What is Delivery Time?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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Delivery time is the length of time between the preparation of a product for shipping and the delivery of the product to the end consumer. It is also sometimes referred to as the delivery period. Companies keep track of their delivery times for the purpose of being able to provide accurate estimates when orders are placed so that consumers know when to expect a delivery. This tracking is also used internally to monitor efficiency.

When customers place an order, they are usually provided with information about the estimated delivery time. They may be told that a product “takes two to four weeks for delivery,” for example, or that a product “can be delivered by Friday if you order in the next 12 hours.” This is designed to create a frame of reference for the customer.

Customers usually prefer rapid delivery times and if they have a choice between several companies with similar pricing, they are more likely to go with the company that offers the quickest delivery time. In addition, consumers like to know when to expect products. It may be necessary to make preparations or to be present to sign for a delivery. In the case of things like product components, timing deliveries is crucial to avoid work stoppages caused by not having enough materials.


Delivery time can include the time needed to fabricate a product, get a product from a warehouse, package it, and then to ship it to the final destination. The shipping method used has a significant effect on delivery time. Consumers can opt to pay a priority for next day or two day delivery, for example, to guarantee arrival by a set date. Other factors may not be so controllable. A company may not have an item in stock or may have a backlog of orders; even though an order can be filled, it may be behind a long line of orders that need to be processed first.

Internally, delivery time information is used by companies to help employees enact improvements. Companies track their delivery times and compare them with estimates to identify problems in the process of preparing items for delivery. A company may use this data to streamline part of the process or to monitor packaging processes in different departments. If estimates are consistently wrong, the company may adjust the system used for estimates or do some investigation to see if it is possible to get departments back on track and delivering products within the estimated delivery window.


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Post 8

Sorry to disagree, but no one makes any mention of terms and conditions of Delivery ICOTERMS and it's in intimate relation to the delivery time.

Delivery time is the time elapsed from receipt of a purchase order and settlement of payment to the seller, and arrival of goods at the point of transfer of risk as per the agreed INOTERMS.

Be careful when there are personalities related to late delivery in international trade.

Post 7

@Sneakers41 - I agree with what you are saying but I just normally send packages through the United States Postal Service because it is cheaper. I know that for first class mail USPS estimated delivery time is one to three days.

The only bad thing is when I ship books and CDs through the postal service because I usually send it as media mail. The media mail delivery time is usually ten days which is a lot. I sell books online, but I only buy books through bookstores because I don’t want to wait ten days for a book.

Post 6

@Bhutan -I know how you feel. I always try to use UPS or Fed Ex because they are very reliable and they can almost pinpoint what the expected delivery time is.

My husband used to work for UPS and he told me that the delivery time ranges from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM or by 3:00 PM for afternoon delivery. He said that they also have the capability to tell you how many more stops there are before your package is delivered.

That is what I really like about UPS. They are very exact regarding their shipments and have their delivery time down to a science.

Post 5

I just wanted to say that I had a bad experience regarding a shipment that I was expecting. This overnight courier service attempted to deliver a package to me but I was not home and they left me a slip, but when I called the toll free number on the slip they said that they would redeliver the package but could not give me a timeframe.

They said that it would be between nine and five. The reason why they could not tell me estimation is because of the fact that their drivers were all independent contractors and did not have a set deadline in order to deliver the package.

This company is no longer in

the courier business in the United States because they lost control of their business model and now only offer international courier service and no longer offer domestic delivery in the United States.

I am glad because I was really disappointed in their customer service.

Post 4

It amazes me how quickly packages can be shipped from one part of the country to another. I recently ordered a hand held camcorder online and requested next day delivery. Of course I had to pay extra but I really wanted this camera. It was being delivered by the United States Postal Service.

By 3 P.M. the next day I had it in my hand. The initial USPS delivery time in my receipt said that I’d have it by 4 P.M but they beat their own projections by an hour.

I know there’s a vast network of planes and hubs that facilitate these expedited shipments, so I suppose I shouldn’t be that surprised. It still amazes me however.

Post 3

@ellaferris - The United States Postal Service does not use standard mail times. I'm a fifteen year veteran with the U.S. Postal Service and I can tell you that your only options are Priority Mail, Express Mail or First Class delivery times with the USPS.

A First Class letter that's mailed from Orlando, FL to Houston, TX will take two to three days delivery time. If you choose Priority Mail it should arrive in two days and if you need Express Mail delivery time it'll be delivered the following day.

Before you choose Express Mail you need to be aware that the letter must be postmarked by noon and the charges for this service are right around twenty dollars and Priority Mail will be around five.

Post 2

I'm away from home on vacation and just found out a check I had written for a bill returned by matter of insufficient funds. I have the money for it and need to get it to them right away.

What is the standard mail delivery time from Orlando, Florida to Houston, Texas?

Post 1

I was expecting a shipping delivery time on a great bargain I had purchased on eBay of about two days. I had actually found a book worth about nine hundred bucks for – get this – two dollars. No kidding; this really happened to me.

Now I loved this particular book, and I was in a hurry to get it. I had no intention of resell, but you can imagine how thrilled I was. Until the package did not arrive at delivery time.

I contacted the seller and to no avail. The thing was tracked to a place about five hundred miles from here and then it literally dropped off the face of the earth. I never did get my book.

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