We present an analytical approach for estimating the expected time for an automated material handling system (AMHS) to respond to move requests at loading stations in a vehicle-based, unidirectional, closed-loop AMHS. The expected response times are important for estimating the expected work-in-process (WIP) levels at the loading stations for design purposes, and for evaluating the performance of the AMHS as delayed response can impact the production cycle times. The expected response time approximation is validated by comparing the analytical model to the simulation results using a SEMATECH 300 mm hypothetical fab data set. Note to Practitioners - This paper describes an analytic method for estimating the average time for the AMHS to respond to lots ready for movement in a 300 mm wafer fab. The analysis is based on a large-scale model, requires standard solvers, and provides a very fast and reasonably accurate alternative to high-fidelity simulation. It is intended to support the early stage of fab design/redesign, allowing engineers to examine many different options before committing to the time and expense of simulation.