From Your Mouse To Your House

What goes on behind the scenes when you place an order at Amazon.com

1 You order three items and a computer in Seattle takes charge

A computer assigns your order--a book, a game and a digital camera--to one of Amazon's seven U.S. distribution centers, five of which it opened this year. With 3 million sq. ft., Amazon has 1.5 times the floor space of the Empire State Building.

Seattle 93,000 sq. ft. Fernley, Nev. 332,650 Grand Forks, N.D. 130,000 Coffeyville, Kans. 750,000 New Castle, Del. 202,000 Campbellsville, Ky. 770,000 McDonough, Ga. 800,000

2 In suburban Atlanta, three red lights go on

Your order is transmitted to the closest facility that has the products....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!