Amazon’s entire business model bases itself on its incredible logistics system.
Thanks to the company’s fast delivery, Amazon transformed the way many shoppers make their purchases.
Over the past two decades, online sales have increased by more than 800%.
Amazon is one of the main reasons behind this rising trend.
Part of the reason so many customers choose Amazon over other online retailers is their fast shipping.
Even though Amazon is fast, you may still wonder if your packages will arrive earlier than expected.
Here’s what you need to know about Amazon’s shipping rates and how fast you can expect your package.
Do Amazon Packages Come Early?
Yes, Amazon packages can sometimes come early.
This happens particularly for Amazon customers who don’t have Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime members already benefit from fast shipping by being able to select one-day or two-day shipping.
For some orders, customers can even get same-day shipping.
Because of that, they don’t often have packages arrive early.
Non-Prime members, on the other hand, can sometimes find that their package is arriving early.
The main reason some packages arrive early is that Amazon calculates the shipping time according to transit time.
When calculating the transit time, they account for any possible delays or weather conditions.
If those delays or weather conditions don’t occur, then the package may arrive earlier than expected.
Your tracking information will update accordingly.
How Are Shipping Times Calculated?
To understand why some Amazon packages arrive early and others don’t, it’s important to understand how Amazon calculates their shipping times.
Here are a few variables that Amazon considers to calculate their shipping times.
1. Third-Party Sellers
One of the first aspects that Amazon considers is whether the order is coming from Amazon or another marketplace seller.
A marketplace seller is a third-party seller using Amazon’s site to sell their products.
Because it’s a third-party seller, Amazon doesn’t always have control over its delivery.
Some third-party sellers prefer to use their own shipping methods instead of Amazon.
It may save them money or may just be easier for them since that particular courier is the only one that operates in their area.
In this case, Amazon has a bit more difficulty in calculating their shipping time because they’re not sure how fast the seller will ship out their product.
Third-party sellers who do use Amazon for their logistics system will have their products stored in an Amazon warehouse.
As soon as they receive an order, the warehouse workers can immediately package and ship out the order.
This allows Amazon to have a better idea of their shipping time since they’re aware of the order’s processing status and how long it will take to have it ready for shipping.
In this case, Amazon will have a more defined window for the package’s window.
The order will likely arrive within that window.
For third-party sellers who use other means of processing and shipping, Amazon can only guess how long it might take the order to ship out based on data from the seller.
In this case, the order may end up arriving earlier if the seller is able to get out the order faster than Amazon had calculated.
As a result, your package arrives earlier than estimated.
Your location can also impact whether your package arrives early or not.
Those who live in rural areas will likely find that their packages arrive within the expected window of delivery.
Whereas those who live in more metropolitan or suburban areas may have a greater chance of receiving a package early.
That’s because couriers have to fill their trucks with packages that follow an efficient route.
For those who live out in the country, it costs the courier more money to deliver there.
There are fewer orders to be delivered to remote locations.
This differs from a metro area where there is a larger number of people living in a more condensed area.
The likelihood of more people ordering packages is higher.
As such, couriers can make more money delivering in metropolitan areas since they don’t have to travel as far and have a truck filled with packages.
Because of this, packages that need to go out into rural settings tend to go on trucks that are already headed in that direction or at the back of the line.
They’ll reach their destination within the estimated target, but the courier isn’t going to try and deliver it early since it doesn’t make financial sense for them.
Those that operate in metro areas are more likely to deliver early since they’re in the area anyway, and it doesn’t cost them a lot of money to travel around.
Your location can determine how often or how likely you are to receive a package early.
The holidays also play an important role in determining whether you’ll receive a package early or not.
The holidays are a time when many people do online shopping because it’s convenient.
It’s also when major couriers like Amazon, UPS, and FedEx increase their hiring rates.
They know that they’re going to face a huge number of orders that they need to deliver in a timely fashion.
Their customers expect timely shipping because they need to get orders under a tree for Christmas.
Since Amazon hires more delivery drivers during the holidays, and because more people are looking to work a seasonal job, it means there are more delivery drivers.
Since there are more delivery drivers, there are more trucks on the road handling orders.
There’s a good chance that your order will have a rush on it and end up at your door a bit earlier than expected.
Early may only mean a few hours earlier than expected, however.
After all, the holidays also mean that more people than ever are shopping online.
Shipping times can fluctuate during the holidays.
In some cases, it might mean receiving a package earlier than expected.
4. Delivery Drivers
Another reason your package may arrive early is the number of drivers operating in your area.
While Amazon has a few hired couriers, they mostly rely on freelancers to drive for them.
Contractors receive an Amazon delivery van and take care of delivering orders within the area where they live.
This not only helps Amazon keep up with its busy online ordering, but it also helps those living in certain areas have a greater chance of receiving their packages early.
That’s because the more drivers working in an area, the faster those packages are reaching their destinations.
With more packages handed over, it means the trucks can be filled with more orders.
Every Amazon driver has a specific route based on the packages that they have.
The route follows the most efficient path to let the driver make their deliveries without wasting time.
If there are more drivers on the road, then that also means there are more packages on the route.
The likelihood of your package being on one of those trucks increases.
This means that you might receive a package earlier than expected.
The more drivers there are on the road, the faster you can expect your package to arrive.
5. No Delays
One of the ways that Amazon calculates its shipping time is to account for delays.
A delay may be something like road work that the delivery driver may encounter on the way.
