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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 offer listing 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 time calculation displayed on the offer listing and checkout page.

Total Delivery Time = Handling Time + Transit Time (+ any holidays and weekends)

In Seller Central, you can set your handling time in two ways: 1) Set an account level default handling time; 2) Set product level handling times for specific products. See below for more information.

Transit time: The time between when you hand the order over to your carrier until its delivery to the buyer's address. You can modify the transit times for your SKUs by editing your shipping templates.

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 specifically change the product level handling time. You can set the default handling time to either 1 business day or 2 business days (this does not affect products that have a product level handling time set).

Note: For new professional sellers joining the program, the default handling time will be 1 business day and sellers will have the option to change it to 2 business days.

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 tab.
  2. Scroll down to Handling Time and click Edit.
  3. Select 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 1 or 2 days, and protect against Late Shipment Rate (LSR) when you receive more orders than you can manage.
    Note: You can change your default handling time only once in a 24-hour window.

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 purchase products that have faster estimated delivery times. Products with faster estimated delivery times are also more likely to be the featured offers on product detail pages. Setting faster and 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 business day, expected ship date for orders placed till 12 midnight will be the next business day. 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. Not meeting the LSR requirement may result in account deactivation. For more details, see Late Shipment Rate.

Can I opt in for same day handling time?

You can also opt in for same day handling time. This provides you with additional flexibility to set same day handling time for some or all of your products. Same day handling time only applies to Standard and Expedited shipping options and is only available to sellers that meet the required high delivery performance standards. To learn more, see Same Day handling time.

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

For Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) and Premium Shipping (Same Day Delivery, Next Day Delivery, and Two Day Delivery) you are always required to ship the product the same day as long as the order is received before the order cut-off time.

Product level handling time recommendations

Amazon generates handling time recommendations for a product based on your overall delivery performance, your actual delivery performance for that product, and delivery performance of similar products on Amazon. The recommendations are refreshed monthly and are based on the prior month’s handling time to reflect the most recent fulfillment capabilities.

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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