As you sit at your computer to do your one click shopping on amazon.com, the one stop shop for everything from clothes, to books, to food, to electronics, and everything in between, did you ever stop to wonder what happens in between that final checkout click and the package arriving on your front door step? These pictures offer an inside peak at a some of the 80 fulfillment warehouses that keep the largest online retailer moving forward. Amazingly no robots are involved in the location of merchandise, just regular human beings armed with handy barcode scanners.
The system utilized by Amazon is known as “Chaotic Storage” where items are arranged randomly as they come in, rather than categorized, which calls for constant rearrangement. Each shelf has a barcode and each product has a barcode, so the computer can find the exact coordinates where it was placed and direct the employee to that location. The system is simple enough to teach all 50,000 seasonal employees each year to help handle the demands of up to 17 million items ordered in a 24 hour period, such as Cyber Monday last year. This is how I used to imagine Santa’s workshop would look, except the workers were much smaller…sounds like a fun Photoshop project! Send the pics our way to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re feelin’ spunky!