Amazon Ships in Own Container Packaging Changes
Amazon announced in late 2018 that packages over 18” by 14” by 8” would require either Tier 2: Ships in Own Container (SIOC) or Tier 1: Frustration Free Packaging (FFP) certification. While there is some concern and confusion about the change, we summarize the context and steps here.
Tier 2 SIOC (Ships in Own Container): Means the product can ship in its own box, no over boxing is required in the fulfillment center to ship to a customer.
Tier 1 FFP (Frustration Free Packaging): Certified FFP is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials. The concept is explained in this YouTube video made by Amazon.
What does this all mean in the broad context for Amazon?
Amazon is seeking to optimize packaging for delivery, rather than for an endcap at a brick and mortar store (like the Tide example above).
By stocking packages that are already prepped to ship in their own box, it removes a step in the fulfillment process. Instead of Pick -> Pack -> Ship, it’s Pick -> Ship, saving time / labor + material cost.
As Amazon leads, and sees reduced supply chain costs, other retailers are highly likely to follow in their steps as more customer demand shifts to E-Commerce.
Amazon’s largest variable cost is shipping (est. $21.7B in 2017)
What does this mean for your brand?
You must verify your product dimensions are correct in Amazon’s system, then decide which solution is most cost effective for your business.
Certify as SIOC - A list of testing labs can be found here
Dropship the selected products
Take the Chargeback ($1.99 per unit)
If you chose to move forward with SIOC certification, identify the number of boxes that require SIOC certification and work with a testing lab to acquire the required paperwork. Submit this paperwork to Amazon through Vendor Central.
The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) has a search feature on their website that allows you to find the closest testing center to your facility.