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What Does Awaiting Fulfillment Mean?

Published in eCommerce Fulfillment

When customers receive a status update that their order is awaiting fulfillment, their next move is often to search “awaiting fulfillment meaning.” This term can be confusing, as it seems to indicate that nothing’s changed. Hasn’t the order been awaiting fulfillment the entire time? 

An awaiting fulfillment order status update means there’s progress, and the meaning of this term is more straightforward than you might think. 

Awaiting Fulfillment’ Meaning

“Awaiting fulfillment” means that an order has begun the process of picking and packing. Workers are preparing the correct items for shipment by finding them in storage, properly packing them into shipping boxes or containers and creating a shipping label. 

At this stage, the order is not ready for shipping, but the preparation process is underway. What does awaiting fulfillment mean in other scenarios?

For job applications, it could mean that the business is preparing to examine an applicant’s resume. For an artist commission, it could mean that the artist has gathered all the necessary supplies and is ready to create the commissioned piece. 

You may have also heard the term “pending fulfillment,” meaning another step in the process has occurred aside from awaiting fulfillment. But what does pending fulfillment mean exactly, and how does this step differ from awaiting fulfillment? 

Pending fulfillment is the step before awaiting fulfillment. Your package hasn’t begun the shipment process yet. No picking or packing has happened, and there’s no shipping label, but these steps are about to happen.

Another term is “awaiting shipment,” meaning your order is finished with the awaiting fulfillment stage. After awaiting fulfillment, your package is awaiting shipment, meaning that it’s ready to ship but hasn’t been picked up by the shipping company yet.

Understanding the Fulfillment Process

Order fulfillment works well because of its transparency, use of automation to reduce human error and logical steps to get products into customers’ hands.

4 Factors Affecting Awaiting Fulfillment Duration

You’ve checked your order status and can see that it’s awaiting fulfillment, meaning it’s almost ready to ship. But how long does it take before your order ships? Several factors affect the duration of this step.

1. Inventory Availability and Allocation

Depending on the nature of the warehouse or storage facility, your ordered items could be hard to get to, stored in separate locations or require special handling. 

2. Order Volume and Processing Time

A higher number of orders than usual puts stress on the pickers and packers to keep up. More orders mean more processing time, which can delay order fulfillment.

3. Logistics and Shipping Methods

Some items need specific transportation methods. Goods traveling via boat or truck can take longer than by air. Fragile items may take more time to pack safely and need gentler, slower delivery speeds to ensure they arrive in one piece.

4. Supplier and Vendor Relationships

If suppliers have limited stock, they’ll need to provide items to their best clients first. This is why businesses need to foster excellent relationships with suppliers and vendors.

5 Best Practices for Efficient Fulfillment

Customers expect orders to arrive quickly and safely. The more you can exceed customer expectations, the more you foster their loyalty.

1. Partnering with Print Bind Ship

Print Bind Ship will send your order within 24 hours of processing. And because we have warehouses around the globe, you can send items to your customers from the most ideal possible locations.

2. Inventory Management and Stock Replenishment

With proper inventory management software, you can keep track of your inventory, including its location, number, condition and other factors. And the right software can automatically place orders to replenish diminished stock.

3. Streamlining Order Processing

Combine roles if one person can do multiple functions more efficiently, or delegate roles if employees get overwhelmed in certain positions.

4. Integrating Systems and Automation

Automation can reduce human error and speed up communication. By integrating your systems, it’s easy to see how much inventory you have, where it is and who’s picking it as well as what type of packaging it needs and whether it needs a shipping label.

5. Collaboration with Suppliers and Logistics Partners

Maintain good relations with your partner companies. See whether there are more features or benefits you can offer, and seek ways to speed up deliveries, whether by adding new routes, paying for higher priority status or shipping speeds or finding more supply and logistics partners.

How to Manage Customer Expectations

The more you treat customers as though their order is important, the more likely they’ll keep shopping with you.

Communication and Transparency

Aside from ensuring your customers understand what awaiting fulfillment means, let your customers know what’s going on throughout the process. And if something’s gone wrong, be honest. Customers want to know why and how long their shipment has been delayed whether there are supply shortages or other problems.

Providing Estimated Delivery Dates and Updates

Shippers can reasonably predict whether an item will take three or four days. Also, customers love getting updates that say their item is shipping faster than expected.

Customer Service and Support

Be responsive, be courteous and offer access to the information they need. When customers contact your support staff, they want answers. Customer service representatives should be able to see order statuses and handle issues such as refunds, discounts or order changes. 

Get Fast, Accurate, Efficient Fulfillment with Print Bind Ship

Leave order fulfillment to the pros. Print Bind Ship works with retailers and businesses around the globe, providing exceptional order fulfillment service. 

Want to go the extra mile for your customers? You need Print Bind Ship’s Mail Genius service. We’ll turn packages into unboxing events with custom notecards and offers your customers are sure to appreciate.

We even provide a handwritten note service to make shipments feel even more personal. If you want to increase order accuracy, get orders to customers faster and let someone else handle returns, contact Print Bind Ship today.


What does “awaiting fulfillment” mean?

An order is actively being picked, packaged and labeled for shipping.

How long does the “awaiting fulfillment” status usually last?

In general, this stage lasts 48 to 72 hours.

Should I be concerned if my order is marked as “awaiting fulfillment” for an extended period?

No. This can mean the order requires extra time for certain items to arrive, or the staff is handling more orders than usual.

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