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Navigating Amazon’s Strict Floor Loading Policy

In this guide, you will learn how to avoid getting your floor-loaded Amazon shipment refused at the FBA warehouse upon delivery.

What does “floor loaded” mean?

A container or truck is floor loaded when it is stacked with freight from the floor to the roof without the utilization of a shipping pallet, which enables crews to use forklifts and pallet jacks to unload and move the freight.

Why might Amazon refuse my floor loaded delivery?

When loading boxed products directly on the floor versus on pallets, it takes longer for Amazon’s fulfillment centers to process your goods. In the case that your shipment requires extensive labor and handling, your delivery may be refused and additional charges may be applied to your bill. The latter also impacts the availability of your products for sales on the Amazon marketplace, so it is crucial to make your deliveries according to Amazon’s guidelines and requirements.

Amazon’s Floor Loading Requirements

Amazon’s floor loading policy prompts for the shipper to palletize all shipments whenever possible. This is done to secure earlier delivery appointments and safe unloading procedures. Due to safety concerns, Amazon often refuses floor-loaded shipments that require extensive labor or handling. This may happen when boxes are greater than 50 pounds.

* Any additional charges assessed by your carrier would vary based on the extra time and labor required to unload your goods, which can vary significantly from shipment to shipment.

* You must notify Amazon’s FBA Fulfillment Center immediately when you know that your shipment will be floor loaded. After this, Amazon will assess your request and notify you whether or not your shipment is accepted. You can find this information in the appointment section of Amazon’s Carrier Central platform. (Select Load Type → Floor Loaded)

Preparing a Floor Loaded Shipment

- Stack boxes into columns in an alternating pattern. This provides stability.

- Do not use straps, zip ties, tape, or other similar materials to bundle the boxes together.

- Keep at least 3 inches between the column stacks and the walls of the container.

- Do not stack boxes higher than 72 inches, unless they conform to Amazon’s clamp truck instructions.

- Keep at least 8 inches of clearance from the last row of the boxes to the doors of the container, so you can engage a dock leveler.

- Keep at least 6 inches of clearance from the top of the stacked boxes to the roof of the container.

- Products that exceed 48 inches in length, must be loaded along the length of the container or trailer.

* Floor loaded or non-palletized goods will be refused if they arrive at Amazon's FBA centers on a trailer with uneven or corrugated floors.

Amazon’s Load Quality Requirements

- All shipments must be properly secured with load bars and load straps:

- It is the responsibility of the shipper and the carrier to ensure that shipments are loaded into a trailer in a way that prevents the load from shifting during transportation. When you use intermodal transport to use a load strap, instead of a load bar to secure the goods.

- Floor-loaded goods should only be loaded into a container that is at least 8 feet tall:

- Make sure that the overall height of the carton stack allows at least 6 inches of clearance from the top of the stack to the roof of the container.

- Make sure that all boxes comply with Amazon’s clamp truck instructions, regardless of their weight or size.

* It may take longer for your load to be received if the load quality doesn’t meet Amazon’s Floor Loading Policy. Load quality issues may also result in extra charges for unplanned services or refusal of the shipment.

Amazon’s Clamp Truck Requirements

When transporting your load, you must be able to categorize the goods as either “clampable” or “non-clampable.”

Clampable means that your load is able to be completely unloaded from a trailer using clamp attachments to a powered industrial machine for lift (forklift).

Non-clampable means that your goods can only be unloaded from a trailer or container by hand.

Clampable or non-clampable freight must always meet the following criteria:

- Maintain at least 3 inches between loaded stacks, as well as between stacks and the walls of the container.

- Make sure that the overall height of the stack allows 6 inches of clearance from the top of the stack to the roof of the container.

- Each tier must be arranged to be uniform and aligned, relative to the other tiers or levels so that all four sides of the freight stack can be safely moved with a forklift or a clamp truck. Tier heights may vary, as long as they are all even at the top.

- The goods must be arranged in a way which doesn’t require repositioning or rearranging to unload.

- Spacers can be used between stacks to prevent them from shifting or moving during transport. All shipments must be properly secured with the use of load bars and straps.

- Use air pillows, dunnage, and diamond corrugated shims for stability and maintenance of separation between stacks during transport.

- Clampable boxes must be at least 24 inches wide and 72 inches long to be able to accommodate minimum and maximum clamp truck restrictions.

- Shrink wrap products together to prevent non-secure loading.

Slip Sheet Requirements

When you use slip sheets to replace pallets, make sure to meet the following requirements:

- Place the slip sheets in between the floor and the product, and between layers of product.

- Make sure that the overall height of the stack allows 6 inches of clearance from the top of the stack to the container roof.

- Only use slip sheets that meet industry standard pallet size requirements (40 in x 48 in).

- Products more than 48 inches in length must be loaded along the length of the trailer or the container.

Explore the Freight Right case study on rejected floor-loaded containers to Amazon.