What are Split Shipments?

Updated 2 years ago by Travis R

Unfortunately, split shipments is a thing and that thing happens often.

Amazon will often force sellers to send items to many different warehouses based on the geographical and historical sales of an ASIN (Amazon Stock Identifier Number). They do this in an effort to save on shipping costs for Amazon.

Split shipments are particularly bad around the holidays because so much volume is coming through Amazon’s warehouses that they are forced to be as efficient as they can with their shipping costs.
Sometimes a you may have multiple items in a batch that are assigned to one warehouse but split on different shipment plans. According to Amazon: Two inbound shipment plans might be created with the same Amazon fulfillment center destination if the two shipment plans require different processing—for example, items that require labels must be shipped separately from stickerless, commingled inventory.

Here is an example of a typical split shipment:

You have a textbook about nursing that you sourced at a Goodwill and now want to send it in Amazon’s warehouse in order to sell it. That book is primarily being used by 10 professors across many colleges on the East coast. You live in California. Since that particular text book is really generating all of its sales from the East coast, Amazon forces you to send (and pay for) shipping to their New Jersey warehouse instead of the warehouse closest to you in California.

In addition to this, the textbook is primarily being used across the entire East coast so you'll notice the same text book going to multiple warehouses in New York, South Carolina and Florida

What can be done about split shipments?

We are always looking for ways to streamline and add flexibility to the listing process for our customers but sometimes split shipments will still happen. Here is a list of ideas (no particular order) to help you with a more streamlined process to deal with split shipments:

FBA Inventory Placement Service (go there now)

This is a service by Amazon that allows you to pay $.30-$.40 cents per item to help ensure that your items don’t get split to different warehouses. We have heard in the Amazon forums that this service works great for most sellers but even Amazon gives a warning that certain categories (books included) will not be guaranteed to one single warehouse.

Keep shipments to one box

This is easier said than done but if you list your items up to and close to the 50lb box weight and then stop, it seems as if Amazon is a little more forgiving with splits as it may account for in its algorithm that the seller is sending in one box of items.

Create shipment plans on Seller Central

Some sellers report that building their shipments on Seller Central instead of a 3rd party listing application is more favorable at times for splits.

List more, not less

If you're going to list 32 products and it doesn't fill a box you will probably get more splits. The more you list in one sitting, the better. Don't worry about Box Content because you can use our easy box content manager tool to make it easy

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