Inbound transfer requirements and best practices

When sending an inbound transfer to the Shopify Fulfillment Network, make sure you understand the requirements for your shipment. If a shipment arrives at the Shopify Fulfillment Network that doesn't comply with the requirements, then the shipment could be refused. Review the best practices to prevent any additional delays.

Overall requirements

The following requirements must be met for a shipment to be accepted at a Shopify Fulfillment Network warehouse:

  • The shipping carrier must have an appointment with the warehouse. For more information, refer to Shipping carrier appointments.
  • The shipment must have a tracking number or tracking reference. If there is no tracking number, then there must be a pro number or bill of lading (BOL) added to the shipment's tracking information. For more information, refer to Adding tracking information.
  • The shipment must have one of the following:
    • Each item in the shipment must have a barcode attached.
    • A special project for barcodes to be attached by the warehouse must be created and have the transfer number added to the project.
  • Each master carton and inner case must have product labels containing the SKU and barcode for each of the variants inside. If a master carton has inner cases separating out different variants, then a product label is needed on the master carton for each item within the master carton. For more information, refer to Packing and labeling an inbound transfer.
  • Each transfer must have an inbound transfer label. This label must be on each master carton or pallet and is used to identify which inbound transfer the master cartons or pallets belong to. For more information, refer to Packing and labeling an inbound transfer.
  • Variants should not be mixed in cartons without proper sorting and labeling. For more information, refer to Packing and labeling an inbound transfer.

Best practices

To ensure your inbound transfer is accepted by the warehouse without any delays, adhere to the following best practices:

  • Add only one tracking number or reference to a transfer. If a transfer is going to be delivered in multiple shipments, then each delivery should be represented by its own transfer.
  • Any time the estimated time of arrival (ETA) changes, update your inbound transfer with the new ETA.
  • Attach the inbound transfer label in multiple places on a pallet for ease of visibility.
  • Include a packing list with each shipment.
  • Write or attach a label with the quantities on all master and inner cartons.

Shipping carrier appointments

If your inbound transfer is a parcel shipment being shipped through UPS, FedEx, DHL, or USPS, then you don't need to schedule an appointment with the warehouse because they already have standing appointments for this of delivery.

If you are sending a shipment outside the standard parcel delivery method then make an appointment with the warehouse. These shipments are referred to as non-parcel shipments, and include methods such as less than truck load (LTL) shipments, full truckload (FTL) shipments, and shipments made using U-haul trucks.

Appointments for non-parcel shipments must be made within 24-48 hours in advance of the shipment's arrival at the warehouse. Any non-parcel shipment without an appointment will be rejected by the warehouse.

First Article Inspection

You don't need to send product weights and dimensions with your inbound transfers. When your inbound transfers to the Shopify Fulfillment Network arrive at a fulfillment center, they go through a First Article Inspection, where your products are weighed and measured. The weight and measurements from the First Article Inspection are found in the Shopify Fulfillment Network section on your product variant page in your Shopify admin, or in the Shopify Fulfillment Network app.

To ensure that your customers are charged the correct shipping rates, adjust your product weights to match what was captured by the First Article Inspection.

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