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What Does “Awaiting Fulfillment” Mean?

You’re expecting a package and you’ve received an “Awaiting Fulfillment” tracking update. 

What does this mean exactly? Where is your package when you see this alert and is there anything you need to do?

Let’s take a look…

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What Does “Awaiting Fulfillment” mean?

The “Awaiting Fulfillment” tracking update means that the product order has yet to be packaged and dispatched to the carrier company. The alert is created by the eCommerce company you ordered from, not the carrier.

Awaiting Fulfillment Guide

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Unpacking that further, it is helpful to think about how large eCommerce businesses stock products and send them out to the customer.

When you make an order online, your invoice will be sent over to the fulfillment department of the business (i.e the warehouse where the item is being stored). 

In the case of Amazon, this will be an enormous hanger with thousands of staff and increasingly automated processes too.

The item you have ordered needs to be picked from the shelves, labeled with the delivery address, and prepared for dispatch to the carrier.

During this process, your tracking details will state “Awaiting Fulfillment”.

How Long Will My Package Remain on “Awaiting Fulfillment”?

Awaiting Fulfillment

eCommerce operations vary in the time they take to fulfill an order initially. For example, Amazon will not fulfill orders on a case-by-case basis.

With thousands of orders within any one fulfillment center every day, the infrastructure works on a batch processing system.

In this way, invoices are processed in bulk, with the fulfillment process being carried out in one go. 

An order, therefore, has to wait until the next batch of invoices is sent through for processing by the warehouse staff.

If yours is a non-expedited order (i.e not same or next-day delivery), you could end up paying for the item online on a Thursday, yet see the “Awaiting Fulfillment” update until the next day when your “batch” is put forward for processing. 

Smaller eCommerce companies won’t necessarily work using the same principles, however, if there is a backlog, this too can mean you see the “Awaiting Fulfillment” update for longer than you would like to.

Essentially, however, your order should be fulfilled within 24-48hrs of your making payment.

Anything longer and there could be a stock shortage issue with your order, or the fulfillment has slipped through the cracks.  

What Happens After an “Awaiting Fulfillment” Tracking Update?

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Once the carrier physically has the package within the delivery infrastructure, it will be scanned.

This scan will create a tracking update and the wording will vary depending on the company responsible for the delivery of the item.

“Shipped”, “In Transit”, “Accepted by Carrier”, and “Arrival at Processing Center” (more common on international shipments) are all tracking alerts you can expect after your order has been handed over to the carrier service.

Essentially, further updates mean that your order is making progress and is on the next leg of the journey towards your address.

What Does “Awaiting Shipment” Mean?

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The “Awaiting Shipment” tracking update means exactly the same as “Awaiting Fulfillment”.

Different eCommerce companies will use different terminology for their tracking alerts, with many meaning the same thing.

If you have received an “Awaiting Shipment” update it simply means that your order has been sent down to the warehouse, and is awaiting to be picked, labeled, and dispatched to the carrier.

What Does “Pending Fulfillment” Mean?

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Likewise, the “Pending Fulfillment” tracking update means exactly the same as awaiting fulfillment & awaiting shipment.

The alert communicates the fact that the order payment has been processed and will now be prepared for handover to the carrier. Your item(s) will go through a process of being picked from the warehouse, packaged (potentially quality control), and labeled.

What to do if Your Package is Stuck on “Pending Fulfillment”?

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If your package remains on the “Pending Fulfillment” update for more than two days, you will definitely have grounds to contact the company that you made the order through to see what has happened.

They will be able to look into the situation to see if there has been a problem that can be resolved.

More often than not it will be a delay in the warehouse fulfillment process or the company may be temporarily out of stock of the item.

If the company states that the order has been fulfilled and is now with the carrier company, it is likely that the carrier in charge failed to make an initial scan once the package was received.

You should then contact the carrier for answers on your consignment’s location.

Final Words

“Awaiting Fulfillment” is one of the first tracking alerts you will receive after making an online order.

It is a standard update that means your item has yet to be processed, packaged, and dispatched to the carrier. 

You will normally only see the update for 24 to 48hrs and should contact the company if the update remains for longer.

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