Amazon Prime deliveries are delayed for as much as a month as the company shifts to focus on coronavirus

Rafi Letzter/Tech Insider
  • People using Amazon’s paid-subscription Prime service are facing monthlong delays in shipping due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
  • The service, which costs $US120 annually, promises 1- or 2-day shipping for many products.
  • But customers ordering items deemed “non-essential” during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are seeing delivery dates up to a full month away.
  • “To serve our customers while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritise stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers,” a statement from Amazon read. “This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.”
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For $US120 annually, more than 100 million Americans pay for Amazon’s Prime service.

One major reason so many folks shell out that much money for the service every year is its core promise: to deliver millions of items in no more than 2 days.

But Amazon, like all other companies, is facing major changes due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Amazon warehouses are only accepting “household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products” to be shipped back out to customers – a massive change that is resulting in an equally massive disruption to Amazon Prime.

Some customers are seeing delays as long as a month, according to a report from Recode, on non-essential items ordered through Amazon Prime.

Amazon confirmed those delays in a statement on Monday morning. “To serve our customers while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritise stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers,” the statement said. “This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.”

Amazon primeAP Photo/Patrick Semansky, FileAmazon warehouses are where the company processes and ships sales made online.

In a memo sent to sellers and vendors last week, Amazon said it would halt all intake of non-essential items until at least April 5.

Instead, it said Amazon would focus on the increased demand for products in the following categories: baby products, health and household (including personal-care appliances), beauty and personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific, and pet supplies.

It’s unclear when Amazon Prime will return to normal, but last week Amazon announced an initiative to hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in an attempt to keep up with demand during the coronavirus outbreak. As part of that initiative, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made a specific plea to the many restaurant workers and bartenders who have been laid off while restaurants and bars are forced to close during the outbreak.

“We hope people who’ve been laid off will come work with us until they’re able to go back to the jobs they had,” Bezos said.

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