Amazon Boosts Efforts to Ship its Prime Deliveries in One Day

Amazon says it achieved its “fastest Prime speeds ever” for deliveries across the 60 largest U.S. metro areas in Q2, when more than half its member orders arrived “the same or next day.” The benchmark announcement precedes this week’s earnings statement and was couched as fulfillment and transportation investments that have paid off. Amazon says it will in two years double the number of same-day delivery sites. So far in 2023 it has “delivered more than 1.8 billion units to U.S. Prime members the same or next day,” almost four times the shipments delivered at that rate during the same period in in 2019.

“For the past four years, Amazon has poured money and resources into revamping its warehouse and delivery network to shorten shipping times from two days to one day or less,” CNBC reports, noting “those efforts hit a snag during the COVID pandemic due to supply chain and labor-market challenges, but normal delivery speeds have largely returned as a result of new warehouses coming online and other improvements to the company’s operations.”

Amazon has in the past year moved away from “a national ‘hub and spoke’ fulfillment network, where packages might travel through several facilities across the country,” and moved to smaller regional hubs, Amazon Transportation VP Udit Madan told CNBC, explaining that “fast delivery is notoriously expensive and logistically challenging, and companies typically lose money on deliveries, but Amazon’s change cut costs and boosted delivery speeds.”

“Fast and reliable delivery across a wide selection of products remains the cornerstone of our offering and an enduring priority for us,” Amazon said in a statement by Doug Herrington, CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores. Improvements include:

  • Regionalizing U.S. operations to eight interconnected geographic areas so that 76 percent of orders are fulfilled from within the customer’s region.
  • Machine learning algorithms are used to better predict which items customers in the regions will want and when, then inventorying those products to have them quickly available.
  • More Same-Day facilities, “smaller buildings situated close to the large metro areas” that are “designed for speed” with an average time of only 11 minutes from gathering customer items to positioning the package on the outbound, “more than an hour faster than our traditional fulfillment centers.”

Amazon Same-Day Fulfillment Takes 11 Minutes, Axios, 7/31/23

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