Here’s what it means when Amazon says package arrived at a carrier facility:
This message means that the package is at a local distribution facility that is usually the last stop before the package is delivered directly to you.
Carrier facilities are small distribution centers that are as common as local post offices. Once the package leaves this facility, you should receive it that day.
So if you want to learn all about the meaning of when Amazon says your package arrived at a carrier facility, then this article is for you.
What Is a Carrier Facility?
In theory, a carrier facility is the last stop on the trip before a package is delivered directly to you. Basically, every town has a carrier facility, such as a post office (although different delivery companies have their own facilities that are comparable). This is where the person who carries your individual package to your house picks up that package.
It is entirely possible for a package to go through a few carrier facilities before it is finally delivered to your doorstep. You can get the “arrived at a carrier facility” message at any point along this route. But, the message is intended to be sent when the package gets to the last carrier facility in the chain.
Despite that, this message does not mean that you will get your package today. You might, but it also might still take a few days. Packages are queued according to delivery promises at the carrier facility.
What Happens to Your Package From Order to Delivery?
The carrier facility message makes more sense when you track the entire journey of a delivery from Amazon.
It starts with you placing an order, and it ends with the package in your hands. There are potentially a lot of steps along the way.
Place an Order
Naturally, everything begins when you place an order. This is true for any delivery item, but since we’re looking specifically at Amazon, the process begins when you place an order via Amazon (through their app or website).
When a digital order is logged into the system, it starts a chain of processes that ultimately bring your package to your door. The first thing that will happen in this chain is that the fulfillment warehouse will be notified of your order. That’s where it all begins.
As soon as Amazon receives your order, confirms your payment, and picks and packages the item (or items), you receive the Amazon’s shipping now message.
The fulfillment warehouse is the heart of the Amazon logistical beast. There are a number of fulfillment warehouses around the world. These are the mega warehouses where items are stored before they are ordered, and it is here where the journey begins.
To put this in perspective, there are a little over 100 fulfillment warehouses across the U.S. and roughly another 70 in countries around the world.
When you place your order, Amazon’s system will check to see if the item (or items) is in the fulfillment center closest to you. If not, it will ultimately notify whichever center is best suited to start the journey for your order.
When the fulfillment center is identified, the item you ordered will be picked from the warehouse. It will then be sent to a packing station, which is typically located within the fulfillment center campus.
At the packing station, your item will be boxed and prepared for shipping. Most of this is automated, but a lot of people work at these centers to ensure everything moves efficiently.
Once your item is fully packed, it is ready to be shipped. Each fulfillment center has an area designated for shipping. Your item goes from the packing station to the shipping station on the same campus.
At this point, your package is ready to begin its journey. It’s worth noting that any number of days can pass from when you place your order until the package is at this point.
For rushed delivery and priority items, this usually happens the same day you make your order. For plenty of other items, days, if not weeks, can pass to get to this point.
The journey from the shipping location at the fulfillment center depends on how far away you are. It’s possible that the journey can be completed in two to three steps.
It’s also possible that it will take more than a dozen steps. Amazon uses a lot of resources to make the trip as efficient as possible, but anyone not living in an urban area will inevitably wait longer for their packages.
When the package leaves the fulfillment center, its first destination is a distribution center. This is where packages are sorted so that they can be shipped successfully to their final location. There are distribution centers relatively close to every fulfillment center.
Amazon runs the majority of distribution centers that handle their packages, but plenty of items are still shipped by major delivery companies, like FedEx or UPS.
It is possible for a package to go from a fulfillment center straight to a courier distribution center. That said, in most cases, your package goes to an Amazon distribution center first.
Depending on the route your package needs to take, your item might go through multiple distribution centers before it reaches the next segment of the journey.
After your package has gone through all of the distribution centers on its journey, it will end up at a carrier facility. If you live close to a fulfillment center, this can happen on the same day. It can also take weeks to get to this point for international shipping.
Carrier facilities, as discussed above, are where the package is sorted for final delivery. Amazon does run carrier facilities, but a lot of packages end up at these facilities run by different couriers. Local post offices count as carrier facilities, and that’s an easy way to think about this chain.
Depending on where the package is going, it might only run through one carrier facility, but it might instead have to go through multiple of these facilities before it can reach you.
An important thing to remember is that carrier facilities are much closer to you than the major distribution centers (usually). From the time your package first reaches a carrier facility, it shouldn’t be more than a hundred miles away from you in the majority of cases.
That said, packages can still sit at these facilities for some time. That’s because they schedule deliveries based on priority. If your package is not a priority delivery, it might have to wait in line for a while before it leaves this facility.
When everything is working correctly, you get the “arrived at carrier facility” message when your package is at the carrier facility closest to you.
Once the package makes it to the final carrier facility, it is picked up by a courier and delivered directly to you. This final courier can be an Amazon deliverer, or they can work for USPS, FedEx, UPS, and a number of other delivery companies.
When the package leaves the last carrier facility is when you are supposed to get the notification that it is “out for delivery.”