One of the things that Amazon does well is its shipping and logistics.
Thanks to its early investments in building infrastructure and warehousing for its goods, Amazon is able to deliver quick shipping times.
However, you may notice that on the day it’s set to arrive, the tracking does not say it’s out for delivery.
This might cause you some concern and make you wonder if it’s actually arriving that day or not.
Here’s what you need to know when Amazon says your package is arriving that day but the status doesn’t say it’s out for delivery.
Amazon Says Arriving Today But Not Out For Delivery (What It Means)
It means that the carrier, or the one who is going to bring the package to your door, hasn’t picked it up yet.
That’s why you’ll sometimes run into a situation where Amazon says the package is arriving today but it isn’t actually out for delivery.
When Amazon gives a specific date for a package to arrive, it’s important to know that this is an estimation.
Amazon does not give specific dates as official arrival dates.
That’s because it’s impossible to predict whether a package will actually arrive on that specific date or not.
They’re very good at making predictions, however.
It’s just important to remember that it’s a prediction.
Understanding how Amazon’s shipping process works can help you understand why this type of shipping status might occur.
How Does Amazon’s Shipping Process Work?
Amazon has a long logistics chain with several steps in each chain.
If anything goes wrong at any point in that chain, it can cause a delay which impacts the arrival date of your package.
Here are the steps of Amazon’s shipping process.
1. Order Processed At Fulfillment Centers
Amazon is a marketplace.
It sells some products under the Amazon brand, but in most cases, you’re actually buying from a third-party seller.
Third-party sellers use Amazon as a storefront.
It helps them reach more buyers than they might if they tried to create their own website or virtual storefront.
That’s because Amazon is often the go-to shopping site for online orders.
When you purchase something on Amazon, either they or the third-party seller has to put their product in the fulfillment center.
For Amazon-brand orders, the product is already at the fulfillment center.
For third-party sellers, their products aren’t always at the fulfillment centers.
Some of them choose to keep their products at their own warehouses or in other storage facilities.
They need to then send the order to the fulfillment center to allow Amazon to handle the rest of the logistics.
They might also choose another carrier to handle the logistics of their order.
In most cases, the third-party seller pays a price to use Amazon’s fulfillment center to store their products.
It’s often easier, especially when it comes to shipping.
Fulfillment centers are the backbone of Amazon.
There are roughly 100 of them across the United States.
When an order goes in, an Amazon worker or robot finds the product, then boxes it and tags it.
This part of the shipping chain is when your order is processing.
The fulfillment center is processing the order for shipping.
Once it’s boxed and tagged, the package goes to a sorting center.
2. Sorting Centers Prepare Packages For Shipping
Some Amazon fulfillment centers have their sorting centers right next to them.
Others are in different locations.
If they are in a different location, then there’s a bit of time added to the overall process.
Once the order arrives at the sorting center, it undergoes sorting.
This means that the package goes to a specific part of the center where it joins packages all going to the same area.
There are two main methods of travel at this point.
If the package doesn’t need to travel too far, then it will go with other packages that are shipping via a truck.
If the package needs to travel a long way, then it will join packages that are shipping via a plane or a contracted carrier’s plane.
At this stage, you’ll notice that your tracking status goes from processing to shipping.
It’s officially started its journey to you.
Whether it’s traveling by ground or air, your package is on the way to its destination.
Along the way, the plane or truck might stop off at certain centers.
They remove the packages destined for those areas and then continue on their route.
This is the longest part of the shipping process.
It varies based on how far you are from a fulfillment center or sorting center.
For example, if there’s a sorting center far away from you but still close enough for ground travel, then it could take several days for your package to arrive.
If the package is coming from across the country, then it might take less time since it’s coming your way by air.
Several problems could also occur during the shipping process that can delay your package further.
This is why you may see that Amazon says your package is arriving that day but it isn’t out for delivery yet.
A problem or delay in the shipping process caused the actual arrival of your package to be delayed for a day or two.
All shipping transits end up at pick-up centers which mark the final stage of the shipping process.
4. Pick-Up Centers Mean Out For Delivery
Once your package arrives at a pick-up center, this is usually when Amazon will say your package is arriving today.
That’s because pick-up centers are where the last-mile deliveries begin.
These are local areas where third-party carriers pick up the packages and deliver them to various addresses in the area.
The problem is that if the packages arrive at night, then the carrier likely won’t pick them up until the next day.
While Amazon says your package is arriving that day, it’s more likely going to be the next day.
If it just so happens to fall on the weekend, then there’s a chance that you might need to wait an extra day or two since not all carriers deliver on the weekends.
When Amazon says your order is arriving today, you should take it with a grain of salt.
A better way of looking at it is that this is when your package arrives at the pick-up center.
Once the carrier puts your package on their truck or van, then you’ll receive the notification that it’s out for delivery.
This notification doesn’t technically come from Amazon.
It comes from the carrier handling your package.
In some cases, you might receive an additional tracking number from the carrier.
For the most accurate tracking information, you’ll want to use that tracking information instead of the one on Amazon.
Once the carrier picks up the package, you can expect it to be on its way to you.
That said, the carrier might also face delays or problems on their route.
This could push back the delivery of your order by another day or so.
In most cases, however, you should count on when the order states that it’s out for delivery to be the real indication of whether you’re getting your package that day or not.
Amazon stating that the order is arriving on a specific date is only an estimation.
How Do Third-Party Carriers Deliver Amazon Packages?
