Technology

Amazon launches pilot program to speed up same-day shipping

On Monday, Amazon announced that it had built “mini-fulfillment centers” in Dallas, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Phoenix that will allow it to deliver packages in a matter of hours in those cities. The pilot program’s new delivery schedule can be seen below.

“Up to 3 million items across dozens of categories that are marked ‘Today by’ can now be ordered for delivery throughout the day—all with the goal of giving Prime members the most convenient shopping experience in retail while saving them time and money. Members can also order as late as midnight and have their orders on their doorstep the next morning before heading out for the day by selecting the ‘Overnight by 8am’ delivery option. If a customer selects to have their order delivered overnight, drivers will arrive between 4:30am-8am, which is noted on the product detail page and again at checkout.”

The faster shipping does not apply to all purchases, but that’s not surprising since neither does its current one-day shipping. Reuters notes that the mini-warehouses are much smaller than the e-retailer’s other facilities (about one-tenth the size). Still, they will stock about 100,000 products and be located closer to the cities.

Amazon also said it is planning on expanding the program to other locations later this year but did not have anything more specific such as timelines or a potential list of candidate cities. It said that additional same-day orders (up to 3 million) will pass through the warehouses as well.

The prices for faster delivery have not changed. For Prime members it is still free for orders over $35 or $3 extra for smaller orders. For regular customers, same-day shipping is $13.