Why Does Amazon Take So Long? (Top 10 Reasons)

Amazon Prime delivery agent during his work shift.


Amazon has a reputation for fast and reliable shipping.

They practically re-invented the logistics industry to make it more efficient.

That said, even Amazon has its problems, and some shipments can take an extended amount of time.

Here are 10 reasons Amazon takes so long.


Why Does Amazon Take So Long? (Top 10 Reasons)


1. Third-Party Sellers

woman online seller


Even though you’re buying on Amazon, you’re not always buying from Amazon.

Amazon is really a marketplace where third parties can find exposure and sell their products.

While some third parties choose to use Amazon’s full services that they extend to businesses, not all of them do.

These third-party sellers are sometimes the reason you have delayed shipping.

They use their own methods to package and ship the product from their warehouse or home.

Amazon will often tell you that they can’t cover certain third-party sellers when it comes to refunds or shipping problems.

Because some third-party sellers only have a few employees, they sometimes take a while to put everything together.

This problem becomes even worse when they suddenly receive an influx of orders and don’t have the labor or services in place to streamline their shipping.

Because you need to pay a fee to use Amazon’s warehouses, not all third-party sellers want to make the investment.

They may be just starting out or are trying to save money on their investments early on.

The problem is that this can slow their shipping process.

As a result, their customers have to wait longer to receive their packages.

This can negatively impact their reputation if customers have to wait too long to receive their packages, especially if they’re Amazon Prime members.


2. Inclement Weather

Caution - bad weather


A big deciding factor for how quickly an Amazon delivery can reach your home is the weather.

In the winter months, especially, inclement weather can delay a package for a day or a few days.

Amazon pushes its drivers to meet their quotas, but they want their drivers to be safe, too.

If a driver believes that it’s too dangerous to drive on the road, then they’ll wait until the conditions improve.

Icy weather can make matters even worse.

If a driver does choose to drive during icy conditions, then they’re at risk of having an accident.

If this occurs, then the packages could become damaged.

The shipment will have an even longer delay if the truck needs a repair.

It will require either a new truck or a new delivery driver to take over those packages.

Besides icy weather, tornadoes and wildfires are a concern, too.

If you live in an area that experiences frequent inclement weather, then that could be influencing how quickly your packages arrive.


3. Delivery Driver Shortages

Delivery driver using tablet in van with parcels on seat outside warehouse


Another major factor that makes Amazon take a long time to deliver is delivery driver shortages.

Amazon relies on independent drivers to handle the delivery of their packages.

While they do employ a few drivers, the majority of their drivers are independent contractors.

While this allows the drivers the freedom to work when they want, it can also create driver shortages for Amazon.

If a driver decides to quit either before or during their shift, then they have a truck full of Amazon packages that need to be delivered.

This then falls to the next driver to pick up the slack.

The problem is that they already have their own packages to deliver that day.

The packages may also be in an area far from their original package delivery destinations.

As a result, the new delivery driver will need to find some time to deliver them between delivering their original package orders.

This can delay shipments considerably.

Even outside of quitting, Amazon is always in need of delivery drivers.

Many find the work exhausting and not worth the pay that they receive.

With fewer people willing to work tough jobs with little pay, the labor shortage will only continue to impact Amazon’s shipment times.


4. Delivery Drones

A Drone lifting off the ground carrying a large parcel. Drone delivery service


One new area that Amazon is trying and testing is delivery drones.

These drones can locate the address the package needs to go to and take it there.

Amazon has tested several different types of drones.

The problem is that testing something significant like a delivery drone costs money.

Amazon first needs to fund the research to find prototypes that will work.

Then they need to actually engineer it.

They may find that certain materials are expensive.

The prototypes might not even work.

Because Amazon has been spending a lot of time figuring out how to implement delivery drones in their logistics system, it has slowed certain aspects of it.

In areas where they’re testing delivery drones, people experienced extended shipping delays because the drones are in testing mode.

