It’s reported that Amazon has more than 1,200 distribution centers and warehouses, where orders are received, processed, fulfilled, and shipped out. Amazon-owned and third-party warehouses are often referred to as carrier facilities or Amazon carrier facilities.

When you receive an update stating that your Amazon package is being processed at a carrier facility, it simply means that your order is currently at a distribution center that is either owned by Amazon or a third-party carrier.

Inside these carrier facilities, your package is typically received, temporarily stored, and then prepared for shipment. This update is meant to be informational, and no action is required from your end.

Amazon Package Being Processed at Carrier Facility

However, when you get this update, your package may go through multiple carrier facilities before it’s delivered to you. Therefore it’s always best to check the estimated time of delivery from Amazon’s tracking page. We’ll discuss all this and more, in this article!

What Happens Inside a Carrier Facility? 

Various processes occur inside Amazon carrier facilities including package receiving, checking, sorting, storing, and dispatching. Amazon carrier facilities process and fulfill a large number of packages daily. Below are some of the key activities that are performed.

Receiving

One of the main activities of carrier facilities is to receive packages from suppliers or manufacturers. This involves accepting the goods and conducting a detailed inspection to ensure the packaging is not damaged.

The inspection also includes checking if the shipping label matches the order and if the correct quantity is received. After completing the inspection, each package is individually scanned into the inventory management system.

Temporary Storage

Before packages are processed and dispatched from Amazon’s carrier facilities, they are temporarily stored. Amazon uses a Warehouse Management System (WMS) to locate packages. This gives them real-time inventory information, reducing human errors. Proper organization and efficient space utilization are crucial for these types of warehouses.

Order Processing

Order processing, also referred to as order fulfillment, starts when orders are assigned to be dispatched. The operations team in Amazon’s carrier facility selects the products from their respective storage locations within the warehouse. This process is called “picking”.

Occasionally, packages need to be repacked or labeled. Once prepared, they are then placed into a staging area of a loading dock before they are loaded into the delivery vehicle.

Shipping

Shipments are then scheduled for delivery. This means that a suitable delivery vehicle is assigned and a delivery route is established. Subsequently, packages are loaded into the delivery vehicle from the staging area.

Each driver will be assigned to a vehicle and be given the delivery schedule. They are then tasked to drop the packages off to recipients along the delivery route.

Return Logistics

Return logistics refers to the process of managing product returns from customers, including pickup, quality checks, and refunds or exchanges. During a typical delivery schedule, drivers may be assigned to pick up packages that customers wish to return.

The packages then get scanned back into Amazon’s carrier facility, before they are thoroughly assessed. This step is crucial in determining whether the returned items can be resold, repaired, or disposed of. If the customer has requested to have their order exchanged, a new product will be “picked” from the warehouse and subsequently scheduled for delivery.

Other Activities

In addition to the core activities of processing and fulfilling orders, carrier facilities also engage in various other value-adding or internal activities, which include the following:

  • Reporting: This activity involves creating and evaluating reports based on essential performance indicators. These indicators may include inventory cycle counts, damage reports, order processing timelines, return rates, and other important metrics. By carefully analyzing this data, Amazon is able to pinpoint areas that need enhancement or improvement and analyze trends.
  • Quality Checking: Conducting regular quality checks is another important task within a carrier facility. Upon receiving and dispatching, a physical package check is conducted to ensure that there is no visible damage and that customers receive their products in good order.
  • Value-Added Services: Carrier facilities also provide extra value-added services that Amazon and third-party stores on their platform offer. These activities can include kitting, repackaging, labeling, or forms of product customization.

How Long Does the Processing Take?

Typically, the processing time for packages in carrier facilities is completed within a few hours. However, you should understand that certain situations may arise which could lead to delays and extend the processing time for your package. Listed below are some of these situations:

Factors Contributing to Processing Time

The amount of time it takes to finish processing is influenced by multiple factors. These factors can be divided into technical problems, labor-related problems, operational problems, and specific times of the year. Each of these elements will now be discussed in more detail below:

  • Technical Issues: Technical problems include system errors, server and system maintenance, and malfunctions with scanners or conveyors. These problems can potentially interrupt operations and result in processing delays.
  • Resource Issues: Insufficient resources can also affect the time it takes to process orders. In cases where there is a lack of staff, completing assignments may be delayed, leading to longer processing times.
  • Operational Issues: Operational challenges may arise due to equipment failure, mishandling, or improper sorting. These challenges can result in inefficiencies and extended processing times.
  • Seasonal Periods: Processing time can also be affected by seasonal periods. This includes times of the year when shipment volumes are high, such as Christmas, Black Friday, or other holidays. This increased number of orders can strain resources, which also results in longer processing times.

Reason for This Status Recurring Multiple Times in an Order

While Amazon operates a large number of fulfillment centers, they also work with carrier facilities that are owned and operated by third-party vendors. This explains why the status of an order may indicate that it has been sent to multiple carrier facility before they are delivered.

The main reason Amazon does this is to streamline the distribution process and optimize shipping lead times. In essence, packages are often routed to carrier facilities in close proximity to the recipient to reduce the overall delivery time.

amazon multiple carrier facility
An Amazon Package That Is Sent Through Multiple Carrier Facilities

As you can see from the order update above, certain orders are sent through multiple carrier facilities in Amazon’s supply chain. There are several reasons why this happens. One significant factor is cost-effectiveness, which is why Amazon is able to offer affordable shipping.

By partnering with different carriers, Amazon is able to consolidate and move packages closer to their customer’s locations. Another reason for utilizing multiple carrier facilities is related to overcapacity and high shipment volumes.

Some facilities may have limited capacity to handle a large number of packages, so Amazon relies on other facilities to distribute the load effectively.

When Will I Receive My Amazon Order?

The exact delivery date of your Amazon order is determined by various factors, namely by the number of carrier facilities involved and where the order is shipped to and from. As outlined earlier, it’s common for packages to pass through multiple carrier facilities.

These facilities play a critical role in ensuring that your package arrives at its final destination within the designated time frame. Once your package reaches its final carrier facility, the last stage in the delivery journey commences. The package is now transported from the final carrier facility to the recipient, which should take anywhere between 1 to 2 days.


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Agnes Aui

Head of Marketing
at freightcourse

About the Author

Agnes is the Head of Marketing at freightcourse and seamlessly blends her strong background in content management with strategic marketing expertise.

She brings a wealth of knowledge to readers, specializing in various e-commerce topics such as order fulfillments, purchasing, payments, and more.