It may seem weird that your Amazon package doesn’t arrive at your home with an Amazon worker.
Sometimes they do.
Amazon has gig workers that operate Amazon-labeled vans for last-mile deliveries.
In many cases, however, they rely on third-party carriers like FedEx, UPS, and even the USPS to handle last-mile deliveries.
Last-mile deliveries cover the transit from a pick-up center to your address.
Amazon uses third-party carriers to save money.
They handle the lengthier part of the journey, but then they save money by allowing third parties to take care of the last part of the delivery.
This keeps them from having to build more infrastructure to handle the final part of delivery.
They instead rely on the infrastructure that third-party carriers have already established.
When a third-party carrier, like UPS, arrives at a pick-up center, they usually have a route in mind.
They find the packages set aside for the route, then deliver them.
At this point, Amazon is no longer in control of the shipping process.
It’s all down to the third-party carrier.
They handle everything from ensuring the package arrives in one piece to updating the tracking information.
After they pick up the packages, they then follow the route and make their deliveries.
Eventually, they arrive at your door with your package in hand.
Because it’s the third-party carrier that handles the last-mile delivery, they’re the ones with the most accurate tracking information.
At this juncture, you should ignore the arrival date that Amazon gave you and instead rely on the information that you’re receiving from the carrier.
Why Does My Amazon Package Say It’s Arriving Today But It’s Not Out For Delivery?
When you see that your Amazon tracking states that your package is arriving today but it also doesn’t say that it’s out for delivery, then it might cause some confusion.
Which is true?
Why isn’t your package out for delivery?
Here are a few reasons your package might not be out for delivery.
1. Late Arrival At A Pick-Up Center
One of the main reasons your package might not be out for delivery is that it arrived at the pick-up center late in the evening.
Amazon will tell you that your package is arriving today when it arrives at a pick-up center.
That’s because the logistic algorithm thinks that a carrier is going to pick it up immediately and deliver it to your address.
That isn’t always the case, however.
If the Amazon truck or plane didn’t arrive until late, then it’s unlikely that a carrier is available to take the packages immediately.
They’re more likely to arrive the next day for the day’s worth of deliveries.
It’s also possible that the truck or plane carrying the packages to the pick-up center faced delays of their own.
Weather conditions can keep planes grounded.
They can also impact how fast a truck can move on the road.
Traffic-related problems can also slow down a truck.
Sometimes a truck or plane may be expected to arrive at the pick-up center during the day, but delays can cause them to arrive later.
This can affect whether or not you receive your package the same day that Amazon says you will get it.
2. Weekend Deliveries
Not all third-party carriers work on the weekends.
Some will work Saturdays but very few work on Sundays.
This can impact whether or not your package is out for delivery on the same day that Amazon says it’s arriving.
For example, if the long-distance truck or plane arrives at a pick-up center on Friday, then some carriers may choose to wait until Monday to deliver them.
This is especially true of contracted third-party workers.
They make their own schedules of when to work, so they might not work on the weekends to be with their families or simply relax.
If the plane or truck arrives on Saturday, then it’s even more unlikely that a third-party carrier is going to pick it up that day and deliver it.
They’re even more likely to wait until Monday.
Amazon may say that you can expect your order on Saturday or Sunday, but the truth is third-party carriers don’t always work on the weekend.
It’s more likely going to reach its out-for-delivery status on Monday.
3. Missing Information
There’s also a chance that the package is missing information, which means the carrier might not be sure where it goes.
In most cases, each Amazon order has a label firmly attached to the box.
However, if the box gets exposed to rain or undergoes a particularly rough transit, it’s possible that the label becomes damaged or even tears off.
This makes it impossible for the package to move forward because the transit information isn’t there.
There’s no way for the pick-up center to know how to sort it.
The third-party carrier might also be unsure of where to deliver it if the address isn’t there.
If a package loses its information, then Amazon cancels the delivery.
The item goes back to the fulfillment center.
You’ll receive a notification if they had to cancel your order.
You’ll receive a refund and can buy the product again.
While it’s rare, your package might have a defective label.
If this is the case, Amazon will cancel the order instead of having it delivered to the wrong address.
4. Third-Party Carrier Delays
Another reason why your order says it’s arriving today but not out for delivery is the third-party carrier is having a delay.
Perhaps they had a family emergency they had to handle which slowed them down.
Maybe their delivery vehicle was experiencing problems and they needed to take it to a shop.
Even the weather could be causing them a long enough delay that it impacts their deliveries.
There are several reasons why a third-party carrier may face a delay.
If the delay is bad enough, then they might not be able to make your delivery in time.
In this case, you can usually expect your delivery to occur the next day.
If it falls on a weekend, then you can expect it on Monday.
What Happens if Amazon Says The Package Is Arriving Today But That The Order Is Canceled?
You may face a rare situation in which Amazon tells you the package is arriving today but it also says that they canceled the order.
In this case, it means that your package was once supposed to arrive on that date.
However, something went wrong and Amazon had to cancel the order.
In this case, you shouldn’t expect your package to arrive.
You should expect a refund.
Nothing is more confusing than contradictory shipping information.
Because Amazon works with third parties for the last-mile delivery, it’s a good idea to rely on the tracking information provided by the third party rather than Amazon.
If no additional tracking information is available, then you should ignore the date that Amazon gives.
This is an estimation.
Instead, look for your shipping status to change to out for delivery.
This indicates that your package will arrive that day or the day after.