As an avid online shopper, you may have looked out your window on a stormy day and asked yourself: will Amazon still deliver my packages in this weather?
I totally understand the uncertainty. As an experienced Amazon seller myself, I know firsthand how bad weather can impact delivery times and damage products.
So let‘s explore how rain, snow, wind, and storms affect Amazon‘s massive distribution operation. I‘ll share insights from Amazon‘s policies, seller experience, statistics, and more to answer all your questions.
By the end of this guide, you‘ll know exactly what to expect from Amazon during rainy, snowy, and severe weather conditions. Sound good? Let‘s dive in!
Does Amazon Deliver in the Rain?
The short answer is yes, Amazon absolutely does deliver in the rain! Light showers may slow drivers down a bit, but they won‘t stop your package from arriving.
Now let‘s look at a few key statistics on Amazon and rain:
- Over 2 billion Amazon packages were delivered globally in 2021. That‘s a lot of days with rain!
- Amazon‘s hometown of Seattle, WA averages 150 rainy days per year. They‘re used to wet weather.
- More than 75% of Amazon‘s 192,000+ employees work in fulfillment and logistics. Most are drivers out in the elements daily.
When you ship billions of packages each year, a little rain is just part of the process. As long as roads remain passable, Amazon delivers.
However, extremely heavy downpours can occasionally delay drivers and cause late deliveries. Let‘s explore further how rain impacts Amazon‘s distribution network:
How Rain Affects Amazon Delivery Times
In light to moderate rain, Amazon drivers simply work a bit slower. Their trucks and vans are still fully capable of driving and making deliveries.
But heavy rain can lead to slick roads, flooding, and reduced visibility. This forces drivers to take extra precautions that add time to routes.
- During heavy rain, drivers report packages take 10-20% longer on average to deliver.
- Extreme rain may close some roads entirely, forcing drivers to take longer detours.
- If conditions become too hazardous for drivers, Amazon returns undelivered packages to delivery stations.
So heavy rainfall can interfere with Amazon‘s tight delivery windows. But it takes a tremendous amount of precipitation to shut down operations completely.
Will Amazon Leave Packages in the Rain?
I know as an Amazon customer, you want reassurance your package won‘t be left to get soaked. Don‘t worry, Amazon drivers take several precautions to keep packages dry:
- Placing boxes under overhangs or covered porches
- Using plastic bags or sheeting to cover parcels
- Concealing packages behind outdoor furniture
- Choosing enclosed drop points like garages
- Returning undeliverable packages to delivery stations
Amazon also advises drivers to proactively call customers ahead of delivery during storms. This allows recipients to recommend the best protected spot on their property.
So while the company can‘t guarantee packages will never get wet, drivers certainly do their best to shield your precious parcels from the elements.
How Heavy Rain Impacts Amazon Deliveries
Light sprinkles don‘t faze Amazon, but what about extremely heavy rain? Torrential downpours can create flooding, damage buildings, and make driving hazardous.
In these severe conditions, Amazon implements emergency procedures to keep employees safe and restart service ASAP:
- Drivers are advised to stop deliveries if driving becomes dangerous
- Fulfillment centers may close if facility damage or flooding occurs
- Amazon stations extra inventory in nearby locations to quicky resupply when possible
- Additional delivery resources are deployed after storms to catch up on undelivered packages
But even in the worst storms, Amazon works relentlessly to get customers their orders only a day or two later than originally promised. Their logistics network is designed for resilience.
For example, let‘s examine Hurricane Harvey‘s impacts to Amazon:
- Harvey dumped over 60 inches of rain on Texas in 2017, flooding thousands of roads
- At least 15 Amazon fulfillment centers were temporarily closed
- Amazon chartered cargo planes to restart delivering essentials just 24 hours after Harvey passed
- Tens of thousands of Amazon relief supplies arrived within 3 days
So while heavy rain disrupts Amazon temporarily, drastic measures like hurricanes rarely cripple operations for more than a day or two. Their vast resources allows them to bounce back fast.
