Breaking: Amazon Halts Warehouse Shipments


Amazon announced that it will end all warehouse shipments, with few exceptions.


Amazon has canceled all warehouse shipments from independent sellers that aren’t either medical supplies or “high-demand” items. The news broke midday on Tuesday, as the country grapples with the novel COVID-19 coronavirus. This story was broken in a report published by the Independent.

“We are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers,” Amazon told reporters. “We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritize these products for customers.”

Amazon Addresses COVID-19 Concerns

Amazon is inundated with orders from people affected by the virus and performing self-quarantining and social distancing. They are making moves to handle the demand.

One such move, it seems, is prioritizing only essential items. These include cleaning products and medications, such as pain relief medicine and other goods.

While institutions like the CDC have recommended people avoid crowds and try to stay indoors when possible, Amazon has seen surging sales for common household products. People who are resistant to heading out to deal with crowds in order to obtain their supplies have turned to the popular online seller to stock up. This has had the effect of putting serious strain on Amazon’s supply lines.

Independent Sellers Feel the Squeeze

Independent sellers were already scrambling when COVID-19 shut down Chinese factories and slowed industry globally. Now, with Amazon kicking them to the bottom of their priority list, these sellers are in a bit of a bind.

According to Amazon, products already inbound to warehouses will be accepted and then shipped. But further items will be put on hold for the next three weeks. During that time, the company will be focusing on getting supplies, medicine, paper products and household cleaners to customers who are panicking over the possibility that the virus overwhelms supply lines.

Amazon Responds by Upping Hiring

Amazon has stated that it will be hiring 100,000 new delivery drivers. They want to ensure that they can meet the demands of the virus. The company explained the decision in a recent post online, stating,

“We are opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the US in our fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public.”

The company will also be increasing the base pay rate of their hourly employees through April. This is in light of the important work they are performing in the midst of this emergency.