They’re working out the bugs.

It may take a few years before Amazon manages to streamline its drones.

At that point, delivery via drones may be faster.

Until then, if your package is arriving via drone, then there’s a good chance that it will be slow.


5. Increased Online Ordering

Man's hands and online shopping website


A major factor that is influencing Amazon’s delivery times is the increase in online ordering.

While the COVID-19 pandemic turned many consumers towards online shopping, that number hasn’t gone down even though many stores are open again.

Consumers realized how convenient it is to order online.

Because of that, they’ve stuck with ordering online even though they can go to a store and buy the same thing—the same day, even.

Because there’s been an increase in online ordering, Amazon is struggling to keep up.

They need more workers, more warehouses, and more drivers to meet demand.

Unless people fill those jobs, it’s difficult to keep up with the increased demand for online shopping.

Since Amazon is many consumers’ go-to online store, they saw an influx of online ordering, more so than many other online retailers.

Whether the number of people shopping online will ever decrease is yet unknown.

Those who don’t want to wait more than two days for their orders may end up canceling their Prime membership and returning to physical stores.

If enough people return to shopping at physical stores, then it may reduce the strain on Amazon’s resources.

As a result, those who remain with Amazon may find that their deliveries are back on track.


6. Based On Shipping Update

Blue collar worker with tape gun


A common misconception about ordering from Amazon is when the two-day shipping period begins.

Many believe that it starts after you submit the order.

That isn’t the case.

It actually begins when the order has finished processing.

Once it’s ready to ship, that’s when the two-day shipping clock starts.

If it takes a few days for them to process your order, then you shouldn’t expect your order in two days.

Start keeping track of the time it takes for them to deliver once it says your order has shipped.

If it doesn’t take longer than two days, then your Amazon delivery isn’t actually delayed.

Your frustration may actually stem from how long it takes the seller to process the order.

This, again, falls under the purview of third-party sellers.

Amazon can’t dictate how long it takes for them to process your order.

It’s up to the seller.

The only thing Amazon can do is try and deliver it within two days once they receive it from the seller.


7. Microwave Mentality

angry man


Sometimes the problem isn’t Amazon’s fault.

It has to do with society’s adoption of the microwave mentality.

It’s a mentality in which we expect things to occur quickly.

Like a microwave rapidly heats food to eat within a few minutes, we’ve come to expect services immediately.

While it’s understandable that those who pay extra for quick delivery experience frustration, for the rest of society, it may be worth learning patience again.


8. Long-Distance Fulfillment Center

Interior of a modern warehouse storage of retail shop with pallet truck near shelves


Another reason that your delivery takes a long time to show up is your distance from a fulfillment center.

If you live far from a fulfillment center, then it’s going to take longer for your purchases to reach you.

A fulfillment center is where packages end up after leaving their various warehouses.

They’re then separated and processed for delivery.

They’re given to drivers based on the most efficient route.

If you happen to live far from a fulfillment center, then the Amazon driver is going to need to travel further to reach you.

In some cases, this means they need to deliver it to another fulfillment center or another delivery driver.

This can also cause delays.

If you’re at the end of their route, then your package may not arrive until the next day.

Amazon drivers who experienced delays during the day may not have enough time to reach you if you’re far away.

While this usually means your package is only delayed by a day, it can matter to certain people.


9. Vehicle Problems

Amazon truck


Since the majority of Amazon packages use delivery drivers to take them to their destinations, vehicle problems are inevitable.

All delivery vehicles fall into disrepair at some point.

The sheer number of miles that drivers put on them makes them age prematurely.

When a car breaks down, the delivery has to undergo a transfer.

Either the driver gets a new vehicle, or they move the packages to another driver with a working vehicle.

Meanwhile, the original driver has to wait for the repair company to fix their delivery vehicle.

Sometimes other things can happen that force the vehicle to go into the repair shop.

Accidents are common.

