Shipping Cost from Alibaba to Amazon FBA

Selling on Amazon using products sourced from Alibaba is a popular strategy for entrepreneurs, particularly those attracted to the large selection of products and competitive pricing offered by Chinese manufacturers. However, navigating the challenges of shipping cost from Alibaba to Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) can be overwhelming. 

Understanding the various payment options, available shipping methods, and cost considerations is crucial for making informed decisions that ensure the profitability of your business model. 

shipping cost from alibaba to amazon fba

How to Buy Products from Alibaba and Sell on Amazon?

Here’s how to buy products from Alibaba to Amazon FBA step by step

1. Product Research and Selection

Analyze Amazon listings and market trends to find products with high demand and low competition. 

Look for products that offer a significant price advantage when compared to buying domestically. 

2. Finding a Supplier on Alibaba

Use relevant keywords and filters to narrow down your search for potential suppliers. 

Look for suppliers’ positive reviews, certifications like Gold Supplier or Trade Assurance, and a history of successful transactions. 

Request quotes, ask questions about product quality, minimum order quantities (MOQs), and customization options (if needed).

3. Negotiation and Order Placement

Don’t be afraid to negotiate on price, payment terms, and lead times. Communicate clearly and professionally. 

Always order product samples before placing a large order to ensure quality meets your expectations. 

Confirm product specifications, pricing, payment methods (Alibaba Trade Assurance is recommended for new sellers), and shipping terms (Incoterms) before placing the order. 

4. Preparing for Arrival at Amazon FBA

Ensure your products comply with Amazon’s size, weight, labeling, and packaging regulations. 

Discuss any specific labeling or packaging requirements with your supplier to ensure a smooth transition to Amazon FBA. 

Research and secure a reliable freight forwarder to handle international shipping and customs clearance for your products. 

5. Receiving at Amazon FBA and Listing Creation

Monitor the progress of your shipment from Alibaba to Amazon FBA

Create optimized product listings on Amazon with high-quality product photos, detailed descriptions, and relevant keywords to attract potential buyers. 

6. Ongoing Management

Monitor inventory levels and reorder products from your supplier as needed. 

Respond promptly and professionally to customer inquiries and address any issues that may arise. 

How to Pay Alibaba Suppliers?

There are several secure payment methods available to pay Alibaba suppliers, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. 

Alibaba Trade Assurance

This escrow protects both buyers and sellers. With Trade Assurance, the buyer’s payment is held by Alibaba until they confirm they’ve received the goods that meet the agreed-upon quality and quantity. 

Though this offers better peace of mind for buyers, especially working with new suppliers, there may be fees associated with Trade Assurance, and the process can be slightly more complex than other payment methods. 

Letter of Credit (LC)

This method offers strong financial guarantees for both parties involved in the transaction. An LC is essentially a promise by a bank to guarantee payment to the seller upon presentation of specific documents, such as a bill of lading providing the goods have been shipped. 

This ensures that the buyer receives the goods as ordered and the seller gets paid promptly. 

However, Letters of Credit can be expensive to set up and can add complexity to the transaction. They are typically recommended for high-value orders where both parties require a high level of security. 


Paypal is a widely used online payment platform which offers convenience and buyer protection for online transactions. 

However, PayPal fees for international transactions can be higher than other payment methods. Additionally, some suppliers may be hesitant to accept PayPal due to potential chargeback risks. 

Can I Ship Directly from Alibaba to Amazon FBA?

Shipping from Alibaba to Amazon FBA is possible, yet it’s generally not recommended for several reasons: 

Quality Control: You won’t have the opportunity to inspect the products before they are shipped to Amazon. 

FBA Requirements: Amazon FBA from Alibaba has specific labeling and packaging requirements that your supplier may not be familiar with. 

Increased Costs: You may miss out on consolidation opportunities and economies of scale that can be achieved by shipping to your own warehouse first. 

What are the Different Shipping Methods Available for Shipping from Alibaba to Amazon FBA?

