Amazon Says Shipping Now: Meaning?

Here’s what it means when Amazon says shipping now:

This message is telling you that Amazon received your order, confirmed payment, and is now picking and packaging the item (or items). 

In many cases, there can be days (or more) between the time you place an order and this message appears. 

The main reason for the message is to let you know that shipment is underway.

So if you want to learn all about Amazon’s shipping now message, then this article is for you.

Let’s jump right in!

Amazon Says Shipping Now: Meaning? (+ Interesting Facts)

What Is Amazon’s Shipping Now Message Telling You?

parcels inside a logistics warehouse

This is the formal message that informs you that the shipping process has begun.

For a number of reasons (which are covered in the next section), shipping does not begin instantaneously when you place an order. 

On a good day, Amazon will process your order and payment within minutes to hours.

Once everything checks out, Amazon will initiate the shipping process.

This is when you get the message that the package is “shipping now.”

It specifically means that the pickers at the Amazon warehouse have been notified to grab your item (or items) and send it to the packing facility.

Once it is packed, it is shipped.

Why Don’t You See Amazon’s Shipping Now as Soon as You Place an Order? (3 Reasons)

On a bad day, many things can create delays between you placing an order and the item reaching the shipping-now state.

The most common reason for a delay is payment processing. 

It takes time for financial institutions to verify a payment, and Amazon is not going to pack an item until they are certain that the payment has gone through.

Payment delays are more common when the financial system is taxed.

Sometimes, weekends and holidays can slow down payment confirmation.

Sometimes, aspects of the system experience errors that slow everything down.

There are three other scenarios unrelated to payment that can create delays between placing an order and the beginning of the shipping process.

#1 The Item Is Out of Stock

When an item is out of stock, Amazon will not bill you for it as soon as you place the order (assuming everything is working as intended).

Instead, the order is placed, and an automated hold system is set up. 

As soon as the item becomes physically available, Amazon places a charge on your payment method.

When payment is confirmed, the shipping process formally begins.

Ideally, if you order something that is out of stock, Amazon will present you with an estimated delivery date that includes the time needed to restock your item.

Remember that this is an estimate, and times often change while you are waiting.

If delivery times seem abnormally long for something you want to order, there is a fair chance that it is currently out of stock at the Amazon warehouse(s).

#2 It Is Shipping Internationally

When items ship internationally, a bunch of extra steps is introduced into the logistical chain.

There are a number of reasons that Amazon might need time between receiving the order and actually shipping it. 

This can relate to shipping backlogs when supply chains are disrupted.

It can be due to international regulations on shipping or the item itself.

There are countless potential obstacles that can slow down international shipping.

So, Amazon won’t tell you that the item is shipping now until the system is confident that the item can, in fact, be shipped.

#3 Amazon Is Facing Abnormal Order Volumes

Christmas online shopping with phone.

This is another common issue, and many people experience it every Christmas season.

It’s normal to see delays between your order and shipping when Amazon is facing abnormal order volumes.

It’s really just a matter of a lot of orders placing strain on the logistical system.

It struggles to keep up with the volume.

When the problem is extensive enough, your order goes into a queue. 

Even if your payment is confirmed quickly, the pickers won’t get to your item until its turn comes up in the queue.

Various rushed shipping fees might affect your order’s place in the queue.

The total system is complicated enough that it’s hard to predict exactly how long you might have to wait.

But, that waiting creates indefinite periods of time that are added to the total process.

What Is Amazon’s Total Shipping Process? (3 Stages)

Delivery man holds out package box.

The shipping now message might make even more sense when it is placed in a broader context. 

When you see the general journey, a package makes when you order from Amazon, you can go through each message and understand how it all fits together.

#1 Shipping Now

Shipping now is what is covered above. 

One more time for thoroughness, this message means that the item is cleared to be picked up and packaged at the Amazon facility.

Once packaged, it will be shipped from the facility.

#2 Carrier Picked up the Package

Female courier loads cardboard boxes from a cart into a car working together with a coworker.

This message tells you that the package has officially shipped.

A carrier picked it up, so it is now on its journey from an Amazon fulfillment center to your delivery address. 

There can be many stops along the way, so this message does not really indicate how soon you will receive the package, but the journey has begun.

#3 Package Arrived at a Carrier Facility

Cardboard boxes on conveyor rollers ready to be shipped by courier for distribution.

This message is telling you that the package has completed the leg of its journey.

Carrier facilities are where packages are sorted and routed for the next stage of the trip. 

Anything you order can go through very many or very few carrier facilities.

It depends on how far you are from the fulfillment center, your shipping priority, and, mostly, the complicated algorithms used to route your delivery.

Whenever you receive an item from Amazon, you can log into your account and look at the delivery history.

It will show you how many carrier facility stops there were on the journey to get to you.

Keep in mind that carrier facilities can apply to a wide range of facilities and companies.

Amazon does a lot of its own deliveries. As such, Amazon has carrier facilities. 

Major shipping companies also have carrier facilities.

Depending on the delivery process, any single package can stop at facilities run by different organizations.

Learn all about what it means when Amazon says package arrived at a carrier facility and package has left the carrier facility here.

#4 Out for Delivery

Courier takes out package from delivery van.

This is an important message because it signifies that the next stop for your package is its final destination.

Out for delivery is the message used when a package leaves a carrier facility for home (or business) delivery. 

Typically, when a package is out for delivery, you can expect to receive it the same day that this message appears.

That won’t always be the case, but this message indicates that you should get your package sooner rather than later.

#5 Delivered

Young woman receiving parcel from courier indoors.

When you see this message, Amazon is under the impression that they successfully delivered the package to you.

More often than not, their impression is right. 

This message is most important when you see it and have never received a package.

That means that something definitely went wrong, and you should probably contact Amazon to try to resolve the situation.

If you see this message and have received your package, then no action is necessary.

Everything worked as intended.


  • 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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