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This article applies to selling in: United States

Modify handling time

Amazon provides the estimated delivery time to buyers on the product detail and checkout pages. We base this estimate on the time between when the buyer places an order until the delivery reaches the buyer's address.

What is handling time?

Handling time (also known as production time or lead time to ship) is the time between when the buyer places the order until you hand the order over to your carrier. Handling time is part of the delivery promise calculation displayed on the offer listing and checkout page.

In Seller Central, you can set your handling time in two ways:

  • Set an account level default handling time.
  • Set ASIN-specific handling times for specific products, this will over-ride the account-level handling time for that ASIN.

What is default handling time?

Default handling time is the handling time set at an account level and applies to all your products unless you set a handling time specifically for an ASIN, in which case it will override the account level handling time for that specific ASIN. You can set the default handling time for your account to either Same-day, 1 business day or 2 business days. This does not affect products that have a product level handling time set).

For same-day handling time, all orders received before the order cut-off time must be shipped and confirmed during the day the order was received to avoid late shipments. All orders received after the order cut-off time must be shipped and confirmed during the next day after the order was received.

For example, a seller that has a Same-day handling time with an order cut off time of 12 p.m., and receives an order on Monday, 11 a.m. That order will need to be shipped on Monday, which is the same day the order was received. If an order is received Monday, 4 p.m., that order will need to be shipped by Tuesday, the next day it was received.

Note: The default cut-off time is 2 p.m. local time, but you can edit it in your shipping settings.
Note: For new professional sellers joining Amazon, the default handling time will be set to 1-day, and sellers will have the option to change it to same-day or 2 day.

How can I update the default handling time?

To update the default handling time on Seller Central, follow the below steps:

  1. On the Shipping Settings page, navigate to General Shipping Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Handling Time and click Edit.
  3. Select Same day (0 Day),1 Day or 2 Days and click Save.
  4. Optional: Enter your order handling capacity and click Save. This will allow you to set a limit for how many orders you can handle within your default handling time, and protect against Late shipment rate (LSR) when you receive more orders than you can manage by adding one additional day of handling time for all orders above your set capacity.
    Note: You can only change your default handling time once in a 24-hour window and it can take up to 24 hours for the change to be effective.

How can I modify handling time for specific products?

If you expect to take longer than the defined default handling time to ship specific products, you can set longer handling times for these products.

There are three ways you can modify the handling time in bulk:

  • Using Inventory Loader:
    1. From Inventory file templates, style guides, and Browse Tree guides (BTG) page, navigate to Choose a file template section and download your Inventory Loader file.
    2. Read through the instructions in Data Definitions tab in the Inventory Loader file.
    3. In the Template tab, fill all the required fields and the handling-time field (or leadtime-to-ship field) (One SKU per row)
    4. Save the file in text-tab-delimited format (.txt)
    5. Upload the file through Inventory > Add Products via Upload > Upload your Inventory file. Select file type as Inventory Loader File.
  • Using Price and Quantity File:
    1. From Inventory file templates, style guides, and Browse Tree guides (BTG) page, navigate to Choose a file template section and download your Price & Quantity file.
    2. Read through the instructions in Data Definitions tab in the Listing Loader file.
    3. In the Template tab, fill all the required fields and the handling-time field (One SKU per row).
    4. Save the file in text-tab-delimited format (.txt)
    5. Upload the file through Inventory > Add Products via Upload > Upload your Inventory File. Select file type as Price and Quantity File.
  • Using Listing Loader:
    1. From Upload inventory using the Listing Loader page, download your Listing Loader file.
    2. Read through the instructions in Data Definitions tab in the Listing Loader file.
    3. In the Template tab, fill all the required fields and the leadtime-to-ship field (One SKU per row)
    4. Save the file in text-tab-delimited format (.txt)
    5. Upload the file through Inventory > Add products via upload > Upload your Inventory File. Select file type as Inventory Files for Specific Categories.

Note: Leaving the handling-time (or leadtime-to-ship) field empty in the above templates will cause Amazon to revert to your account level default handling time.
Note: Your offer will update on Amazon within 15 minutes. In case of maximum load on Amazon systems, it can take up to 24 hours for offer information and 48 hours for product information.

Why is setting faster and accurate handling time important?

Customers love faster deliveries and are more likely to buy products that have faster estimated delivery times. Products with faster estimated delivery times are also more likely to be featured offers on product detail pages. Setting faster and more accurate handling times also helps improve the delivery experience for your customers.

How does handling time impact my account performance?

Expected ship date for your seller fulfilled orders is calculated based on order date + handling time. For example, if your default handling time is 1 day, the expected ship date for orders placed before midnight will be the next business day. For same-day handling time, all orders received before the order cut-off time must be shipped and confirmed during the day the order was received to avoid late shipments. With Same-day handling time, all orders received after the order cut-off time must be shipped and confirmed during the next day after the order was received.

Note: The default cut-off time is 2 p.m. local time, but you can edit it in your shipping settings.

It is important to confirm the shipment of orders by the expected ship date to meet the late shipment rate (LSR) requirements for your account. If you ship the product on time but do not confirm it by the ship by date, it will be considered a late shipment. Not shipping on time may impact your late shipment rate, use Order handling capacity to protect against shipping late. For more details, go to Late shipment rate.

Can I set same-day handling time?

To set same-day handling time you have two options, you can either set same-day handling time as your account default handling time, or you can opt-in for same-day handling time for specific shipping templates. This provides you with additional flexibility to set same day handling time for some or all of your products. Same-day handling time set on your shipping templates only applies to Standard and Expedited shipping options and is only available to sellers that meet the required high delivery performance standard. To learn more, go to Same-day handling time.

Do these handling time settings affect Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) and Premium Shipping orders?

Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) and Premium Shipping (Same-day delivery, Next-day delivery, and Two-day delivery) requires sellers to ship all orders received before order cut-off time on the same day they receive the order.

Product level handling time recommendations

Amazon generates handling time recommendations for products where we see a gap between your configured handling time, your actual handling time for that product, and your handling time of similar products on Amazon. For products where you have demonstrated capabilities to handle them faster than your ASIN-specific handling time currently configured, we will recommend adjustments to set a shorter handling time. For products where your handling time is slower than your configured handling time, we will recommend adjustments to set a longer handling time. The recommendations are refreshed monthly and are based on the prior month’s handling time to ensure the recommendations are reflective of your most recent capabilities to handle products for delivery.

We encourage you to regularly monitor and update your handling time recommendations. Setting accurate handling times will support the estimated delivery dates to customers.

To view and configure your recommended handling times:

  1. On Seller Central, go to Inventory, and then click Manage seller fulfilled products.
  2. Select the Recommendations tab to view all the products that have recommended handling times.
    Note: If there are no recommendations, this may indicate that you don’t have any seller-fulfilled SKUs with a standard shipping option on the Manage Inventory page or your configured product specific handling times were aligned with your average actual handling times.
  3. Click Update to accept the recommended handling time.
    Note: You may select multiple products to update the handling time in bulk.
  4. Click Ignore to ignore the recommendation.
  5. Check back on the first day of the next month to view updated handling time recommendations.
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