As a leading 3PL, we oftentimes work with clients whose products include food, supplements, cosmetics or other items that require special FDA-mandated care, tracking and monitoring. Some of the products that might require FDA Registration could include: candy, cookies, chocolates, pet treats and more.
You can read more about registering with the FDA here.
What is an FDA-Registered Warehouse?
Any time a fulfillment warehouse stores food, beverages or dietary supplements, it is required by law to be registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The purpose of the FDA’s regulations is to ensure that all food and beverage products are safe for consumption by humans and animals. Read more about FDA-registered warehouse here.
Is your distribution center cGMP-compliant?
Yes, we are cGMP 211 compliant.
According to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) regulations provide for “systems that assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities.” Part 211 of cGMP refers to “finished pharmaceuticals.” In addition, cGMP regulations for drugs and supplements “contain minimum requirements for the methods, facilities, and controls used in manufacturing, processing and packing of a drug product. The regulations make sure that a product is safe for use, and that it has the ingredients and strength it claims to have.”
cGMP stands for Current Good Manufacturing Practices, and it is the main regulatory standard that ensures the quality of pharmaceutical products, including medicines, vitamins and other heath and dietary supplements. Enforced and routinely inspected by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a cGMP warehouse adheres to these regulations to ensure that drugs are safe and effective for people to consume. More about cGMP warehouse.
Disclaimer: Please consult your tax professional to confirm taxes and regulations. They change periodically.
I am an ecommerce retailer (e-tailer) distributing product within the state of Florida, are your services taxable?
When orders are shipped from our Florida-based distribution center to other Florida destinations, a Florida Resale Certificate is required to avoid tax on the services we provide. If you are unable to provide a Resale Certificate, there is a 6% tax on our services as required by the Florida Department of Revenue.
Similarly, retailers are encouraged to provide us with a Florida Resale Certificate to be considered exempt from Florida sales tax on the purchases of shipping materials and dunnage (e.g., boxes, packing materials).
I am an ecommerce retailer (e-tailer) and sell outside of the state of Florida (nationally and internationally), are your services taxable?
Orders that are shipped from our Florida-based distribution center to out-of-state destinations are not subject to Florida sales tax; therefore you are not required to provide a Florida Resale Certificate.
Likewise, retailers who use our services to distribute their products outside of the state of Florida are not required to provide us with an annual Florida Resale Certificate to be considered exempt from Florida Sales Tax on the purchases of shipping materials and dunnage.
Is storage at your facility subject to Florida tax?
Storage fees are not unlike rental fees, so when you pay rent, you pay sales tax. Florida tax laws consider storage equivalent to rent, and subsequently storage is subjected to Florida ‘Use Tax.’ The rate for Use Tax in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (where our headquarters are located) is 6%, therefore ShipWizard must charge 6% tax on storage.
I am an eCommerce retailer (e-tailer) based outside of the U.S. and I plan to use ShipWizard services to handle consumer merchandise returns sold throughout the U.S. Is my company subject to sales tax?
We consider this process to be exempt from sales tax. Why? Typically, international reverse logistics involves merchandise that has been returned to our distribution facility from consumers throughout the U.S. The returned merchandise is delivered to our warehouse and held for a short duration – just long enough to be consolidated with other returns so that it can then be forwarded back to you outside of the U.S.
Typically, a scope of work with our client is developed along with our working agreement that explains the returns, consolidation and out-of-state shipping back to the client. Again, we consider this process to be exempt from sales tax.
Authorize.net is our preferred secure gateway for payment processing. If you have a merchant account with Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or Discover, we can certainly support payment processing in the warehouse before shipping.
Are you PCI-Compliant? Please explain your payment processing.
Yes, we are fully PCI- and PCI DSS (Data Security Standard) compliant. There are two ways to approach the payment processing component when downloading orders from a shopping cart to Mail Order Manager (MOM).
One approach is to authorize the payments on the cart before the orders are downloaded to us. Doing this, however, prevents us from the ability to execute returns or cancellations. If we do not have access to a customer’s credit card details, then we cannot take any actions if a return, cancellation or other order change occurs.
Alternatively, our Warehouse Management System has the ability to take credit card authorizations from your existing website and import them along with the rest of the order information. Please refer to the structure for the import.dbf file. Specific fields must be populated with the correct information in order for our Warehouse Management System to read the authorization properly. The identical Authorize.net or Plug’N Pay account must be used on your website to authorize the funds and then in our Warehouse Management System to capture them.
Do you support Google Checkout or PayPal?
