Amazing Amazon

The motorhome is currently parked at Mary’s home in Murphys, California. My current departure date is scheduled December 1st.
Mary emailed this to me a few days ago and being an ex-engineer who orders from Amazon on a somewhat regular basis…I found it really interesting and I thought I’d share it with you…
No one with a shopping cart walks around gathering items for shipment………..
Scroll Down to see how Amazon is filling your orders…
Best watched on your computer for the larger screen.
Be sure to read the script between the pictures before watching the video.
Ever order something online from Amazon?  Here’s what happens…

Watch the video at the end.

As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon needs somewhere to put all of those products.
The solution?  Giant warehouses.  Eighty to be exact.  Strategically located near key shipping hubs around the world.

The warehouses themselves are massive, with some over 1.2 million square feet in size (111,484 sq m).  And at the heart of this global operation are people (over 65,000 of them), and a logistics system known as chaotic storage.

Chaotic storage is like organized confusion.  It’s an organic shelving system without permanent areas or sections.  That means there is no area just for books, or a place just for televisions (like you might expect in a retail store layout).  The product’s characteristics and attributes are irrelevant. What’s important is the unique barcode associated with every product that enters the warehouse.

Every single shelf space inside an Amazon warehouse has a barcode.  And every incoming product that requires storage is assigned a specific barcode that matches the shelf space in which it will be stored.  This allows free space to be filled quickly and efficiently.

At the heart of the operation is a sophisticated database that tracks and monitors every single product that enters/leaves the warehouse and keeps a tally on every single shelf space and whether it’s empty or contains a product.

There are several key advantages to the chaotic storage system.  First is flexibility with chaotic storage, freed-up space can be refilled immediately.  Second is simplicity.  New employees don’t need to learn where types of products are located.  They simply need to find the storage shelf within the warehouse.  You don’t need to know what the product is, just where it is.  Lastly is optimization.  Amazon must handle millions and millions of orders.  That means that at any given moment there is a long list of products that need to be ‘picked’ from the shelves and prepared for shipment.  Since there is a database that knows every product required for shipment and the location of each product inside the warehouse, an optimized route can be provided to employees responsible for fulfilment.

Since Amazon deals with such a wide variety of products there are a few exceptions to the rule.
Really fast-moving articles do not adhere to the same storage system since they enter and leave the warehouse so quickly.  Really bulky and heavy products still require separate storage areas and perishable goods are not ideal for obvious reasons.

In this storage system a wide variety of products can be found located next to each other,
a necklace could be located beside a DVD and underneath a set of power tools.  This arbitrary placement can even help with accuracy as it makes mix-ups less likely when picking orders for shipment.

Overall it’s a fascinating system that at its core is powered by a complex database yet run by a simple philosophy.  It’s Chaotic Storage.  There’s no better way to put it.

Now that you have a basic idea of what they do and
how they do it – here is a video of the system at work.
An interesting aside to this story is that Amazon hires RVers during heavy seasonal workload times. You can read about that element of this story by clicking this link…


The cataract surgery of my right eye was conducted on October 9th. It appears to have been successful and my last exam on October 24th had it at 20/25, down from 20/200 prior to the surgery. Surgery on my left eye is now scheduled for November 6th.

Yesterday was a cloudy/sunny day and 58 degrees. Forecast for today is partly sunny and 65 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 500 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2014

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