Amazon attributes holiday delivery delays to winter storms, strong demand

Amazon’s massive delivery infrastructure is witnessing some hiccups as the holiday shopping season goes on. The company said that it is experiencing shipping delays because it faces high demand and winter storms this holiday season. Recode first reported the news on Thursday.

Recode reported on Thursday that complaints about shipping delays started piling up this week on social media.

“We are off to a record-breaking start to the holiday season and on peak shopping days, delivery promises vary and may be longer than normal based on order volume and the fulfillment and delivery capacity available in a given area,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to CNBC. “The winter storms that swept across much of the country at the same time also extended delivery times in some areas. We will work directly with customers who are experiencing an issue with their delivery.”

The delays come after Amazon commenced offering one-day delivery on items for Prime members. The company has spent at least $800 million this year to expand the programme.

Amazon’s free and fast delivery for Prime customers has set the company’s retail business apart from legacy retailers that have not matched Amazon’s enormous investments in delivery infrastructure. Traditional retailers are now fighting back to establish competitive e-commerce presences of their own.

Walmart has been aggressively investing in its e-commerce platform and speeding up its deliveries to match Amazon’s promises. Walmart does not charge a membership fee. And Nike pulled its merchandise from Amazon last November as it pursues a more personal relationship with customers. Amazon Prime signups are now falling, according to surveys by retail analytics firm First Insight. Earlier this year, the company said it found 52 percent of survey respondents were Prime members in 2019, down from 59 percent a year earlier.

This holiday season is the first year that Amazon will take on some of the busy months without one of its key delivery partners. FedEx ended its ground-delivery contract with Amazon earlier in August this year. Amazon will now depend on its other delivery partners, including UPS and its own Amazon Logistics delivery network.

Source: CNBC