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Amazon is breaking its own delivery speed records, but is this actually necessary? 

Published Apr 29th, 2024 12:34PM EDT

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Amazon is undeniably a logistics behemoth. It makes it so easy to order something online and find it on your doorstep soon after — sometimes on the same day. However, with the company speeding up its delivery records, I wonder if all of this is actually necessary.

Doug Herrington, CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores, said in a statement that the company has already broken its previous delivery speed records set in 2023 in the first quarter of this year. According to Herrington, “nearly 60% of Prime member orders arrived the same or next day across the top 60 largest U.S. metro areas.”

After delivering at our fastest speeds ever in 2023, Amazon set new records for Prime delivery speeds in the first three months of 2024, with more than two billion items arriving the same or next day to Prime members around the world. In March, nearly 60% of Prime member orders arrived the same or next day across the top 60 largest U.S. metro areas, and we delivered three out of four items the same or next day in London, Tokyo, and Toronto. Amazon also continues to grow its selection while speeding up deliveries, providing even more value to Prime members.

Herrington also announced that the company has expanded its free Two-Day Shipping from 1 million to more than 300 million items since Prime launched almost a decade ago. In addition, Amazon now offers “tens of millions” of products with Same-Day or One-Day Delivery.

When Amazon first launched Prime in the U.S. in 2005, we offered free Two-Day Shipping on one million items. We now offer more than 300 million items with free Prime shipping, including tens of millions of products available with Same Day or One-Day Delivery. That is over 20 times more products that we can deliver twice as fast compared to when Prime first launched.Whether customers are looking for a particular brand of running socks, a soundbar for a new TV, their favorite coffee, or travel-sized essentials for a last-minute trip—all these and more, at all kinds of price points, can be found on Amazon and delivered fast and free for Prime members.

Is this really necessary?

While getting your packages fast is great, I can’t help but wonder if there becomes a point where speed becomes irrelevant — at least for most things you order. In the video, Herrington specifically mentions getting a pair of running socks or a soundbar at lightning-fast delivery speeds.

This begs me to ask the question, is there a scenario where Two-Day Shipping won’t do and One-Day or even Same-Day Shipping is actually necessary for a pair of socks or a soundbar? I guess if the only pair of socks you owned got a hole in them and you needed another pair immediately? Or your television speakers were broken and you were hosting a movie night for your friends?

Amazon Prime Boxes
Look at all of those boxes. Image source: Pierre Teyssot/MAXPPP/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Consumers continue to expect faster and faster delivery speeds, leading other big retailers like Walmart and Target to try and catch up to Amazon’s lead in the space. People not only continue to want a lot of stuff — but they want it faster than ever. Of course, there are some scenarios where these delivery speeds are actually beneficial to everyone. If you are crazy busy and need diapers, groceries, or medication, having the ability to order something to your door while you take care of everything else can be a huge relief.

While I’m sure any of us could come up with an extreme edge case to justify the need for more and more items to offer such blistering delivery speeds, I’m sure most of us would survive — and likely benefit — from practicing a little patience and not getting instant gratification after ordering a new pair of socks. I think we’d survive just fine.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.