We've all experienced the needlessly big box from Amazon at least a couple of times.
You order a small product that could've probably been put inside of a tiny package the size of a ring box, or even an envelope, but instead, it came in the next wing of your cat's ever-growing brown-paper palace.
You might be wondering to yourself just how the world's most successful and recognized online retailing brand managed to mess up something so simple as shipping.
Surely the mighty Amazon would know not to pack an SD card in a box that could fit a PS4 and an industrial-sized tub of lube.
Not to mention all of that extra paper can't be good for the environment, can it?
Well it turns out that actually, Amazon's putting small items in huge boxes for a very, very good reason.
The complex algorithm developed by the online retail giant knows the perfect way to pack each and every truck, and believe it or not, putting a big box for whatever small doo-hicky you bought ends up being more green than putting it in a smaller box.
But that explanation didn't stop some people. For example, what happens once the packages start getting delivered to people's houses, wouldn't spaces appear anyway and all your stuff would start jostling around regardless?
What happens when the truck starts delivering these packages and spaces appear? Seems illogical!— Mandy Revelle/Bates (@RedBates) December 27, 2017
But it turned out that Amazon's delivery system is a bit more complex than most people think.
I thought that at first too, but I think this is about trucks delivering from one facility to a local one, before distributing the packages to the vehicles that actually deliver to your house. So, it gets unloaded all at once.— No Hooman, Am Cwux ꙨωΘ (@Flexico64) December 27, 2017
So oftentimes the trucks that are delivering to your house aren't owned by Amazon.
Huge freights from the retailer filled with tons of packages then get unpacked to be placed on more local, smaller delivery trucks that perform the routes that ultimately get whatever you ordered delivered to your doorstep.
Yeah, stuff from Amazon still uses regular delivery like UPS, they aren’t hijacking whole UPS routes for themselves every time someone orders.— Alex Florez (@KamiSawZe) December 27, 2017
People then began sharing their own Amazon big box stories.
That might explain the 12x12x5 inch box Amazon used to send my wife's fitbit watch band recently. They could have used a small envelope, but with the box, at least nothing else in the truck moved around.— Ruben Schönefeld (@BigBen212) December 27, 2017
It also turns out that some items are shipping in cardboard boxes for security reasons and there are some pretty granular rules for what gets put in a soft package or not.
Usually, only soft lines are allowed in envelopes. I work ESFS at Target, and some of the rules are weird, but it's for protection of the package. 1 item can't be an exception to the rules.— » ℓιz « (@LizReszke) December 27, 2017
However it turns out that someone at Reddit who says they worked at Amazon, tells a slightly different story.
Which, believe it or not, devolved into an argument about shipping practices, with people from different industries chiming in on either their or people their close with's experiences.
There's a pretty interesting Reddit thread about the entire thing if you want to check it out.
Anyone else fascinated about the world of large-scale shipping solutions as I am?
Or is it more interesting to confirm, yet again, that human beings will find a way to argue about everything?