Road work can easily add up to a day’s worth of a delay on an order if the traffic jam is terrible.
Weather conditions are another serious delay that can sometimes make a package day or two later than expected.
Even something like mechanical trouble for the delivery truck can cause a delay.
Amazon doesn’t know what delays may occur unless it’s a serious delay like civil unrest or extreme weather.
Instead, it performs a calculation based on general delays.
Then it gives the buyer an estimated shipping time with those delays included.
However, not all deliveries encounter delays.
Sometimes, delivery drivers have a perfect day.
A perfect day would mean no road work, no weather conditions, even traffic may be less congested.
In the case where there aren’t any delays, your package may arrive sooner than expected.
It may arrive only a few hours early or even an entire day early.
One of the biggest reasons it may arrive early is if it’s an international order.
Packages that come from a different country have to go through customs first.
This ensures that the package is safe and isn’t carrying anything illegal into the country.
The problem with customs is that it can take a long time for something to process.
Whether it’s because there are too few workers at customs or because there was a sudden increase in online shopping, customs takes a while.
Amazon knows this.
As a result, they’ll usually add an estimated shipping time based on the fact that the package will need to pass through customs first.
On rare occasions, the package may pass quickly through customs.
As a result, your package may arrive sooner than expected.
Amazon calculates their delivery times with delays in mind.
When no delays occur, your package arrives earlier.
6. No Signature Required
One of the reasons some buyers experience delayed packages is that they ask for someone to sign for the package.
When you request a signature, a delivery worker is unable to make the delivery until they receive one.
This can create a delay if no one is home when the driver arrives.
In most cases, you have to either state what time the driver should arrive or have someone at the home sign for the package to ensure you get it on time.
Because most drivers understand that people tend to be home later in the day rather than during standard business hours, it limits the opportunities they have to make the delivery.
If no one is home when they arrive, then your package faces a delay.
That’s why, if you don’t request a signature, your package may arrive early.
Since no one has to sign for it, the driver can simply leave the package at your door when they’re in your area.
You’re giving them a bigger window in which to deliver.
As a result, there’s a chance that they might deliver the package early.
Giving your driver an easier time to deliver the package can sometimes result in receiving packages earlier.
7. Weekend Deliveries
A final way that Amazon calculates shipping times is whether the buyer allows weekend deliveries or not.
In most cases, Amazon calculates its shipping time based on standard business days.
It doesn’t include weekends.
Because of that, you may notice that your package is set to arrive on Monday when you order on the previous Wednesday.
In reality, it only takes three days to deliver.
Since not all delivery workers operate on the weekend, though, you can expect your package to arrive on that Monday in most cases.
However, some packages allow you the opportunity to sign up for a weekend delivery date.
In this case, it would take the delivery date from Monday down to Saturday.
You could end up receiving your package two days earlier than expected because you were able to get your package on the weekend.
While Amazon mostly adheres to a strict standard business schedule, there are times when delivery drivers can deliver packages on the weekend, too.
If that’s the case, then there’s a chance your order may arrive a few days early.
Does Amazon Update Their Tracking During Transit?
One of the ways that you can tell if your package is going to arrive early or not is by checking your tracking information.
However, you may wonder if you should bother checking it since you’re unsure if Amazon updates its tracking information after giving you an estimated date for delivery.
Because Amazon uses various couriers to deliver their packages, they’re not always able to update their tracking.
That’s because they’re relying on the courier to update the tracking on their behalf.
Amazon delivery drivers regularly update their tracking because it’s all in the system.
When UPS, FedEx, or even the USPS handles an Amazon order, however, the tracking isn’t always reliable.
Some sellers will give the buyers an updated tracking link if they’re using someone like UPS to deliver the package.
In this case, it’s better for the buyer to use the UPS link rather than the Amazon tracking information since the UPS tracking is likely more accurate.
When it comes to the USPS, their trucks don’t have GPS tracking systems or any type of tracking system on them.
At least it doesn’t have a tracking system that’s available to the public to know.
That’s because the USPS also handles sensitive information that can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
Allowing the public to track USPS trucks increases that danger.
As such, Amazon can’t update its tracking information if the package is with the USPS.
That’s because it doesn’t receive any information from the USPS about the location and status of the package.
You only have the estimated delivery time that Amazon gave you originally.
When it comes to Amazon’s own delivery drivers, they regularly update their tracking information.
You can sometimes even know down to the hour when your package is going to arrive.
When it comes to other couriers handling Amazon packages, the tracking information isn’t quite as reliable.
While Amazon may be able to update at major milestones, you won’t have as defined information.
This means that your package may end up arriving early because the tracking wasn’t updated accordingly.
Can You Schedule A Package With Amazon?
Some customers may not want their package to arrive early.
If it’s an expensive package, then they may have some worries about it arriving early and sitting outside for a few hours before they get home.
Because of that, you may wonder if you can schedule a delivery through Amazon.
On certain orders, you can.
A lot of variables have to line up to be able to schedule an order.
If you have the option to do so, then Amazon will ask you if you want to schedule the delivery when you’re choosing your shipping date.
Scheduling your order ensures that you receive your package within that timeframe.
It can help cut down on any potential theft occurrences and ensure your package arrives in your hands.
Amazon takes great care when calculating its shipping times.
However, reality can sometimes throw those calculations out the window.
While it sometimes means a package is facing a delay, it can also mean that your package arrives early.
Depending on the courier handling your package, Amazon may or may not be able to keep you informed about the early arrival of your package.