You order some stuff on the Internet and it shows up three hours later. How could all the things that need to happen to make that happen happen so fast?
It used to be, when you ordered something on the Internet, you waited a week for it to show up. That was the deal: you didn’t have to get off the couch, but you had to wait. But in the last few years, that’s changed. Now, increasingly, the stuff we buy on the Internet shows up the next day or the same day, sometimes within hours. Free shipping included. Which got us wondering: How is this Internet voodoo possible?
A fleet of robots? Vacuum tubes? Teleportation? Hardly. In this short, reporter Mac McClelland travels into the belly of the beast that is the Internet retail system, and what she finds takes her breath away and makes her weak in the knees (in the worst way). Producer Pat Walters and Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store, a book about Amazon.com, assist.
*****This podcast contains some language and subject matter that might not be appropriate for young listeners******
Correction: In the podcast Mac describes Powell's online order fulfillment process. When we contacted Powell's they told us that over 90% of their online orders are filled in their own unionized warehouse, not outsourced. The audio now reflects that fact.