freight forwarders, how to build a pallet for Amazon, and how to properly stack boxes on pallets. 

Read the entire post to learn about pallet labeling and special pallet label requirements.

What are Amazon Pallet Requirements?

Amazon Pallet Requirements

Amazon is strict when it comes to receiving shipments from FBA sellers for full truckload and for less than truckload deliveries to Amazon Fulfillment Centers (FC).

Less than Truckload (LTL) is a smaller type of shipment. Usually, it ranges from 100 to 5,000 pounds. LTL shipments will not cover the entire truck and will have more space available for smaller loads. 

Full truckload shipments (FTL) are larger and occupy most of the space on an entire truck. Since they are larger, they often weigh more than 20,000 pounds.

Below are the pallet requirements every FBA seller should know.

  • Amazon only accepts 4-way access wooden pallets with a size of 40 x 48 inches.
  • Use the appropriate pallet type and size when a single large item does not fit on a 40 x 48 inches pallet.
  • Ensure that units are shipped using GMA Standard B Grade pallets or higher. The kind of material or wood does not matter as long as they are GMA Standard B Grade pallets.
  • Grocery items should be shipped using GMA 1A Grade pallets.
  • When it comes to products under Health and Personal Care and Beauty, use only GMA 1A and 1B pallets only. 
  • Never ship products on pallets that are made of cardboard, plastic, or particleboard.
  • Don’t ship units on pallets that are damaged or broken.

Pallet Grades:

GMA Standard B

  • The boards on the bottom should not be less than four boards.
  • Must have at least six or seven boards above (will depend on the board’s width).
  • Must have 4-way entry, stringers for extra support, and must not have block repairs to the stringers.

GMA 1A Grade Pallets

  • Must have seven boards on top and five at the bottom.
  • 4-way entry with stringers, and there should be no block repairs to the stringers.

GMA 1B Grade Pallets

  • Depending on the board’s width, there should be six to seven boards on top and not less than four boards on the bottom.
  • 4-way entry with stringers for additional support, but only one stringer should have a plug or any repair. 

Freight Forwarder Requirements for LTL and FTL Deliveries to Amazon

Sellers and their chosen carriers or freight forwarders must work together when delivering LTL and FTL shipments to Amazon. Sellers must select carriers that are aware of Amazon’s guidelines regarding their deliveries. This includes pallet requirements, proper stacking, building a pallet, labeling, and scheduling shipments.  

Below are Amazon’s requirements for freight forwarders for LTL and FTL deliveries. Sellers should make sure that they inform their carriers about these guidelines.

  • Seller’s freight forwarders have to schedule their delivery appointment in advance. The seller and carrier need to complete any necessary steps before making a delivery appointment request.
  • When delivering to Amazon FCs, freight forwarders must have a list of Amazon reference IDs, tracking numbers, and shipment IDs on the bill of lading. 
  • Before scheduling an appointment, the freight forwarder should inform the FC of the number of pallets and boxes. For floor-loaded trailers, it should also be indicated on the freight bill.
  • Once the shipment has arrived at the FC, a physical bill of lading must be presented. Carriers can also use an electronic bill of lading as long as it was provided to the FC before the shipment’s arrival.

If a freight forwarder fails to comply with Amazon’s terms, it may lead to a refusal of delivery. This is why it is very important that sellers inform their preferred carriers of all of Amazon’s guidelines and requirements, especially in fixing the pallets, required pallet grades, proper box stacking, and the necessary labels and IDs needed such as reference and shipment IDs.

When choosing a freight forwarding company for your Amazon business, go for a company that is experienced in working with Amazon sellers. This will ensure that they already know the Amazon FC requirements.  

How to Properly Stack Boxes on Pallets?

Amazon Pallet Requirements

Amazon also has guidelines when it comes to stacking boxes on pallets. If you’re shipping a single LTL shipment in the United States, it should not exceed 5,000 boxes. If in case your shipment exceeds 5,000 boxes, a second shipment should be created. 

Here are some of the guidelines on how to properly stack boxes on pallets.

  • For easy recognition and differentiation, once the pallet is received, ASINs must be physically separated in cases where there are multiple ASINs on the pallet.
  • All guidelines on the box packaging should be followed. This includes box orientation, maximum stack heights, handling restrictions, and more.
  • Ideally, the heaviest items should be stacked on the bottom. Ensure that boxes are stable when stacked on the pallet.
  • For easy barcode scanning and to prevent breaking the pallet, those with FBA box ID labels must be facing outwards. 
  • For pallets with a single ASIN, boxes should be stacked in a similar direction, either vertical or horizontal.
  • The packed height of pallets must not be higher than 50 inches and must be stackable.
  • For non-stackable pallets, they should not be more than 72 inches high.

