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Amazon’s Restocking Issue: Space, People, or Docks?

Amazon's Restocking Issue: Space, People, or Docks?

On Monday we wrote about reports that Amazon was slashing storage space for FBA sellers, and the growing restriction of restock limits has since gotten a lot of attention in the seller community.

Some said they believed Amazon had the space in its Fulfillment Centers but did not have enough workers to deal with inbound inventory from third-party sellers.

Another theory surfaced: it’s a “docks” issue. Former Amazon employee Jon Derkits, who left the company in 2019, is now founder of Amazon consultancy AUXO eCommerce.

In a post on LinkedIn, he explained his theory – writing in part:

“When you suddenly need to ship out more products to meet spiking consumer demand, you now need to dedicate more of your fixed number of Docks to Outbound.

“The only way you can do this though, without filling up your parking lot with Inbound truck trailers waiting weeks to be unloaded, is to restrict Inbounding further upstream.

“That is…by preventing sellers from sending those trucks full of products to the FCs in the first place.

“Hence…(aggressive) Restock Limits.

“Amazon is simply managing Inbound:Outbound activity at its FCs.

“More Docks dedicated to Outbound = Fewer Docks available to receive Inbound product.”

Amazon may address the issue in its third-quarter earnings call with Wall Street analysts. Stay tuned.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.