With the number of miles that the driver undergoes, they’re more likely to either be part of an accident or find themselves stuck in traffic.

When that happens, the packages can’t make any progress.

A delivery vehicle can face any number of problems on the road.

Since the road is unpredictable, your package may end up delayed.


10. Signature Requests

Courier delivering a parcel


A final reason Amazon takes so long to deliver is that you signed up for a signature request.

In this case, Amazon is unable to deliver the package unless someone is there to sign for it.

That might mean that they arrive at your home before you’re there.

Since no one can sign for it, they take the package and try again later.

This causes a few different delays.

The first is that the driver then has to find time to attempt another delivery while still delivering the new packages on their vehicle.

They may be on the other side of town by the time they’re able to deliver the package to you.

By the time they arrive at your door, it may be too late for deliveries.

If the driver continues to be unable to deliver the package because no one is home to sign for it, then they’ll eventually need to return it to the seller.

That causes a long delay since the customer will need to either re-order it or speak with the seller to ship it out again.

While requesting a signature for your package can ensure it arrives at your door, it also increases the chances of delayed packages.

With a smaller window in which to deliver the package, it’s easier for something to go wrong and for a package to face a delay.


What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Amazon Delivery?

thinking woman


There are a few things you can do to speed up your Amazon delivery.

If Amazon continues to deliver your packages late, as a Prime member, you can call them for a refund.

Otherwise, here are a few steps you can take to speed up your deliveries.


1. Sign Up For Amazon Prime

If you’re tired of waiting a week to get your packages, then signing up for Amazon Prime may be worth it to you.

In most cases, Amazon will deliver the package within two days of releasing it for shipment.

If they don’t, then you have better grounds for asking for a refund since you’re specifically paying for faster delivery.


2. Sign Up For Amazon Key

You can make your packages arrive on time by making it easier for drivers to deliver to your home.

One way to do that is to sign up for Amazon Key.

It’s only available for Amazon Prime members.

Through their Key service, Amazon drivers can place your package in a safe area like a garage.

Then they can close the garage door to keep it safe.

This helps your packages arrive sooner because you don’t have to request a signature to ensure you get your package.

Since Amazon places the package inside the garage, it’s safe from thieves.

Removing the signature request from the delivery allows delivery drivers to leave the package at your home during their normal route.


3. Deliver It To An Amazon Hub Location

Sometimes delivering to a residential address takes a lot of time.

One way that you can make your deliveries faster is to allow drivers to take your package to an Amazon Hub location instead.

A Hub location is usually a store that works with Amazon.

They put packages in a secure area and only release them to those who have ID and whose name matches the packages.

They keep the package safe from thieves.

This is a faster option because delivery drivers can deliver a few packages in bulk to one location.

Then you can pick up the package instead of waiting for the driver to either deliver it to your home or deliver it to the next step in the logistics system.


Why Does Amazon Take So Long To Issue A Refund?

Letter block in word refund on wood background


There are a few reasons Amazon takes a while to refund a returned product.

The first reason is that Amazon needs to check if the product came from them or a third-party seller.

If it came from a third-party seller, then they’re not always liable.

Your refund needs to come from the third-party seller instead.

The second reason is that they need to wait for the product to arrive.

To receive a refund from Amazon, you have to send the product back.

They often request that the product be returned in its original packaging.

This can be difficult for some people to do, especially if it’s a large product.

It can sometimes cost more to ship it back to Amazon than what you’re going to receive as a refund.

The entire process can take up to 35 days.

The third reason has to do with Amazon’s policies regarding refunds.

They need to investigate the product and the case to ensure it warrants a refund.

Only after their investigation is over will you receive a refund.



Senior man holding Amazon Prime cardboard parcel


Amazon takes a long time to deliver because of the increase in online shopping and the inability to hold onto workers.

With bad weather and vehicle problems thrown into the mix, many customers will experience a few delays with their packages.

Even Amazon, the leader in logistics and fulfillment, has its problems.

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