If you are using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), or are a supplier that supplies products to Amazon, then you will need to know about the advanced shipping notice. This is a notification you send to Amazon before you ship any products to them. Without it, there is a strong chance that your products will be rejected by the fulfillment center.
What does ASN mean?
ASN's meaning is simple: ASN acronym in shipping stands for "Advance Shipping Notice." Most companies that accept stock will have some sort of ASN system in place as part of their supply chain, but here we want to talk specifically about the ASN document for Amazon.
The ASN shipping notification will include all details of the shipment. This includes the inventory inside the package, details of when it was sent, as well as when it is likely to arrive.
When should you send an ASN advanced shipping notice to Amazon?
You will need to send an ASN shipping notice when you are shipping products to Amazon. This means that you do not need to send an ASN if you dropship. This is because you will be sending the products directly to the customer, and Amazon will not be a part of the delivery process. However, it is still worth keeping a tracking number for your records. That way you can deal with any issues if your customer claims not to have received their product.
If you are using Fulfillment by Amazon, you will always need to send an ASN. This process is automated when you create a new shipment on Amazon.
What happens if you do not send an ASN shipping notification?
If you do not send an ASN to Amazon, then they will likely reject your parcel. There is a strong chance that the package could also go missing. After all, if Amazon has no record that it is meant to be delivered to their warehouse, then they may not be able to process it. This could result in lost stock.
If you do not include accurate information on the ASN, then Amazon will either reject the package or charge extra fees for dealing with the inaccurate information.
Submitting an ASN to Amazon
One of the perks of working with Amazon is that they make it as simple as possible to submit an ASN. They pretty much automate the process, which means you do not need an advance ship notice template. You can handle nearly everything through Amazon Vendor Central. You can also submit an EDI document via other methods, but this is something reserved for the big Amazon suppliers. Nearly everybody else should be using the automated process on Amazon Vendor Central.
When you gain an Amazon Vendor Central account (Amazon will need to invite you to this), then details of your shipment will need to be inputted into Amazon Vendor Central within an hour of your package shipping. Your Amazon representative will walk you through the process when you first start to work with them because this process will vary from time to time.
Do note that if you are using Amazon Vendor Central, you will only be able to send products that they have ordered directly from you. Do not send anything else. It will not be paid for. The only products to appear on the ASN document should be Amazon ordered products.
If you are using FBA, then the process will be slightly different. It will not even be called ASN. However, the process serves much the same function. To begin creating your ship notice, you will need to login to Amazon Seller Central and follow these steps. Unlike vendors, you will need to do this before you ship the products. You will receive an ASN barcode that will be attached to the package for ease of processing:
- "Select "Manage Inventory'
- Select "Send/Replenish Inventory"
- Select "Create a New Shipping Plan"
You will then go through the process, adding the exact products you want to the shipment. At the end of these steps, you will pay for the shipment and be provided with a label that is added to the packaging. This is how you will track the package, and how Amazon will sort the items once they arrive.
Submitting an ASN Invoice
If you are not using FBA and are just a regular supplier for Amazon, then you are required to submit the invoice for the dispatched products as soon as you have sent your ASN. This will ensure that the process for getting paid can begin as soon as Amazon confirms receipt of your products.