insight
You are viewing this site in staging mode. Click in this bar to return to normal site.

Amazon Vendor - New requirements for pallet labelling and ASNs (EU/UK)

KhooCommerce
01 May 2024 16:25

You may have got an email from Amazon Vendor detailing changes required for ASN labelling from 1st June 2024. This article relates to changes in the EU/UK - for changes to the US/Canada area, see our other article here. This article explores the major changes and what you need to do to implement them in your business. 

Summary of New Features and Requirements

Amazon Vendor is now allowing for more granular detail of the shipment to be sent in the Advance Shipment Notification (ASN). 

These changes are:

  1. Ability to add in the Pallet-level SSCC
  2. Carton level tracking for small parcel shipments
  3. Updated GS1 code for SSCC 
  4. Renaming Hierarchy STPI -> SPCI 
  5. SCAC Code in ASN message 

 

Let's look at what they mean in some more detail.

1) Ability to add in the Pallet-level SSCC

We're really pleased to see this change. SSCCs, or Serialised Shipment Container Codes, are a logistic unit identifier that up until this change, were only used on carton-level labelling. The SSCC is an 18-digit code (with 00 extension on the front) that wraps up the Item, Order and Quantity information of the package, as well as an expiry or handling information. This change means that SSCCs can now be applied at the pallet level. Amazon have stressed that the SSCC labels still need to be applied at the carton level even if you are applying pallet level SSCCs, unless you're using GTIN14 on the carton labels. 

So what's the benefit? 

Pallet-level SSCCs are already used in the North American transmissions, so this is more of a 'bring-into-line' type situation rather than an upgrade, per-se. Amazon can receive goods at the pallet level and it will help them to inbound goods more efficiently if they can start the receive process knowing which cartons are on each pallet. 

What do I need to implement this? 

To send this in, you'll need to map your box packing arrangement onto specific pallets. This means you'll need to capture which order+item combination was in each box, and then which box was on which pallet. Typically, it's best to do this at the warehouse floor by de-marking packages 1-X on pallet 1, and so on. When working with a 3PL, make sure they understand how to map the package-pallet information in Vendor central as well. 

If you're not familiar with KhooCommerce, we provide a packing software to help warehouse users capture all this info at the packing stage. Please get in touch to see some more info on how this works! 

2) Carton level tracking for small parcel shipments

We're really glad to see this change - in fact it's one we've been talking with Amazon about this before they rolled out the new version! 

Previously, carton level tracking for small parcel shipments was only able to be sent in at the header level - one tracking number per ASN. This change allows each tracking reference to be sent at the package level, meaning a much more in depth continuity of data flow. 

So what's the benefit? 

This will increase the number of tracking references being sent to Amazon Vendor, so hopefully this will help to mitigate some of the PRO/BOL mismatch chargebacks. Further, it should help with shortage disputes as more tracking info is visible to the Amazon team.

What do I need to implement this? 

To send this in, you'll need to get back each tracking reference from your carrier at the point you create your shipment, and attach that into the ASN message when it is sent. This is easiest to do when retrieving the labels via API.

KhooCommerce supports a number of carrier APIs, such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, & DPD. We can connect to your carrier account and generate the small parcel shipment label at the same time as making the SSCC label, meaning all this information is wrapped together in one stage. Please get in touch to see some more info on how this works! 

3) Updated GS1 codes for SSCC

We're pleased to see this change. As a GS1 standard, SSCCs technically have their own designation code inside the ASN message. This update by Amazon Vendor allows for a slightly more technical change to make the designation of SSCCs more correct. 

So what's the benefit? 

While we're pleased to see this change, this won't necessarily improve your setup much. That said, anything you can do to make sure your license Plate Receive setup is correct is a worthwhile venture!

What do I need to implement this? 

To send this in, you'll need to change the identifier code for the SSCC from PCI+33E to PCI+39.

KhooCommerce comment: We've made this change internally for all our users. 

4) Renaming Hierarchy STPI -> SPCI 

This is a cosmetic change - Amazon have renamed the hierarchy from Shipment / Tare / Package / Item to Shipment / Pallet / Carton / Item. 

This is a bit of a deviation from the American system of SOTPI (Shipment Order Tare Package Item) hierarchy that is used in the X12 format, but its really just a cosmetic one. It makes it a bit confusing as the "P" is interchangeably "Pallet" in the EU and "Package" in the US, but it's probably because the term "Tare" was being misunderstood in the EU. 

 

5) SCAC code in ASN message

We're also really pleased to see this change. 

If you're not familiar, SCAC codes, or Standard Carrier Alpha Code, are 4-5 digit codes that correspond to certain carriers. Some carriers have many sub-codes for their different services; for example FDEG may be FedEx Ground while FDEN is FedEx Express. 

While this is a totally optional field for businesses in the EU/UK, this is actually a requirement for businesses on the Collect (WePay) program, which is commonly used in the US. In that program, Amazon assigns the carrier and in the routing instructions they specify the carrier via the SCAC code, so sending it back as a confirmation is required to acknowledge the correct carrier. 

So what's the benefit? 

We think the SCAC addition, like the PRO number detail, is a healthy addition to the robustness and detail of the message that is being sent in. It probably won't make too much impact for the overall ASN process and seems like a nice-to-have. 

What do I need to implement this? 

To send this in, you'll need to create a mapping of SCAC to carrier for all the carriers you use, and send that into the relevant ASN segment when the ASN is made.

KhooCommerce comment: We've made this change internally for all our users. 

Summary

Overall, we're really pleased to see these latest updates for the ASN message that Amazon Vendor is now allowing. The pallet level SSCC and Carton level PRO numbers will be the most significant changes for Vendors in their outbound process, and Amazon's receive process. You will need to make sure your EDI system is capable of mapping the new data fields required for these changes from June 1st. Want to read more at Amazon? See their article here (link to Vendor Central).

If you'd our help to get fully compliant with these new requirements, or talk about EDI integration in general, please send us a message