Have you noticed the new Amazon Packing List Requirements? It's actually called a “Pack List” but that just sounds weird to me. So, I may accidentally call it a Packing List sometimes too.
If you’ve sent out an Amazon FBA shipment in the last month or so, you may have noticed that this has (or will) become a requirement for FBA Shipments now. This new requirement seems frustrating for some and like a bunch of extra work. But doing this will actually help our shipments get checked in faster and hopefully eliminate the extreme wait time we've seen lately for FBA items to be completely checked in and processed in the Amazon warehouses. If you haven't done a shipment with the requirement, you may be feeling fearful on how the process actually works. This post is your step by step guide so you can just jump right in and get it done! It actually isn't as hard as it seems from first glance. You will be a pack list master soon.
When Do You Need A Pack List For Your Shipment?
The Amazon pack list requirement is only needed (or even shown as an option) if you have multiple boxes in your FBA shipment. If you have just one box, you can go straight to the shipping portion of your order.
For your shipments that have multiple boxes, here are steps to help you get you rolling with pack lists:
Step - By - Step Instructions For Creating Amazon Pack List
Once you have created a shipment in Amazon, proceed to the Prepare Shipment section. This will take you to the page where you are able to select your carrier and enter box dimensions.
Fill in the carrier as normal and now we get to the part where your selections will be a little different.
Start at Section 3 - Shipment Packing
If you choose multiple boxes from the drop down shown below, you will be given the option to select how you want to provide Amazon with the box contents. Once you select multiple boxes a new section will appear and give you three options. 1. Use webform 2. Upload file or 3 Skip providing box contents. For these instructions we are using the Upload File selection.
Mark the selection Upload file from the choices. Then continue to adding the box weight and dimensions for your shipment as usual. At this point, make sure that you have your boxes marked which box is which so you can fill in the spreadsheet easily. I recommend keeping a written list as you are packing your shipment so you know what is in each box before even getting to this point. Otherwise you may be unpacking the box to find out the contents.
Once you have entered the weight and box dimensions for each box, you will be prompted to “download pack list template” for this shipment. This template is different for every single shipment, so you can't reuse a previous one. When you download the template, make sure to save it to a place on your hard drive where you will be able to find it.
My downloads go to the bottom of my browser, where I can easily double click them to open. If your computer doesn't do that, then please find your downloaded template and open it on your computer.
Open this “.txt” file. Because this is a .txt file opening in notepad (usually) you will see a lot of different characters / words that are jumbled together and may not make much sense. What you need to do here is highlight and copy all of the text in the notepad window.
I use Google Sheets, but you can use any similar spreadsheet program to work on the packing list. When you open the blank sheet, you can past the entire selection from before to the spreadsheet.
The text should now all be separated into different fields in your spreadsheet. Now they should be making a whole lot more sense.
Your spreadsheet should look similar to mine above. There are several columns and they will change depending on how many boxes your shipment has. To make the spreadsheet easier to read, I would widen the width of each column so you can see all of the details on the page.
The first columns are always the Merchant SKU, the Title, ASIN and FNSKU. The Title column is the one that will tell you which item you are filling in information for on the rest of the lines.
All of the details are pre-filled in, until you get to column K. You don't want to change anything prior to that on the spreadsheet.
Filling In Your Pack List
For each of the items you are sending in to Amazon, you will need to let them know how many of each are in each box, plus any expiration dates for those products.
I have labeled my columns 1 - 5 so you can see what they are and how to fill them in.
Column 1: How many of this particular item are being shipped to the warehouse (this is filled automatically based how many items you entered through Amazon Seller, Inventory lab or a similar program)
Column 2: This would be for the unit quantities of your first box for the shipment. You can tell which box it is box #1 because it ends in 001. For each item you have in box #1, add the quantity in the corresponding field. If you are not sending any of that sku in the box leave it blank.
Column 3: This is for the expiration dates of your first box. Again the 001 at the end tells you it is box #1. Format the date in mm/dd/yy. If the field is blank, then Amazon wants the date for that item. If the date is not needed it has been pre-filled with “Not Needed”.
Column 4: This would be for the unit quantities of your second box for the shipment. You can tell it's box #2 because it ends in 002. For each item you have in box #2, add the quantity in the corresponding field. If you are not sending any of that sku in the box leave it blank.
Column 5: This is for the expiration dates of your second box. Again the 002 at the end tells you it is box #2. Format the date in mm/dd/yy. If the field is blank, then Amazon wants the date for that item. If the date is not needed it has been pre-filled with “Not Needed”.
You will continue to have more columns if you have more boxes. Remember each box has 2 columns. A unit quantity column and an expiration date column. Continue to fill in each box until you have done all the boxes you are sending in.
**A note on expiration dates** Each box may only contain one expiration date per ASIN. If you are sending in multiple expiration dates they will need to go into separate boxes.**
Once you have accounted for all the products you are sending in this shipment, you are ready for the next step. Now you need to save your document as a .tsv file (if you are using google sheets, this will be under “download as”) Make sure to name your file and save it to a place where you will easily be able to access it in the next step. I like to use the date when I save it so I can find it easily that way.
Now head back over to the Amazon page you were working on previously for the shipment. It is time to upload the .tsv file to Amazon. You will click choose file and then select the file you just saved. Once the file is selected, click Upload Now.
Once your file is uploaded and processed it will say Status: Done. Keep waiting until it has finished processing before leaving. You can click refresh status to see if it has finished processing. If you get any errors, you can check the processing report. The most common error is that the quantities inputted into the spreadsheet don't equal the totals that were supposed to be sent it. If this happens, repeat the steps above double checking the quantities match the total sending in.
If you show the Done Status, then you are good to go! Congratulations 🙂 Now your shipments should start getting checked in faster and more accurately.
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