Though there are certainly benefits to handling payment using either Google checkout or PayPal, we do not support those platforms in our Warehouse Inventory Management application. Your shopping cart may support them, however, and then has the capability to post the Paid Orders to the secure FTP file that ShipWizard will create for you.
Both require your customers to directly be present to process the order since they are using secure questions/answers to ensure they are the ones placing the order. Neither of those two systems have a model in place to handle third-party processing. This is not a problem in Fulfillment for the initial placement of the order, but it can lead to longer phone calls in the call center since the agents will have to be responding to these additional questions.
Also, since there are no returns solutions for either platform – meaning that we will not be able to issue a credit on your behalf – there could be issues that are return- or exchange-related. Our Warehouse Management System is designed to only handle refunds via a credit card merchant account like Authorize.net or manually issuing a physical check, which may not be very efficient.
Lastly, if you process the payments in your shopping cart and ShipWizard ships the orders, we will need a separate login access page for our customer service group to access for basic customer service calls. We will be able to see when an order was shipped from our systems and follow your instructions on returns, but cannot issue credits or refunds on return orders. We can always refer customer service calls to a different number or take messages for you to call these customers back.
We accept comma delimited files that contain the order information, posted to our secure ftp site according to a specific file layout. We recommend you access the secure ftp site using a tool such as Ipswitch.
There are other means of connecting with our WMI, such as shopping carts with built in APIs or an XML transfer. The batch file transmission process is designed for external shopping carts that were not designed with those functionalities. Certainly, we can coordinate more sophisticated approaches if you so desire it.
What is a good time of day to upload my files to the ftp site?
We typically process orders first thing in the morning, however we continue to process orders throughout the day in batches up until 2pm Eastern U.S. time. We process in batches (unless it’s API), so typically orders submitted before 2:00 pm will ship the same day. To assure that your orders are shipped on same day, submit your orders as early in the day as possible.
For the batch processing, as long as the orders are uploaded by 7am Eastern U.S. time, they will be processed the same day. We can implement a second download for rushes if need be.
In all cases, the earlier the better if same-day processing and shipping are of the utmost importance.
How should our products be packaged to be delivered to your warehouse?
We recommend that each individual product should be wrapped, labeled and protected individually, ready to pick and ship. Your products should be shipped to us in master unit boxes, each containing multiple units of the same product. It is best not to mix pieces in the same box.
Products may be delivered in this manner:
Uniformly sized boxes
Each large box on the pallet will be marked on the outside with item number and descriptions from your catalog and web store
One unique SKU per master box
Inside the large box, individual items will be segregated in their own bags or boxes clearly marked with the item number and description
Inside the item’s bag or box will be the product – each individually wrapped (poly, bubble, paper and tape or box as appropriate) and clearly marked with item number and description.
So, as an example, we may receive one large box that contains serving trays. Inside the box, there may be 12 boxes containing 12 types of serving trays. Inside each of the 12 boxes will be several individually bubble wrapped and labeled serving trays of the same type.
Do your Pick, Pack & Ship fees include packaging supplies and materials?
If products are shipped in the original packaging in which they’d arrived, then no additional fees are required. Beyond that, additional packaging requirements are handled on demand. Some carriers offer, at no additional cost, branded packaging. Please check with your Account Manager to see if you can take advantage of this feature.
How can I verify that you have received the orders correctly and how do I get the tracking information?
The process closes with a file we send automatically at the end of the day back to that ftp or to another location of your choice with all the shipping details for that day’s orders. You can also access the information online on our secure reporting site 24/7. It can be downloaded as well.
What time is the file with the shipping information made available?
The completed shipping details are sent at the end of the business day.
What testing options do you have for order submission to the ftp site and retrieval of information files from the ftp site?
During the initial setup and testing phases, we usually receive a sample order file in email, which we test and then confirm with you.
Do you maintain a testing environment once the program goes live?
We can setup a testing environment if there’s a need for it. We have one set up that we usually use for new clients, but once the program runs we don’t typically go back to it.
Do you provide shipping services for large pieces and items?
As a shipping aggregator, we can arrange for oversized shipments or help you with your importing needs, all as economically as possible. That said, shipping costs are hugely variable, especially in this category. To give you a quote we will need complete details such as the address, from and to addresses, size, weight, and number of boxes or pallets.
How do we get tracking information from the Fulfillment center?
We have web portal that you can download daily shipping reports with the tracking information. We can also post a completed file on a daily basis that can be imported back to your cart.
Who is in charge of ordering new inventory, who updates the inventory in the computer systems, how do we reconcile the Fulfillment Center inventory count with what we use on the website?
