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 Friday 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

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

How Your Christmas Presents Were Shipped—As Seen in Clouds From Space

Today's as good a day as any to ponder how massive amounts of stuff gets moved around the world. iPhones from China, sweaters from Bangladesh, chocolates from Switzerland—they all make the intercontinental journey in containers stacked like Lego blocks on cargo ships. And these ships can seed their own clouds, tracing… » 12/24/13 4:30pm 12/24/13 4:30pm

You Can Buy NASA's Giant Launch Platforms—Assuming You Can Move Them

The shuttle program is dead. That's sad. But the parts that made up the shuttle program have morphed into one massively absurd estate sale, the likes of which hoarders have only ever dreamed of. And that's absolutely wonderful. You'll soon be able to bid on one of the three genuine, 4,115-ton launch platforms that… » 8/23/13 2:20pm 8/23/13 2:20pm