Amazon Warns of Shipping Delays From Surge of Orders Sparked by Coronavirus Fears
Amazon.com on Monday warned customers that both its Prime Now and Amazon Fresh services have been overwhelmed by demand sparked by coronavirus fears and would have limited availability, according to Bloomberg. This means shoppers’ orders are being delivered more slowly than usual due to an influx of virus-spooked shoppers who are turning to the world’s largest online retailer to avoid going to brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon hasn’t reduced the number of people or trucks dedicated to either service, but it has seen a surge in demand that’s straining its delivery capacity, according to a person familiar with the matter. One Amazon delivery driver who spoke on condition of anonymity said the company has seen a surge in demand for bottled water. Amazon Flex drivers, who make Amazon deliveries in their own vehicles, don’t like delivering water since sometimes it adds hundreds of pounds to their vehicles and is much harder to deliver than a small package.
Total Retail's Take: Even with one of the largest and strongest global fulfillment networks, Amazon isn't above the rippling effects of the coronavirus and the fears that surround the growing spread of the virus. The outbreak has already caused issues for many retailers that rely on Chinese warehouses for production or operate brick-and-mortar stores in cities affected thus far. Now it seems the problems have hit Amazon's U.S. fulfillment services and strained its promise of two-day delivery for Prime customers and two-hour delivery for Amazon Fresh orders. A banner is now appearing on the Amazon Fresh site alerting online shoppers that they may not receive their groceries within that time frame. As more and more Americans rush to buy hand sanitizer, cleaning products and face masks, there's sure to be delays due to supply chain strain or out-of-stock products.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Women in Retail Leadership Circle and sister brand Total Retail. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for both brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment recording interviews with retailers.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.