How to Build a Pallet for Amazon?

Here are the guidelines on how to properly build a pallet for Amazon.

Assembly

  • Each pallet’s unit must all be associated with the same shipment ID. 
  • Place or clamp together shipping boxes that should be sold together. 
  • Single, non-clampable shipment boxes with a weight of more than 100 pounds, are more than 30 inches broad or are more than 80 inches long, must be placed on their own pallet.

Weight and Height

  • The weight of the total pallet should not be more than 1,500 lbs. 
  • The maximum height for single pallets must not be more than 72 inches tall. However, it is allowed for a single pallet to be 98 inches as long as it includes the pallet height and should comply with clampable instructions according to the Floor Loading Policy.

Stacking and Wrapping

  • Only use standard pallet stacking requirements when staging boxes.
  • Never use elastics, bags, or extra straps when bundling shipping boxes, and no contents should overhang the pallet’s edge.
  • Make sure that pallets are wrapped several times using a clear plastic stretch wrap. It should have a warning note such as do not break stretch wrap.
  • It should be properly wrapped to avoid shifting while in transport. Never use the stretch wrap to balance or steady the contents of the pallet.
  • When wrapping the pallet, it should start on the top of the stack going down and must include the pallet.
  • When wrapping the pallet, it should start on the top of the stack going down and must include the pallet.

Labeling

  • Sellers should follow Amazon’s requirements on shipment labels, and each box included in the shipment should have the unique FBA box ID.
  • Each side of the pallet must show the FBA pallet labels on the outside of the plastic wrap.

Loading

  • There should be at least six inches of clearance from the stack’s top to the container’s roof. 
  • There should be at least 3 inches between the walls and the pallets during transit using non-metal straps, airbags, or safety net to prevent the pallet from falling or moving. 
  • Ideally, there must be at least eight inches between the container doors and the last row of pallets. 

Does Amazon Accept Double-Stacked Pallets?

Amazon FC allows and accepts double-stacked pallets to maximize space and freight efficiency. However, they should be stacked properly to ensure products will not be damaged and are safe to load and unload. 

Here are the Amazon guidelines for double-stacked pallets.

  • There should be six inches between the container’s ceiling and the top of the pallet. This is to make sure the pallets are safely unloaded with a forklift.
  • The total height of double-stacked pallets should not be over 100 inches. This means that each pallet stack should only have at least 50 inches. 
  • Boxes should be stacked uniformly and squarely, with no boxes overhanging the pallet edge.
  • Must follow brick stacking, which means that the heaviest boxes must be on the bottom of the stack and lighter boxes on top to prevent from getting damaged.
  • Leave enough spaces on stacked pallets for unloading.
  • To avoid the pallets from falling and leaning while in transit, ensure the box stacks and weight are in the center.

What are Pallet Label Requirements?

Amazon Pallet Requirements

Aside from properly building a pallet and stacking boxes, Amazon also requires that all pallet labels follow their requirements. Below is the guide on pallet label requirements.

  • Put the FBA pallet labels outside the plastic stretch wrap on all four sides.
  • Stick the FBA pallet labels and FBA box ID labels to every box included in the pallet.
  • Make sure the labels are not placed on an angle but squarely on all pallet sides. This will allow the forklift driver to see them as they lift the pallet.
  • If the pallet contains a single ASIN, label it with “Single ASIN Pallet.”
  • For multiple SKUs on a single pallet, separate the SKUs physically. This will make it easier to recognize them once received at the FC. 

Special Pallet Label Requirements

Here are some other special pallet label requirements that FBA sellers should know about.

  • A single unit box exceeding 50 lbs should have a “Team Lift” special label.
  • A single unit box exceeding 100 lbs should have a “Mech Lift” label.
  • Boxes and pallets that have different SKUs must have a “Mixed SKU” label.
  • Units that have multiple products with the intention of selling as a set or as a single SKU must have a “Sold as Set” label. 

Amazon also offers an FBA label service for those who want to make their lives a lot easier. 

Conclusion

Knowing and following the Amazon pallet requirements can help prevent delays and non-acceptance of shipments on Amazon FCs. Be sure your suppliers and carriers are also aware of this. Did you fail to follow any of the guidelines above? Please share your stories with us or ask questions in the comments below. 

About the author

My name is Tomer, and I founded Sourcing Monster to share proven tips and methods that I use every day for my Amazon business to provide value and growth for you as well as you journey through your own business!

Feel free to comment or share any feedback down below!

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