Amazon and Flammables Revisited
About a month ago we discussed Amazon's policy update regarding the storage of flammable items in their FBA facilities. If you recall, it was a cut of 1960 cubic feet to 269 cubic feet for items under the flammable hazmat category. Quite the cutback in space. All sellers have had to quickly react and adapt to these new changes and that includes us at Avalanche.
A particular issue we have come across is sales of chlorine products. If you haven't heard there has been a bit of a chlorine shortage going on this year. This was partly due to more people building pools in their backyards during COVID lockdowns. Though, it is mostly due to a devastating fire at a major chlorine manufacturing plant last August in Louisiana for three days. This wiped out 40% of the industry’s chlorine supply for 2021. We wanted to have more availability of these types of products for our customers, but Amazon has been blocking these due to a lack of space for these types of flammable/hazmat products.
As a solution to some of these obstacles put in our way, we have been using our own storage facilities more often for these products. Merchant fulfilled orders can be a lifesaver when Amazon comes in with its stringent new rules. More pluses that come with merchant fulfillment as opposed to FBA fulfillment are that we have more control of our orders. We know exactly where our products are and control when they go out. Our volume of these types of products can be moved, instead of blocked by Amazon. We also have better and clearer interaction/communication with our customers when we fulfill the orders instead of Amazon.
Not every seller has the opportunity to fulfill their customers' orders, they may not have the resources or facilities to realistically do this. They need to rely on Amazon's FBA fulfillment. A great way for brands or sellers running into this issue is to partner with third-party sellers who have their own facilities and resources to get the orders ready for shipping and sent out on time. It is a reason we get contacted by brands often, they usually don't like dealing with the issue Amazon throws their way so they will rely on us to take care of that for them. It lets brands focus on their products and we focus on the logistics of shipping. Even though we run into hurdles like this from Amazon we always have a backup plan ready to keep our brands happy and products moving.