This section covers the product preparation and packaging guidelines when inbounding to Flexport. To help you understand these packaging requirements from start to finish, we've created the following video. Please review this and the entire section of our Help Center as well for further details and to ensure your products are packaged correctly for safe and fast receiving!
Preparing your product for shipping to your customer starts with you. Prior to sending in any inventory, you’ll want to take care to package your products to withstand warehouse conditions and the ever-growing rigors of the shipping process: Can your units withstand being thrown into the back of a truck?
From the time products leave your possession until each item gets to your customers, the average product is handled by 17-20 different people. Your products should be packaged accordingly.
Every seller is responsible for preparing their products to ship and be handled safely. While we offer guidance and Help Articles to assist sellers with best practices and questions, Flexport does not assume responsibility to ensure your items are packaged to withstand the rigors of the shipping process. Inventory that arrives at a fulfillment center without proper preparation or labeling may incur a preparation fee.
Product packaging requirements
All products must be inbounded in boxes. Everything must be boxed in a master carton (i.e., you cannot inbound pallets of bags).
When preparing your product for fulfillment, prior to shipping it to our fulfillment centers, each item must be packaged and prepped in a manner to ensure it can move through the fulfillment process quickly and safely.
The most common types of material used for product packaging requirements are: bubble wrap, dunnage, blister packs, poly bags, and/or overboxing (put into boxes). These materials should be used as required to protect individual products. Additional dunnage requirements are here.
Key packaging requirements questions:
- Are any of my products restricted products that cannot -- under any circumstance -- be sent to our fulfillment centers? These are listed here.
Are all of my units self-contained and ready to be shipped to the end customer without additional preparation?
Are my units prepared for the rigors of the shipping process? Would it pass the drop-test (Dropped multiple times from 3ft at different angles?)
Will my combined item packaging be easily received by the warehouses with items clearly grouped together? (Read more here)
Are all box labels applied to be read & easily accessible by a scanner? (Read more here)
Basic Package Testing (FBA's Drop Test)
Flexport requires that all products pass FBA's drop test, shown in the video below.
To pass the drop test, a packaged product cannot break or leak after being dropped five times from a height of three feet onto a hard surface. The drops are outlined here:
- Dropped flat on the base
- Dropped flat on the top
- Dropped flat on the longest side
- Dropped flat on the shortest side
- Dropped flat on the corner
Failure to Package properly
Improper packaging of items may result in damage to items. We may also experience delays or be unable to receive your inventory if improperly prepared.
- Important note: Items that have NOT been prepared according to the requirements will be subject to charges for unplanned prep services at the fulfillment center.
Product Preparation Services
Flexport now offers product Prep services, which you can learn more about here.
Dangerous/Restricted Goods (and Removal)
If your product is identified as a dangerous/restricted good, while already in our possession, any and all fees including, but not limited to removal, disposal, return freight, and penalties imposed by network facilities/providers will be passed along to you.
Products Stored Upright (or any specific direction)
Currently, Flexport is unable to manage products that require storage upright or in any specific direction. Even if the product or case pack is labeled with a directional marking, we cannot guarantee it will be stored accordingly.
Now that your products are ready to go - Make sure to review our guidance on the different ways to prepare your inbound packages!