Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Amazon Prime Delivery Delays

Jason Del Rey:

During normal times, Amazon Prime deliveries typically arrive in one or two days in the US. Now, some Prime deliveries for in-stock items are showing five-day delivery promises on the lower end, but those waits are as long as a month on some items.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Recode on Sunday evening that the new April 21 delivery dates are not the result of a technical bug or error; they accurately reflect Amazon’s current reality.

“To serve our customers in need 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 prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.”

Update (2020-03-27): See also: Hacker News.

Brian Heater:

Amazon today confirmed that an employee in its Queens, N.Y. fulfillment center has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.


It may be the first of its kind in the facility, but it almost certainly won’t be the last. Even as companies encourage workers to stay home at the first sign of sickness for both their benefit and that of customers, many will no doubt come to work. And then there’s the matter of those who are largely asymptomatic.

Brian Fung and Sara Ashley O’Brien:

Amazon warehouses are facing a growing tide of coronavirus cases with at least 11 facilities hit so far, according to Amazon and local media reports.


Amazon has temporarily closed some sites, such as the Queens location, but has largely refrained from mass closures. The company told CNN that it is taking “extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site[s].”


Amazon is witnessing spikes in demand that are comparable to the surge surrounding peak holiday periods such as Black Friday, Jay Carney, Amazon’s senior vice president of global corporate affairs, told CNN’s Poppy Harlow in an interview last week. In response, the company is ramping up hiring.

David Dayen (via Marina Epelman):

How has this filtered down to people like Tyler Hamilton, a worker at Amazon’s warehouse in Shakopee, Minnesota? He gets a couple more bucks an hour now, as Amazon raised its base pay to $17 to attract workers. And amid other complaints from Senators about hazard pay, on Sunday Amazon made overtime work double time instead of time and a half. “It helps, but to get the hazard pay you have to be there for 40 hours a week and the overtime,” said Hamilton, who has been organizing with The Awood Center, a community group that’s part of a larger grassroots coalition pressuring Amazon called Athena. “A lot of people are going to be there for longer. People will take as much OT as they can get, because we’re all poor.”

What Amazon gives with the overtime pay, then, comes at the expense of worker safety, which is nearly impossible to manage in the warehouse and delivery environments. The amount of people in warehouses and the workload makes physical distancing difficult. Amazon has put tape on the floor of Hamilton’s warehouse using a standard of maintaining a three-foot distance from co-workers, half of the recommended six-foot standard.

Josh Centers:

It’s safest and cheapest to wait at least 72 hours before handling or opening the package. While the virus dies off on cardboard in about 24 hours, it lives much longer on plastic. If the warehouse worker who packed the item or delivery person who dropped it off was infected, then there could be virus present not only on the cardboard or paper of the package, but on any plastic tape, labels, or inside the packaging.

If you choose to disinfect instead of waiting it out, use a cleaner from the EPA’s approved list.

You can use ultraviolet light to disinfect, but it’s complicated, expensive, and hard to recommend.

Josh Centers:

Today, the New York Times published an article attempting to refute mine (without mentioning my article, of course). Long story short, they’re telling people not to worry, which I think is highly irresponsible.

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Guitar strings: 4 weeks. Small Hand Foods orgeat: 4 days. Hand sanitizer: you can’t afford it.

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