What does “package arrived at carrier facility” mean?

Shipping an order from Walmart, Amazon, or any other online retailer is not simple one-way traffic. Regardless of where a package is going, the eCommerce fulfillment process usually involves a stopover at a carrier facility before it reaches your doorstep. What does it mean if USPS, FedEx, UPS, or Amazon tracking says your package has ... Read more

Shipping an order from Walmart, Amazon, or any other online retailer is not simple one-way traffic. Regardless of where a package is going, the eCommerce fulfillment process usually involves a stopover at a carrier facility before it reaches your doorstep.

What does it mean if USPS, FedEx, UPS, or Amazon tracking says your package has arrived at a carrier facility?

How long should you expect delivery from the time of getting this message? 

Most importantly, what’s the next line of action if you’re stuck with this notification for days?

We’ve got answers.

In this post, we’ll discuss ‘package arrived carrier facility’ in detail, what it means, what happens next, and possible reasons you may be stuck with this tracking status for days.

What is a carrier facility?

A carrier facility or distribution center is a regional hub operated by shipping companies where packages are sorted and organized before being sent out for delivery. 

Each distribution center has several regions it serves. Thousands of packages are assembled in pellets and transported to these facilities. There, they’re scanned on arrival, sorted by shipping zones, and loaded on trucks to continue their journey to a local facility in your location, from which they’d be sent out for final delivery. This working principle is known as the ‘hub and spokes’ concept.

A package can pass through just one hub or several others, depending on the route it’s going to take to get to its final destination. Generally, packages that are going to distant states and those to be carried via airplanes tend to stop over at multiple distribution centers.  

What does ‘package arrived carrier facility’ mean?

When you see ‘arrived carrier facility, it means your item has reached one of the couriers’ distribution centers. What follows next is sorting through a mix of human and automated inputs, after which your item, together with others going the same direction, is loaded in a truck to a local facility (for example, the post office) for final delivery. It’s an indication that delivery is imminent, at least, within the next 1-5 business days, depending on the type of shipping service you used, the number of orders the facility is handling, the size of your package, and even what time of the year it is.

Amazon carrier facility

Amazon handles the majority of its deliveries, but they also employ the services of other companies like FedEx, UPS, and USPS. In one turn, an Amazon truck can carry over 2000 boxes to an Amazon distribution hub where the packages are sorted by location and how fast they need to get to the delivery address. The pellet is given a single code, and the tracking number of the individual packages is linked to the pellets code. So when a pellet is scanned at the facility, the scan reflects every package in that box, and the system updates the status for each of them. It’s at this point the ‘arrived carrier facility’ update pops up on your tracking notification. And they’re simply letting you know your package is moving through one of their facilities, so expect delivery soon.

USPS carrier facility

USPS currently operates 22 network distribution centers nationwide. Every mail or package must pass through one of these facilities, regardless of where it will end up afterward.

When USPS says your package has arrived at a carrier facility, the next movement would be to a local post office from where they’d complete the last mile of the journey to your address. There are a few steps you can take while your package is still at the distribution center.

  • You can redirect the delivery to a new address before it goes out for final delivery.
  • You can tell them to hold your package at the next facility until someone comes to pick it up.

FedEx carrier facility

FedEx also has a network of distribution hubs scattered around the US. But what’s different is that each FedEx shipping service has its own distribution system. For instance, Memphis super hub is the primary sorting center for FedEx Express services.

That says your package arriving at the FedEx facility doesn’t necessarily refer to the sorting hub nearest you. It could be any other one. Nevertheless, you can expect delivery in 1-5 days from the date of seeing ‘arrive carrier facility’ on your tracking notification.

UPS carrier facility

While UPS can deliver to almost any location, the shipping service operates from 12 hubs worldwide, five of which are located in the United States. 

The courier service uses a simple metric to determine how the package will be transported after sorting; packages traveling more than 200 miles are loaded into airplanes, while those moving less than 200 miles are loaded into trucks. 

When you get ‘arrived carrier facility’ for UPS packages, it means an arrival scan has been done on the pellet containing your package, and your package, together with others, is undergoing automated sorting, after which they’ll continue en route to your location. And you can expect delivery in a few days. 

What happens after the ‘package arrived carrier facility’?

