Tech

Some Amazon customers will now be able to get orders delivered in five hours or less

Key Points
  • Amazon is speeding up its same-day delivery in a handful of states on Tuesday after bolstering its fulfillment centers. 
  • Customers in Philadelphia; Phoenix; Orlando, Florida; and Dallas now have access to receive up to 3 million items more quickly.
  • Amazon invested nearly $1.5 billion in its fourth quarter to expand its next-day shipping service, and said it will spend $1 billion more in the first quarter of this year.
A UPS worker carries an Amazon box to be delivered in New York in July.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Amazon is speeding up its same-day delivery in a handful of states on Tuesday after bolstering its fulfillment centers. 

Customers in Philadelphia; Phoenix; Orlando, Florida; and Dallas can now receive up to 3 million items, which the company has marked for same-day delivery, much more quickly. In the past, Amazon's same-day orders were traditionally placed in the morning and arrived by 9 p.m., according to an Amazon spokeswoman. Now, same-day orders can arrive in less than five hours. 

"We're able to do so by storing need-it-today items in brand new facilities we built even closer to customers. These are first-of-their-kind buildings and serve as mini-fulfillment centers optimized for faster click-to-delivery speeds," Amazon's director of delivery experience, Jon Alexander, wrote in a blog post

The service is available for free for Prime members who spend over $35, or will cost $2.99 for delivery on orders under $35. Prime members pay an annual fee of $119 to access its services. 

The move comes as e-commerce players increasingly work to gain a leg up on one another. 

Amazon invested nearly $1.5 billion in its fourth quarter to expand its shipping service and said it will spend an additional $1 billion in its first quarter of 2020. 

Amazon had already made one-day shipping the standard among online retailers. The company rolled out free, one-day shipping on more than 10 million products last June and has two-hour delivery in select regions. Walmart followed and began offering one-day shipping and has since expanded the areas it serves. That was followed by Target, which announced its same-day delivery program expanded to customers in 47 states last June after an initial launch in Florida in 2018.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

VIDEO9:5909:59
How heavy-lifting drones could change shipping