Awaiting Fulfillment: Everything You Need to Know

Buying or ordering products online can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with the terms being used by e-commerce websites. One example of this is the term “awaiting fulfillment,” which may be displayed when you check on the status of your order. To assist you with your online purchases, this article will take a detailed look at what “awaiting fulfillment” means for your order.

When checking your order status and it says “awaiting fulfillment,” it simply means that the warehouse has not yet started the process of packing your items to ship. Once they do, the order gets a shipment number and is ready to be sent. When this happens, you may receive a notification with the change in order status from “awaiting fulfillment” to “awaiting shipment.”

Let’s look at some of the processes and details involved to understand better how “awaiting fulfillment” status works if you get tracking notification like this. 

In this guide, the following questions will be answered:

What does awaiting fulfillment mean?

What does in fulfillment queue mean?

Why does my order say awaiting fulfillment?

How long does awaiting fulfillment take?

Finally, is there a difference between awaiting fulfillment and pending fulfillment?

What does awaiting fulfillment mean?

When you order something online, you will be alerted by the supplier to the status of your order. It may say “awaiting fulfillment.” What does that mean? “Awaiting fulfillment” simply means that it’s still in processing. You can be confident that it will probably ship soon, or at least within a reasonable time frame.

What does the “in fulfillment” queue mean?

To understand what the “in fulfillment” queue means, we need to know about the several stages that occur when you place an order online. First, you place an order online and submit your payment. Next, the system marks the order as completed and sends it to a logistics company. The order joins a long list of other orders waiting for processing and shipping.

The orders “Awaiting Fulfillment” or “In Fulfillment” are orders that have been allocated and are waiting to be shipped.

Why does my order say “awaiting fulfillment”?

When checking your order status and it says “awaiting fulfillment,” it means the logistics warehouse is already on the job. They have verified the order, but the product has not yet been packaged or assigned to any in-stock SKUs. It will remain in this status until it is assigned to a shipment. They’ll soon begin picking items from your order, packing them into a box for shipment, and mailing it all to you.

Once assigned to a shipment, you’ll receive the “Awaiting Shipment” status until it reaches the local delivery service hub/processing center, at which point it becomes “In Transit.” 

Is there a difference between awaiting fulfillment and pending fulfillment?

It can be hard to differentiate between “Awaiting Fulfillment” and “Pending Fulfillment,” but the latter refers to a time in which the packers have initiated the process of finding your product and putting it into the correct box.

3d render of a truck and packages
Photo by suttipunfpik on FreePik

How long does “awaiting fulfillment” take?

Once you have made an online purchase, you are excited to receive the goods, so seeing an “awaiting fulfillment” can be an unnerving message. At this point, you may have no idea how long the “awaiting fulfillment” process will take. Not all items are stocked in a company’s distribution center and may need to be ordered from the manufacturer.  In this case, they will have to rely on the timeframe communicated to them by their supplier, which they will then use to estimate the time it takes to fulfill your order. 

For smaller operations with faster teams and less merchandise to sort through, this process of an order being accepted, confirmed, and shipped out is much quicker than for larger companies. Every business that ships merchandise wants to get its product out the door as soon as possible.

Understanding order status

When you order online, you have three main possible statuses: Unfulfilled, Fulfilled, or Shipped. When you have placed your order for fulfillment, the next possible steps are:

Submitted for fulfillment

Usually, this means that the order has been processed. Behind the scenes, either logistics personnel or an automated order management system determines how the order will be fulfilled.

Pending Fulfillment 

Often termed “Unfulfilled,” this means that your order has been submitted successfully and is now in production if they are manufacturing the product rather than ordering it for you.

Partially Shipped

This indicates the customer’s order contains only some items. One or more items may be out of stock and will need to be sent in split shipments. All the orders that have items in stock will likely ship out by the end of the same week.


Your package enters the hands of the courier used by your retailer’s fulfillment company. When this happens, you can think of your order as being in transit or “shipped.” Your retailer will typically email you a confirmation with tracking information so that you know when to expect your delivery.


This one is pretty self-explanatory. You either:

  • Have the package in your hand, 
  • It is waiting for you outside, or 
  • Your courier has pressed the “delivered” button slightly too early, and it will be with you imminently.
Photo by tirachardz on FreePik

Final Thoughts

Are you “awaiting fulfillment” for your delivery? The delivery day never seems quite as quick as we hope. Even when you’re using services like Amazon Prime (or expedited delivery services from companies like FedEx, UPS, and the USPS), it can still take days for your order to get to you.

Don’t worry if you see this message on your order for a day or two. It just means that the employees responsible for completing your order haven’t been able to get it done just yet. The staff is keen to get orders fulfilled as soon as possible, so don’t be surprised if you see the “Awaiting Fulfillment” change to “In Transit” or “Shipped” very quickly.

However, there can be delays for various reasons, so it isn’t always easy to predict when your order will be fulfilled. Some operations will process and fulfill orders as soon as they are processed. Other businesses like to take orders and deal with them when orders are in high demand.

Our advice is to keep track of the status of your order and, if the item has been “awaiting fulfillment” for several days, to contact the company and find out the reason for the delay.