The package arriving at a distribution center is an indication that delivery is imminent. After sorting, packages that are going to nearby locations will be loaded straight into delivery vans while others continue their journey to a local courier facility. Shipping companies have so many local offices in the country, just like the USPS has post offices. In local facilities, packages are sorted once more before being dispatched for final delivery.

Why do orders sometimes sit at carrier facilities?

It’s frustrating to refresh your tracking notification and notice your tracking notification is stuck at ‘arrived carrier facility,’ Your package is not moving, and delivery is not in sight, what could be the cause? 

 An external factor could be the reason for a delay. For example, an accident on the highway or extreme weather conditions can put departure on hold until it’s safe to head out. 

 It could be that your package missed the departure scan. As such, tracking will keep saying it’s at the distribution center until it enters a new facility and gets an updated scan. 

 The facility may be overwhelmed with orders. Under normal conditions, orders can be processed in under 24 hours. But things might be different during holidays. For example, Christmas. Because it’s a busy time of the year, these facilities are swarmed with orders so turnover time may reach 36 – 48 hours.

 The item may have been misplaced or lost. Give it up to a week, and if there’s still no movement, then it’s time to file a claim for a missing item and get the shipping company looking for your package

Can you pick up a package at a carrier facility?

While it may be tempting to try to pick up your shipment from a distribution hub a few minutes away from your address, unfortunately, you can’t. These are industrial sites, and from the way they’re set up, it’s not easy for employees to search for a single package among the thousands of items passing through the facility.

While you can’t go over to a carrier facility to pick up your item, there are other things you could do while it’s still at the distribution center; you could initiate a package intercept and ask UPS, FedEx, or USPS to hold it at a local courier facility, pending pick up, or you can change your delivery address to any other location that’s convenient for you through their customer call lines, or online accounts.

How long does it take after a package arrives at a carrier facility?

How long an item takes to arrive at your doorstep from the date the arrival scan was done at a distribution center depends on where it’s coming from, where it’s going, and the shipping service you purchased. If these are in your favor, you may take delivery of the package the next day or even the same day.

At the regional hub, sorting is usually done in order of priority, which translates to the type of shipping service. Overnight, Next day and 2-day packages usually spend less time in the facility. But if you used a no-rush shipping option, even when it makes it out of the facility in under 24 hours, you might be surprised to find out your package has been at a local post office a few blocks away, and no one has even made an attempt to bring it. 

Secondly, you can expect it earlier if you’re living close to the distribution hub. Again, after sorting, packages going to nearby locations are loaded straight into a delivery van for final delivery. In that case, you can expect your package the next day, or even the same day as the case may be if you live close to the facility.

And, If it’s an international package, it still has to clear with customs, and that too takes its own time.

However, in general, you can expect your package within 1-5 days of getting this notification. And if it doesn’t arrive after a week, contact the shipping company to file a claim for the missing item.


1. What does ‘left carrier facility means’?

It means your package has left the distribution center on the way to be dropped off at a local point for final delivery. You can expect the shipment in 1-5 days, depending on the shipping service you use.

2. Can you pull up a package at a carrier facility?

No. While you may not be able to pick up a package from a regional distribution hub, you can ask FedEx, UPS, Amazon, or USPS to hold it at a local facility or have it redirected to a new address providing it’s not yet out for final delivery.

3. Out for delivery, then the package arrived at a carrier facility?

Your tracking notification may show ‘out for delivery’ when your order leaves the fulfillment warehouse. The next stop would be a carrier facility where the package, together with thousands of others, is sorted and loaded In a truck en route to your location for final delivery. 

4. Amazon package arrived at a carrier facility multiple times

Depending on where your package is going, it can pass through multiple carrier facilities before it finally gets to you. For example, if you’re shipping internationally or sending packages to a faraway state that’s not just a neighboring state, the odds are pretty good that you may see this update many times. But it’s all good, it means the shipment is progressing and will be at your doorstep in a few days.

5. Package arrived at a carrier facility stuck

Several factors could be responsible for your package getting stuck at a distribution center for days; extreme weather conditions, accidents on the highway, missing departure scans, shortage of trucks, and the time of the year are some of those factors. However, if the “arrived at carrier facility’ update persists in your tracking notification by the end of the week, it could be that your item has been misplaced or lost. In that case, you might want to follow it up with the shipping company and get them to start looking for your item or reimburse you.

6. What carrier facility does amazon use?

Amazon handles a great majority of its shipping, but it also contracts USPS and other private companies such as FedEx and UPS.