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The retailer said it grew same-day and overnight deliveries to U.S. Prime members by 65% year over year in 2023.

Amazon.com Inc. announced Prime deliveries in 2023 reached their “fastest speeds ever” in a statement released Tuesday.

The ecommerce giant delivered 7 billion units by same-day or next-day delivery to Prime members, CEO of worldwide Amazon stores Doug Herrington wrote in the blog post. More than 4 billion of those deliveries took place in the U.S., and more than 2 billion were in Europe.

It did not share comparable delivery figures for 2022, but the number of items delivered on the same day or overnight grew 65% year over year in the U.S. in 2023, Amazon said. More than 70% of Prime orders in the U.K. arrived same-day or next-day in the fourth quarter of 2023. Amazon celebrated its billionth same-day delivery in the U.S. in December.

Amazon ranks No. 1 in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000. The Top 1000 is a ranking of North America’s leading retailers by online sales. It also ranks No. 3 in Digital Commerce 360’s Global Online Marketplaces database. The database ranks the 100 largest such marketplaces by third-party gross merchandise volume (GMV).

Amazon changes logistics in 2023

Amazon achieved its record delivery speeds by shortening delivery distances, improving inventory placement, and expanding its same-day delivery range, Herrington said.


The online retailer divided its U.S. delivery regions into smaller areas, shipping 600 million more items from in-region fulfillment centers in Q4 2023 than in Q4 2022. Transporting orders from in-region fulfillment centers to delivery centers in the same region minimizes the stops per package and cuts down on the need for air transportation, Amazon said. Both factors lead to less time between order and delivery. Amazon made a similar move in the U.K., shortening the average distance a package traveled by 25 kilometers year over year.

Amazon prioritized sorting inventory in the right fulfillment centers where consumers were most likely to want to order those goods, it said. That allows Amazon to grow its same-day delivery footprint in the U.S. As of January 2024, Amazon operates 55 dedicated same-day delivery sites in the U.S., with 18 cities added in 2023. Those sites serve as both fulfillment centers and delivery stations, where orders are fulfilled, sorted and delivered all in one setting.

Amazon using AI to improve delivery speeds

Amazon will use artificial intelligence (AI) to further improve delivery speeds in 2024, Herrington said. The retailer is using AI to understand what products are most likely to be reordered on a recurring basis, like dog food or paper towels, and stock them in each delivery region in appropriate quantities. That will eventually mean shorter wait times for those deliveries, Amazon said.

The marketplace will also use AI on the other side, to monitor incoming inventory from vendors and sellers. The technology will give the operations team a better view of what inventory is coming into facilities and how often, he said.


Robots and drones part of Amazon’s fleet

Amazon’s Herrington shared information on other technologies the online retailer will use more of in 2024. It will expand the use of the Sequoia robot storage system, which launched in a Houston fulfillment center last year. Sequoia robots identify and store inventory at fulfillment centers up to 75% faster, Amazon said. That speed contributes to a 25% reduction in order processing time for the customer. The system will launch in more fulfillment centers this year.

The retailer made progress in its drone-delivery capabilities, too. The test recorded its fastest delivery to date in December at 15 minutes and 29 seconds from College Station, Texas. Prime Air will expand to the U.K., Italy, and a new U.S. location this year, Amazon said.

How many Amazon Prime members are there?

Amazon’s latest delivery speed figures encompass Prime members, who are eligible for expedited two-day, next-day and same-day delivery. It costs $14.99 per month, or $139 per year. 

Amazon has 176 million Prime members as of December 2023, according to research from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). That’s the highest level ever recorded by CIRP, which has monitored Prime membership since 2013. Membership is up about 5% from 168 million in December 2022, per CIRP. Those estimates are for Amazon customers with Prime membership, not households.


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