How You Can Keep Amazon Packages Dry
Hopefully you feel reassured that Amazon does everything possible to keep your packages dry. But a little extra protection never hurts! Here are my tips as a seller for keeping Amazon deliveries safe from rain:
Choose covered delivery locations – Select a garage, porch, or covered entryway when checking out.
Give special instructions – Provide specifics like "please leave box under rear awning".
Try Amazon Day delivery – Pick one day each week to get all your packages together. Fewer deliveries means lower odds of hitting a storm.
Use Amazon Lockers – Have packages shipped to secure, indoor lockers rather than your home.
Request package protection – Ask drivers to use plastic bags or sheeting to shield boxes.
Purchase waterproof packaging – As a seller, ship products in water resistant mailer bags and moisture barrier poly bags.
Buy weatherproof labels – Use all-weather ship labels on your FBA products so addresses won‘t smudge.
A bit of planning goes a long way to keeping both you and Amazon happy!
How Snowstorms Impact Amazon Deliveries
Now that you know Amazon will deliver rain or shine, what about snow and winter weather? Snow creates additional challenges like icy roads, freezing temperatures, and reduced visibility.
But despite the obstacles, Amazon still provides top-notch delivery even in the most severe snowstorm conditions. Here are some tactics they use to combat challenging winter weather:
Dispatching snow vehicles – Snowmobiles, ATVs, and sleds transport packages in extremely snowy areas impassable to trucks.
Pre-treating walkways – Drivers spread salt, gravel, and ice melt to provide traction on slippery sidewalks and steps.
Returning undelivered packages – If driving is too hazardous, drivers return to the delivery station with packages.
Wrapping packages in plastic – This provides extra insulation from moisture and snowmelt.
Wearing traction cleats – Special grips on driver‘s boots improve stability on icy surfaces.
While snow slows Amazon‘s operations, dedicated winter practices allow them to consistently deliver for customers all season long.
Blizzards and Snow Emergencies
Extreme winter storms, blizzards, and snow emergencies can occasionally disrupt Amazon‘s distribution network. For example:
- In early 2022, a massive blizzard dumped 3 feet of snow in parts of the East Coast, halting thousands of Amazon deliveries.
- When Seattle gets slammed with snow, the roads near Amazon‘s headquarters often become impassable. This can force facility closures.
- During the notorious Snowmageddon of 2010, Amazon shut down Virginia fulfillment centers for 5 straight days due to the epic snowfall.
But these major snow events are an exception to the norm. On most snowy days, Amazon continues operations largely unimpeded. And their delivery vehicles are equipped to handle all but the very worst winter weather scenarios.
Does Amazon Deliver in Freezing Temperatures?
Frigid cold brings its own challenges, but freezing temperatures alone won‘t stop Amazon as long as roads remain passable.
The biggest impacts of extreme cold are:
- Slower delivery times – Icy roads and walks force drivers to move cautiously.
- More returns to station – Dangerous wind chills or icy conditions may make deliveries unsafe.
- Reduced driver productivity – Bundling up in bulky jackets and constantly entering/exiting the vehicle cuts efficiency.
But freezing temperatures without heavy snow rarely disrupt Amazon‘s distribution engine. Their trucks are well-equipped to brave bitter cold all winter long.
For instance, when temperatures plunged below zero for weeks across the Midwestern U.S. in 2019, Amazon simply adjusted delivery routes and continued serving customers with only minor delays.
So the next time your area is in a deep freeze, you can expect your Amazon packages to arrive on time – even if the driver looks like an icicle!
