Where Does Apple Ship Their Products From?

You just ordered a Macbook Pro and you’re anticipating its arrival at your doorstep. After you place your order, you may wonder where the product is coming from. Is it coming from your local Apple store, from its distribution center, or straight from the factory?

Apple has changed its shipping locations a few times throughout the years. As of 2020, Apple products ship from their retail stores so they arrive at your doorstep faster than before. 

Many other things go on behind the scenes before a product reaches your door. This includes if your product comes from a retail store and the processing operations to ship your product. 

Why Did Apple Change Its Shipping Location?

During the pandemic, operations took quite a pause all over the world. During this time, Apple launched a new way for customers to receive their products quicker without an extended time due to the pandemic. 

Apple decided to create a new efficient way to deliver products by making their retail stores into distribution centers. Since this solution succeeded, Apple continued the operation. Customers can now get their products faster than ever by ordering directly from Apple’s online store. 

Shipping directly from the retail store also cuts other costs and increases their profit margins. So not only are customers able to be satisfied with their order and quick delivery, but Apple is also benefiting from the new operation. 

Does Apple Still Ship from China or its Distribution Centers?

If the retail store does not have the product you ordered, Apple will ship it from China or its nearest distribution center. If you don’t have an Apple store with your product within a 100-mile radius of your location, it will also ship from China or a distribution center. 

Do You Get to Choose Where Apple Ships Your Product?

You cannot choose where your product comes from. Apple’s operations team chooses where the product comes from based on your location and which retail store or distribution center has the product you ordered. 

Where are Apple’s Distribution Centers?

The Apple US distribution center or warehouse is located in Elk Grove, California. Apple has multiple distribution centers around the world. These distribution centers are located in the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, China, and Singapore. 

If you live in the US, your product will most likely come from California or China if you do not have a retail store near you. 

How Does Apple Ship Its Products?

When you place an order through Apple, it will begin to start processing. During the processing time, your order has been received but has not been fulfilled. While your order is in the processing stage, you can cancel or modify your order since it has not been fulfilled. 

After your order has been confirmed and processed, Apple will package your item or items and begin to prepare them for shipping. This process only happens on weekdays and only takes about a day to complete. However, if you place your order on weekends or holidays, adjust the fulfillment time as necessary. 

If there are any changes to your order, you will be notified with a phone call or an email. They will let you know if there are any changes to your shipping time or any other new information they have. 

Apple ships its products through FedEx or UPS and you will be given a tracking number. If you live outside of the US, your product may be received through a different carrier.

How Long Does a Shipment from Apple Take?

Depending on whether or not your product is available at a retail location, Apple can supply its product to you within one day. If this is not possible, the shipment may take one to three days. 

Can You Choose a Delivery Time? 

If you know your product will arrive on a certain day, but you will not be home, you may want to plan for a time that works best with your schedule. Apple provides a solution for its customers. 

These are the following delivery windows: 

  • Standard Delivery – this delivery may be received at any time of the day. 
  • 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM 

When choosing any of the delivery windows, you will be able to plan your day according to your anticipated shipment.

How Can I Track My Order From Apple?

You can keep track of your order by using Apple’s Self Service. You sign in using your Apple ID and password. You will get a list of your placed orders over 18 months. You can see each order number and the date the order was placed. You will find the estimated delivery dates when the items were shipped, and any other statuses on each order. 

You can also check your order status by visiting https://www.apple.com/orderstatus. This site will take you directly to your order status by entering your order number and email connected to the order. 

Is Apple’s Shipping Method Reliable?

Apple uses UPS and FedEx as carriers for their shipping. These companies are known for being timely and delivering your product to you safely. 

Both companies allow you to schedule your delivery or even hold it at their nearest store to ensure safe arrival. If for some reason, this does not happen and a package is lost, you can be refunded through either company (Apple or the shipping company), depending on the circumstances. 

Can You Pick Up Your Package at an Apple Store?

Apple has recently experimented with what they call “Apple Express.” This is an in-store pickup retrieval method for customers’ products. Instead of worrying about how the product gets to your door, in your spare time, you can pick up your order. 

When you order using Apple Express, you will receive a notification when it is time to pick up your order. You will go to the designated pickup area with your order number and a valid government-issued photo ID. 

If someone else is picking up your order for you, Apple has a separate option for this circumstance. You will select “Someone else will pick up these items,” located in the email received with your order status. This person will also need the same information, the order number, and a valid government-issued photo ID. 

What are the Shipping and Delivery Estimates?

The shipping and delivery estimates give you only an estimate of when your item will be shipped and received by you. If you are given an estimate of a one-day delivery, you will receive this order in one day. 

However, these times are only estimated, so if there are any hiccups along the way, the delivery date may change. 

Do You Receive an Order Status Message?

Apple will send you text and email order status updates so you know exactly what is going on with your order. You will receive about 1-4 messages per item on your order. So, if you have multiple items that you ordered you will receive more updates.

Each status update will include your order number. You will get a message when your order is shipped with the tracking number and link provided. You will get messages from Apple when your order is out for delivery and when it is delivered

The number of status updates varies by delivery method, county, and carrier. 

Are There Different Shipping Methods?

Apple does provide different shipping methods. There are two different methods you can choose from during checkout. 

These methods are: 

  • Free next-day shipping
  • Free two-day shipping

When you look at your shopping bag on the Apple website, you will see which shipping method applies to your order. If you are getting an engraved item, the next-day or two-day shipping does not apply. If you pay a certain way, like financing or by bank transfer, these shipping methods also will not apply. 


Apple’s shipping operation is vast. It receives on average 30,000 orders per day, so its system must be established and of quality. By using retail stores as distribution centers, Apple can satisfy each of its customers with quick delivery of its products. 

You can choose a one-day or two-day shipping method and receive your order during the estimated time. If you do not have an Apple store near you, you will still receive your order in the same amount of time. 

You will receive your order quickly and be ready to set up your new device in no time.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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