Amazon is expanding its warehousing logistics business – it will soon offer to store a seller’s inventory in bulk and send it anywhere, from automatically replenishing its own FBA fulfillment centers to sending it to brick-and-mortar retail stores.
As we reported last fall, Amazon had begun testing a program specifically for storing goods “upstream” for automatic replenishment of its Prime-ready warehouses. In other words, instead of sending inventory directly to Amazon Fulfillment Centers (where there are strict limits on how much sellers can send), sellers could send them to Amazon Distribution Centers for cheaper storage rates in larger quantities.
The new program called AWD – Amazon Warehousing & Distribution – takes the concept much further:
“Sellers using AWD can also consolidate their global inventory, which they can then view and manage on Seller Central, simplifying their operations with one pool of inventory. In 2023, sellers will be able to use AWD to send their inventory to any location, including to wholesale customers or brick-and-mortar stores.”
In a discussion of the beta program in early August, a seller said Amazon described one of the benefits of AWD to sellers using FBA as follows:
“If your product goes out of stock in Prime-ready fulfillment centers, it’ll still be searchable and buyable as long as there’s sufficient inventory in an Amazon Warehousing and Distribution location.”
Gopal Pillai, Vice President of Amazon Distribution and Fulfillment Solutions, announced the new service in a blog post on Wednesday and said Amazon would be sharing more about AWD and “many other new offerings” at Amazon Accelerate, its annual seller conference taking place September 14-15, where Amazon expects thousands of sellers to attend.
Pillai said AWD makes the promise of “supply chain as a service” a reality and said it was specifically designed to solve inventory management challenges and deliver operational efficiencies.
Amazon will announce pricing and fee information and other details of AWD at the Accelerate conference.