Amazon Says Arriving Today But Not Out for Delivery: How?

Are you puzzled when Amazon says arriving today but not out for delivery or not shipped? Or perhaps you’ve seen the status ‘arriving today by 10pm but not shipped’ and wondered what’s going on? You’re far from alone. We understand how perplexing these mixed messages can be. Maybe you experiencing the conundrum of your ‘package left an Amazon facility but is not out for delivery.’

We’re here to demystify these confusing Amazon delivery statuses for you. Stick with us, and we’ll help you through this maze, offering a clear, easy-to-follow guide.

Let’s jump right in!

What Does It Mean When Amazon Says Your Order Is Arriving Today, But Order Is Not Out for Delivery Yet? (4 Things)

Confused young woman frowning at her laptop when amazon says her package is arriving today but not out for delivery.

You’ve probably encountered the puzzling situation where Amazon says your package is “arriving today by 10pm but not shipped.” This can be confusing, but don’t worry; it’s often a part of Amazon’s complex logistics system. In this section, we’ll break down what this status means and why you shouldn’t be too concerned.

Amazon is the largest shipper in the world.

They handle more goods than anyone else by a huge stretch, and they have worked out complicated logistics to try to meet the two-day delivery promise that helped them get so popular in the first place.

The totality of logistics involved in shipping a package from Amazon to you is massive.

There are tons of steps and processes and potential for variation. 

We’re going over the main points in the standard shipping practices to give you an idea.

When your amazon package is expected to be arriving today even when not out for delivery, that is a shipping estimate based on your location, the item you ordered, and its starting point.

When the package is out for delivery, it means that your package is currently loaded onto the vehicle that will bring it directly to you.

Out for delivery is more reliable.

For more details, you can check Amazon’s official shipping and delivery timelines.

It all makes more sense when you understand how your package gets from a warehouse to your home.

It all begins with an Amazon fulfillment center.

#1 Fulfillment Centers

Amazon fulfillment center where your package may be even when Amazon says arriving today by 10pm but not shipped.

Fulfillment centers are where it all begins.

These are the massive warehouses where your item (or items) is stored.

Workers at the fulfillment center will locate your item, box it, tag it, and get it started on its journey to your home (or other destination).

Amazon has over 100 fulfillment centers in the United States alone.

The distance you are from one of these centers will determine how long it takes for your item to reach you. 

The majority of people in the U.S. can receive two-day shipping on any item located in a fulfillment center.

If one is in your city, times can be even lower.

#2 Sortation Centers

Interior of warehouse with racks and shelves where your package may have left an Amazon facility but not out for delivery.

Once your package is identified, it is sent to a sortation center.

Many of these are adjacent to fulfillment centers, but that isn’t always the case.

Regardless, sortation centers are a major part of the journey.

This is where tagged boxes are organized according to their destination and priority.

This is the sorting that is necessary to keep the logistics of Amazon shipping clean and organized.

It serves as basically the brain of the whole operation.

When your package is appropriately sorted, it will be marked for transportation.

When the box leaves this center, it is still not marked as “out for delivery.”

That happens later in the process, even when Amazon still estimates the package to be arriving today .

#2 Shipping

Female worker holding shipping order boxes in a warehouse when Amazon sometimes says arriving today but not shipped if the location is nearby.

Major shipping happens after items are sorted.

If the final destination is close, they will be trucked to the appropriate town or neighborhood.

When boxes have farther to travel, they are loaded onto Amazon aircraft (or contracted aircraft).

The planes can hold thousands of items, and they ship Amazon goods all over the world.

It’s important to understand that at this point, contracted couriers are not really part of the equation.

Amazon is still handling the entire process, so they have control over your updates.

#3 Pickup Centers

Interior of a modern warehouse storage with pallet truck near shelves when your package could be when Amazon says still arriving today.

After your package has left an Amazon facility, you might notice that it’s not out for delivery yet. This is a common stage in the shipping process, especially if your package is still at a pickup center. Here, we’ll explain why your package left an Amazon facility but is not out for delivery and what steps are taken before it finally reaches your doorstep.

Pickup centers or so-called carrier facilities are nearly the final steps in the process.

These are the local centers where packages are gathered in order to be delivered to your house directly. 

Amazon might send you a message when your delivery arrives at a carrier facility.

The journey from the pickup center to you is often called the “last mile.”

It might not be literally within a mile of you, but pickup centers are numerous and in every small city in the country.

Unless you live in a rural area, your pickup center is likely within 10 miles of where you live.

There are that many.

Once an item is at a pickup center, there are a few ways it might be delivered to your house.

An Amazon truck or van might handle the last mile.

Plenty of times, third-party couriers are contracted for this portion.

You may also receive a message from Amazon when your delivery has left a carrier facility.

Amazon also uses independent contract drivers to cover the last mile.

They basically built their own Uber for packages, and there are thousands of drivers who do this gig.

What matters is that the person who picks up your package at the pickup center is the person who delivers it directly to you.

