Amazon is no longer showing 2-day delivery for Prime orders this week, according to customers - and it's even impacting third-party sellers who ship from their own facilities, one seller told us. (See update below.)
Some are speculating that Cyber Monday was particularly successful this year, leading to a crush of orders that's clogging the delivery pipeline. There were also snowstorms across the country that may have caused a backlog. Whether those factors are impacting only Amazon's own logistics or other shipping carriers as well isn't clear.
It's also possible the shipping delays are related to Amazon's loss of FedEx contracts, news that became public in June. At the time, the Washington Post
had written: "FedEx said Friday it has decided not to renew a key domestic contract with Amazon, a move that could pinch the online retail giant during its all-important holiday shipping season when it has sometimes struggled to get packages to customers on time."
However, as we noted in August
, Amazon Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations Dave Clark responded to a Bloomberg story via Twitter, saying FedEx was a "very small piece of our network and vice versa."
Interestingly Clark said in a video released on Twitter
on Monday (December 2), "Prime customers are loving the one-day shipping that they're now getting on their orders." Bad timing! We can confirm that some Amazon Prime orders made that day are showing a Friday delivery date, which is 4 days.
Sellers discussed the problem on Amazon Seller Central
, where one seller wrote, "I've purchased several items, all were listed as Prime. Ordered one on the 2nd that said delivery by the 6th and one on the 3rd, delivery by the 9th. Funny how all my stuff still has to arrive on time."
One seller accused Amazon of manipulating the delivery date on his items so as not to disadvantage its own orders.
"We have a 2PM EST cutoff time for same day shipping on all Next Day orders but all of our listings are showing a Next Day shipping delivery date of Monday 12/09 when it should be showing Thursday 12/05," he told EcommerceBytes.
He said his firm always hits both ship-by dates and delivery dates - "100% in both metrics" - and said the extended delivery dates are costing his business to lose orders.
"Our delivery dates should not be affected because Amazon cannot fulfill their own orders within the promised timeframe."
It's possible that Amazon has data showing a backlog at the shipping carrier the seller used, but if so, why not be transparent? The seller told us, "I have called Seller Support about this and they recognize there is a problem with our delivery dates that show to the customers but could not give me any reason as to why they are being affected."
With Christmas Day exactly 3 weeks away, shipping delays could get worse. On Tuesday, AccuWeather advised holiday shoppers
to get their orders in early because of anticipated weather events that could lead to delays. "As December moseys on, a few wintry storms are forecast to march across the continental U.S. around the middle of December and just before Christmas," it wrote. But it said nothing about any delays occurring this week.
We wonder if the Amazon Prime shipping delay issue this week is the canary in the coalmine - could there be a widespread delivery backlog? Let us know if you're seeing delays as a buyer or seller on Amazon or other retail platforms!
Updated 12/5/2019: An Amazon spokesperson provided us with the following statement:
"We are off to a record-breaking start to the holiday season and on peak shopping days, delivery promises vary and may be longer than normal based on order volume and the fulfillment and delivery capacity available in a given area. The winter storms that swept across much of the country at the same time also extended delivery times in some areas. We will work directly with customers who are experiencing an issue with their delivery."
: Tweet worded to sound like a denial
of delivery problems (which EcommerceBytes was first to report) while acknowledging delivery problems: "Seen a few reports that saying we're having delivery problems. Not the case. Some deliveries were briefly impacted by weather earlier in the week but we quickly re-balanced capacity and it's all systems go now. Thanks to our customers for what looks to be another big holiday."