Hope You Weren't Banking on Amazon's Free Overnight Shipping This Year

If you are a human who is both lazy and inconsiderate, you've found comfort these past few years in Amazon's last-minute free overnight shipping selections. Bad news, fellow sloth. While that offer had been on the table up until early this morning, it's over on the day you need it most. Humbug! » 12/23/14 9:08am Tuesday 9:08am

Tracking a Gadget’s Journey From the Mine to Beneath the Christmas Tree

Imagine you're in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Behind you is China, below you are thousands of tons of consumer goods destined for faraway ports, then stores, then maybe a spot beneath a Christmas tree. You are part of a vast economy that supplies the things we buy—a galaxy of cities, systems, and people that is… » 12/10/14 2:05pm 12/10/14 2:05pm

A Map of Amazon's Empire of Warehouses and Shipping Centers

Over the past decade Amazon has developed an incredible infrastructure of warehouses and fulfillment centers dedicated to delivering your toilet paper and books within hours. For customers, these spaces are invisible, rarely thought about or even seen. But a new map reveals exactly where they are—and how quickly… » 9/26/14 3:15pm 9/26/14 3:15pm

The World's Biggest Cargo Ship Carrying Over 17,000 Crates, NBD

Maersk's Triple-E line of supersized cargo ships are already among the largest sea-faring vessels to ever set sail. Now the Danish shipping group can add another feather to its cap with the successful transport of more than 17,600 TEU containers. No other ship has ever carried that much on a single trip. » 8/19/14 3:10pm 8/19/14 3:10pm

The Panama Canal Is 100 Years Old, Just In Time for Its Makeover

One hundred years ago today, the SS Ancon became the first ship to officially pass through the Panama Canal. Because of the outbreak of World War I, there wasn't a big party for the grand opening. The waterway would go on change the history of transportation, and now it's time to change the canal itself. » 8/15/14 4:00pm 8/15/14 4:00pm

Thousands of Lego Pieces Have Been Washing Up On This Beach Since 1997

On the quaint coast of Cornwall, near the town of Perranporth, there's a beach that's constantly covered in Lego. Tiny flippers, little plastic dragons, a brick here and there—these pieces have been washing ashore since a shipping accident in 1997 sent 4.8 million pieces into the sea nearby. And one-by-one, out they… » 7/21/14 10:48am 7/21/14 10:48am

This City-Sized Gas Plant Has The Next Big Idea To Save The Planet

Nine billion tons of things you buy get to your hands via trucks. Most structures are put up by cranes and bulldozers. All those vehicles run on diesel, and at the Pearl Plant in Qatar, Shell is cooking up an alternative fuel that could drop directly in those engines, making them immediately more efficient and more… » 7/08/14 2:17pm 7/08/14 2:17pm

Best Buy Will Deliver a Dryer for Free But the Power Cord Has a $70 Fee

What with Amazon and Google Shopping Express winning the world's laziest misanthropes' affections, other companies are left doing everything they can to stay in the fight. In Best Buy's case, that means offering free shipping on major appliances—and (apparently) praying that folks don't realize the $30 required cord… » 6/11/14 3:10pm 6/11/14 3:10pm

Shipping Containers Lost at Sea and the Search for Flight 370

Just how many large mysterious objects can there be floating at sea? That's what many of us have wondered after the search for debris from Malaysia Airlines 370 turned up piece after piece of ocean trash. The search for flight 370 has focused our attention on empty patches of ocean and, in the process, shed light on… » 4/02/14 1:40pm 4/02/14 1:40pm

See the Global Shipping Revolution In These Beautiful Ocean Maps

The global shipping industry has completely transformed our world: Today, 90 percent of everything in your life arrives via cargo ship. These two maps prove just how dramatically international trade has increased, by comparing the oceans of the 19th century with those of the late 20th. » 4/02/14 10:40am 4/02/14 10:40am

The Simple Metal Mechanism That Changed the Global Economy Forever

Have you ever heard of a twistlock? Unless you're a stevedore, probably not. Yet this little mechanism is what makes it possible to stack shipping containers onto cargo ships larger than city blocks—enabling a global trade network that brought most of your belongings to your doorstep. And we have a relatively… » 2/26/14 10:00am 2/26/14 10:00am