The choice of shipping from Alibaba to Amazon depends on several factors, including the weight and volume of your shipment, your budget, and your desired delivery speed. 

Ocean Freight

Ocean freight is the most cost-effective option, ideal for large shipments that are not time-sensitive. 

However, it’s also the slowest method, with shipping times typically ranging from 4 to 6 weeks. Ocean freight is typically quoted on a per-container basis (either a 20-foot or 40-foot container), so it’s most economical for large shipments that can fill a significant portion of a container. 

Less-than-container-load (LCL) shipping is also available for smaller shipments but it will be less cost-effective per unit than a full container shipment. 

Air Freight

A good middle ground between Amazon FBA shipping cost and speed, air freight is significantly faster than ocean freight (around 1-2 weeks) but also more expensive, which is ideal for shipments that are too large or time-sensitive for ocean freight but don’t require the urgency of courier services. 

Courier Services

The fastest option available, courier services like DHL, FedEx, and UPS can deliver your shipment in a matter of days however, speed comes at a premium cost. 

Courier services are typically used for urgent deliveries or high-value goods. 

Packaging Considerations for Shipping Cost from Alibaba to Amazon FBA 

While not directly related to shipping costs from Alibaba, proper packaging plays a crucial role in the overall landed cost of your product at Amazon FBA. 

Damage Prevention

Sturdy packaging protects your products from damage during transport, which can lead to rejected shipments and lost inventory. 

Damaged goods may require re-packing or disposal at Amazon fulfillment center, incurring additional fees. 

Weight and Dimension Optimization

Amazon FBA charges storage fees based on the size and weight of your products. 

Working with your supplier to optimize packaging by using the right size boxes and void fill materials can help minimize your FBA storage fees. 

How Long Does It Take to Ship from Alibaba to Amazon FBA?

When it comes to the time it takes to ship from Alibaba to Amazon depends on the chosen method, and can vary significantly. 

Ocean Freight

The most cost-effective option, but also the slowest, with shipping times typically ranging from 4 to 6 weeks. This method is ideal for large, non-time-sensitive shipments. 

Air Freight

A good middle ground between cost and speed, air freight can deliver your shipment in approximately 1-2 weeks. Air freight is a suitable choice for shipments that are too large or time-sensitive for ocean freight but don’t require the urgency of courier services. 

Courier Services

The fastest option available, courier services like DHL, FedEx, and UPS can get your shipment to Amazon FBA in a matter of days. 

However, this speed comes at a premium cost. Courier services are typically used for urgent deliveries or high-value goods. 

How Much Does It Cost to Ship from Alibaba to Amazon FBA?

The cost to ship to Amazon FBA is not one-size-fits-all. Alibaba shipping costs depend on several factors: 

Product weight and volume. The heavier and bulkier the times, the more it costs to ship them. 

Shipping distance matters as well when it comes to shipping cost from Alibaba to Amazon FBA. The further the distance, the higher the cost. 

The chosen shipping method. Ocean freight is the cheapest, followed by air freight and courier services. 

Customs duties and taxes can vary depending on the product and destination. 

How to Determine Shipping Costs From Alibaba to Amazon FBA?

To get more accurate estimate for your specific needs, use the following resources: 

Freight Forwarders

These companies specialize in international shipping and can provide competitive rates for different shipping methods (ocean freight, air freight, courier services). 

They can also help you navigate customs clearance and other logistical complexities. 

Freight forwarders typically require you to provide details about your shipment, including the weight, dimensions, and destination port. 

Once you provide this information, they can provide you with a quote that includes the cost of transportation, insurance, and any applicable fees. 

Online Shipping Calculators

Several online tools can give you a rough estimate of the shipping costs from Alibaba to Amazon FBA. These calculators typically ask you to input information about your shipment, such as the origin, destination, weight, and dimensions. 

Once you enter this information, the calculator will provide you with an estimated cost for different shipping methods. 

Keep in mind that while online calculators may not be completely accurate, they often don’t include additional fees such as customs duties and taxes.