How Does Amazon Deliver Stuff So Fast?

These days, whether you’re ordering a book, a computer, or a pair of sandals, chances are you anticipate finding that item on your doorstep tomorrow. If that’s you, you’re not alone. A recent study found that 60% of global consumers expect same-day, next-day or 2-day delivery of products. The truth is, we’ve gotten spoiled, largely because of the relentless efficiency of Amazon. So, how does the online giant deliver stuff so fast? It’s a combination of logistics, the science of planning transportation, and the ability to predict consumers’ purchases in advance. The reason Amazon has dominated the American retail sector is because of their fulfillment centers. Centrally managed fulfillment centers allow Amazon to centralize its supply chain and respond to the market quickly. Once an order is transmitted to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers, employees pick and pack the products into boxes. Those boxes are loaded onto trucks and transported to an Amazon air site, where they’re loaded onto the aircraft. Once the planes land, the packages are transferred to a sorting center where they’re organized by zip code. Packages are then loaded onto trucks to be transported to a delivery station. From there, the goods are loaded into delivery vehicles for their ride to your doorstep. Although Amazon won’t disclose the number of fulfillment centers they have, it’s estimated that they have in the neighborhood of 185 of them across the world, including more than 100 in the U.S. Needless to say, buying their own trucks and having to rely on other commercial delivery companies has helped to speed up delivery as well. In the end, it's a game of scheduling, coordinating and transporting, and so far, nobody does it better than Amazon.