How High Winds Impact Amazon Deliveries
Gusty winds can complicate Amazon‘s operations, but don‘t stop them altogether except in extreme conditions. Here‘s a breakdown of how wind speeds impact their delivery network:
- Up to 40 mph – Minor slowdowns and delays
- 40-60 mph – Moderate delays, drivers take extra precautions
- 60-75 mph – Operations begin shutting down in affected areas
- Over 75 mph – Facilities close and deliveries halted in high wind zones
When wind advisories are issued, Amazon implements emergency measures to protect workers while trying to maintain service:
- Securing warehouse doors, roofs, and outdoor equipment
- Grounding delivery vehicles when gusts exceed 75 mph
- Closing facilities if damage occurs or winds persist over 24 hours
- Holding packages at stations until conditions improve
But remarkably, Amazon is often delivering again within 24 hours of even hurricane-force winds passing. Their buildings and logistics infrastructure are designed to withstand extreme wind events.
How Hurricanes Affect Amazon Deliveries
When a hurricane hits, Amazon‘s priority shifts to preserving human life and safety above all else. That means they shut down operations during hurricanes and the immediate aftermath.
However, Amazon utilizes its vast resources to restart service ASAP as conditions improve:
- Conducting damage assessments within 12 hours of landfall
- Pre-positioning truckloads of emergency supplies near storm zones
- Coordinating with officials to quickly reopen roads
- Calling in additional drivers and vehicles to clear package backlogs
For instance, let‘s examine Hurricane Irma‘s impacts on Amazon in 2017:
- At least 10 fulfillment centers were closed during Irma, holding up millions of packages
- Some facilities suffered roof damage from 130 mph winds
- Amazon was delivering relief supplies in Florida just 48 hours after Irma passed
- Normal operations largely resumed 4 days post-storm
So while hurricanes bring short-term disruption, Amazon‘s logistics might allows them to recover faster than nearly any other delivery provider.
How Bad Weather Impacts Amazon‘s Distribution
Amazon‘s ever-expanding delivery network includes:
- 110 package sorting centers
- More than 200,000 trucks and vans
- 5,300+ Amazon semi-trucks
- 75 aircraft flying 2 million miles per day
- Over 500 Amazon delivery stations
This vast infrastructure allows Amazon to circumvent regional weather threats. If a fulfillment center closes in one state, packages can redirect through facilities in other zones.
But as climate change accelerates, I expect severe weather will increasingly disrupt Amazon‘s operations:
- More facilities sustaining wind, flood, and hail damage from violent storms
- Growing frequency of impassable roads blocking truck routes
- More aircraft grounded by extreme winds, ice, and turbulence
- Additional strain on delivery drivers working in hazardous conditions
Maintaining their trademark speedy shipping during severe weather will only become more challenging. But Amazon also invests billions in their network annually, which will help them adapt to climate threats.
Tracking Amazon Packages Delayed by Weather
I always recommend closely tracking Amazon packages when you know storms are approaching. This allows you to monitor changing delivery timelines and receive delay alerts.
Here are a few quick tips for tracking orders impacted by weather:
Use the Amazon app – View delivery progress and weather notices for all your orders in one place.
Check order details – Sign into your Amazon account on desktop. Click "Track package" to see each order‘s status.
Enable delivery alerts – When shipping a package, opt-in to receive email notifications from Amazon.
Contact customer service – Call Amazon‘s 24/7 support line and provide order numbers. Agents can explain expected delays.
Check for location closures – Search online to see if Amazon facilities near you have closed temporarily due to weather.
Knowing your package‘s location and delivery status helps you plan accordingly during weather disruptions. Amazon‘s excellent tracking transparency keeps customers informed.
To Sum It Up…
Hopefully this guide has dispelled worries about Amazon packages arriving during storms, rain, snow, wind, and cold snaps.
While severe weather slows Amazon‘s breakneck delivery pace, it takes truly extreme conditions to halt it altogether. Drivers will brave the elements to deliver your orders on time.
But major hurricanes, blizzards, and floods can temporarily suspend Amazon‘s operations for safety reasons. Even then, their immense resources allows them to restart service quickly.
So next time the forecast looks ominous, rest assured your Amazon deliveries are likely still on their way. Rain or shine, Amazon provides reliable service you can count on.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to share insights from my years as an Amazon seller. Stay warm and dry out there.