#4 Delivery Tags

Now, we can get into the delivery tags that you see on your updates. 

When your Amazon package is selected for arriving “today,” that means that the expectation is there even it’s not out for delivery yet.

Amazon is estimating that they can get your package to you today, but the company does not guarantee delivery times.

Too many things can go wrong along the way, and they know it.

Ultimately, it is the expected delivery date that tells you that you should receive your package today. Unless a delay was logged or tracked, that estimate doesn’t change until the very last minute, assuming your package ends up being late. 

Typically, the “today” tag applies to packages that are at pickup centers.

The expectation is that it is only a matter of hours before you receive it.

Again, there are no guarantees.

When a package is “out for delivery,” it’s already on a vehicle in your area.

You are merely waiting for the delivery vehicle to make it to your stop on their list.

So, you can have an Amazon package that you expect to be arriving today even though it is not yet out for delivery. 

Despite that, you still might get your package today.

Once you see “out for delivery,'” you should expect that your package will arrive that same day.

Exceptions can happen, but this is how things normally go.

How Do Amazon’s 3rd Party Providers Deliver, and How Does That Affect Your Order Status? (3 Things)

Delivery van loading packages outside of logistics warehouse which is the in between phase when a package left an amazon facility but not out for delivery.

When dealing with third-party couriers, you might come across a status that says “Amazon says arriving today but not shipped.” This can be perplexing, especially when Amazon’s own tracking system says otherwise. In this section, we’ll delve into the role of third-party providers and how they might affect your package’s delivery status.

Up until now, we’ve talked about the Amazon process.

You saw that third parties can pick up packages along the way, but when any other courier gets involved, things get a lot more complicated pretty quickly.

Couriers handle their own logistics, and those logistics are not guaranteed to match or coincide with the Amazon process.

It’s entirely possible to get conflicting reports on the delivery progress.

It’s also possible for the introduction of a second logistical process to create unexpected delays.

Here’s the ultimate thing to remember as you consider third-party delivery.

When Amazon hands a package off to a courier, it creates a ticket, and the standard process is to email you the means of tracking your package via the courier.

With that in mind, this is the process of how Amazon uses couriers to deliver packages.

#1 Pickup Centers

Carton box with bar code is on table at computer in an Amazon warehouse that says arriving today by 10pm but not shipped.

For the most part, Amazon contracts major couriers to deliver their packages once those packages are at pickup centers.

It’s cheaper for Amazon.

They handle long-distance transportation.

They’re trying to only pay third parties to handle the last mile.

There are definitely exceptions to this, and we’ll be talking about the most common of them in a minute.

But, this is the general expectation.

So, for now, we’ll assume that the courier is picking up your package at a pickup center.

That means it’s already fairly close to where you live, and you can reasonably expect that the courier can get your package to your house the same day they receive it.

#2 Courier Delivery

Delivery man uses hand truck trolley full of cardboard boxes.

So, here’s how this part works.

Once the package is handed off to the courier (from a pickup center), Amazon will mark the package as out for delivery.

Despite being marked as out for delivery, Amazon is no longer in control of the delivery.

It’s now under the control of FedEx, UPS, or whoever else.

Typically, Amazon will hand off tracking to those services.

You might see that your Amazon estimated delivery and the actual tracking from the courier don’t agree.

The courier is the more accurate source in this case. 

Because couriers don’t necessarily take packages directly from the pickup center to your house, there are opportunities for delay.

This is often when you will see that your package is out for delivery and then not receive it that same day.

If you go with the tracking from the courier, you’re likely to be properly informed.

#3 Direct From Store

Receiving a parcel at a store.

There’s a different way this whole story can play out.

Amazon is actually a hub for lots and lots of individual stores.

Ultimately, those stores have freedom in how they fulfill orders. 

Plenty of them utilize the Amazon fulfillment process, but there are a lot of local stores around the country (and the world) that are only on Amazon to boost their visibility.

It’s entirely possible, and fairly common, that when you order from such a store, they will ship you an item from their own on-hand.

When this happens, they can’t use an Amazon fulfillment center.

Instead, they’ll simply hire a courier service to handle the entire shipping process.

When this is the case, you will receive a tracking email from the seller as soon as they relinquish the package to the courier.

You can track it via the courier process.

Keep in mind that this method circumvents Amazon’s two-day promise.

In fact, when stores handle shipping on their own, you will often have to choose the shipping option you prefer during checkout. 

There may be upcharges for speedy delivery, and Prime shipping is not an option.

That’s how you know the store is handling their own shipping, and it’s how you know the process is completely different.

What if Amazon Says the Package Can’t Be Delivered?

serious and frowning woman using laptop and talking on cellphone in kitchen.

However, what if your out for delivery message is followed by a package undeliverable?

When you receive this message from Amazon, it means that circumstances prevented your package from being delivered. 

If you receive this message, Amazon has canceled the order.

There can be many reasons for this message.

You should receive a refund.

Learn all about Amazon’s package undeliverable message here.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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