You have real-time access to your inventory. As soon as items are processed for your orders, they are deducted from your on-hand values. Inventory is managed real-time. You would be responsible for re-ordering and would need to reconcile these on your end.
Can you get me detailed information on how the ‘real-time’ inventory works?
Our secure reporting site is accessible 24/7 and is used to review inventory details. What we have seen several clients do, however, is load the startup inventory values into the cart, and then have the cart automatically deduct real-time according to the orders, thus maintaining on-hand values. Every time we perform a cycle count, which may be once a month, or more realistically every quarter, biannually or annually, any discrepancies are posted to the cart and thus the systems maintained. The other approach is to develop the shopping cart using technology with a native API to our WMI.
How can our inventory be verified?
One way to do this is to hire a third party inventory verification company. We utilize such a service from time to time, and it is billed at an hourly rate. We can arrange for this at any time, just let us know so that we can get it into the schedule.
With each order will you require the SKU and UPC for each product?
We require the SKU code for each order.
It is typically the SKU or UPC code that correlates with the bar code of a product?
The UPC code is typically the barcode for a product, although it can also be an EAN (European Article Number). The SKU is the unit #
What’s the difference between a barcode on the product versus the barcode on the master case or pallet?
There are several different types of barcodes used in product fulfillment, and the ones found on products vary from the barcodes found on cartons, cases, and pallets.
When working with physical products, you need to tell your software system which item you’re handling. Simply put, the purpose of a barcode on a product is to tell you what that product is. 1D (linear) barcodes are the most common type of bar code found on products. Another type of barcode found on products is two-dimensional (or 2D) barcodes, which are similar to a linear 1D barcode, but can represent more data per unit area.
Similar to the way barcodes come in handy when working with physical products, they also tell us what cartons, cases, and pallets contain. The barcode found on a master case or pallet is a summary of what is in the box or pallet that is being received. The UPC Shipping Container Symbol is used to mark cartons, cases, or pallets that contain products which have a UPC or EAN product identification number.
What are the different types of barcodes used in fulfillment?
Barcodes help businesses run much more efficiently, and there are many different types of barcodes used in product fulfillment. Some of the most common types of barcodes used in fulfillment include 1D (one-dimensional) linear barcodes, 2D (two-dimensional) matrix codes, postal codes and stacked linear barcodes. To learn more about these different types of barcodes, click here.
Why are barcodes so important in product fulfillment?
Simply put, barcodes play an extremely important role in product fulfillment. They make doing business much more efficient by providing a method to track and store information about goods, from individual products to cases or pallets containing thousands or even millions of items.
On the contrary, missing or incorrect barcodes can result in lost products, missing orders and returns, receiving delays and increased expenses, which can be a stressful situation for both the merchant and the warehouse. Read more at Why are barcodes so important in product fulfillment? article
Storage is billed in advance of the month based on the amount stored prior to the beginning of the month.
Current Month Billing
Additional goods received during the month up to the fifteenth (15th) of each month will be billed for a full month’s storage. Goods received on or after the sixteenth (16th) of each month will be billed for a half month’s storage. In either case, we will analyze your advance storage usage to determine if there is space that has freed up as a result of outgoing shipments and if so take advantage of that space without additional charge to our clients.
How do you charge for storage, warehouse fees?
Our storage units can accommodate two (2) 40”x48”x48” pallets (american standard size) per shelf. The standard is three (3) shelves per storage unit, while the top shelf can accommodate pallets that are slightly taller at two (2) 40”x48”x96”. Additional shelves can be added at an extra cost.
It’s important to note that the entire warehouse is climate-controlled, has impact glass windows and the facility is designed to withstand most storms. Security cameras are located throughout the facility as well.
What security measures does ShipWizard have to ensure that product is kept safely within your control?
Our Fulfillment Center is a safe, secure and temperature-controlled center. Access is restricted. Each client is allocated a location in the center and several measures have been implemented to track and manage each step of the process. We perform background checks and drug testing services on our employees. ShipWizard is a registered drug-free workplace.
In addition, all vendors are accompanied when they visit us. You can rest assured that your merchandise will be safe with us.
In order fulfillment, the term “reverse logistics” refers to the process of moving products or merchandise from their typical final destination (the customer) back to the point of origin (typically a manufacturer, retailer, or supplier). Learn more about reverse logistic services.
Due to the amount of development and testing that EDI integrations require, they typically take six to eight weeks. Each integration goes through a rigorous amount of testing to make sure that all functionalities are in place, and that all vendor requirements are met. Read More