The Beginning

Our journey starts in receiving, this part of the process actually has nothing specifically to do with your order but what's done here makes the rest of the process infinitely easier. Shipping trucks will pull up to the warehouse and unload cargo pallets filled with computer products. A pallet is a wooden or plastic platform that can be picked up using a forklift; palletized cargo is cargo placed on a pallet, which is how Newegg's inventory is shipped to them.

Once the pallets are received and unpacked they are sent off to receiving, which is a mere 30 feet away. The pallets don't just magically appear at Newegg, they are ordered from a set of offices and cubicles attached to the warehouse:


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What you see in the picture below are a few Newegg employees at computer terminals surrounded by hundreds of boxes. What they are doing is scanning each and every item that comes into Newegg. If it's a retail product, such as a boxed AMD CPU, then the retail barcode is used and information is attached to it. If it is an OEM product, such as an OEM AMD CPU, then Newegg will create their own barcode for the product. The bar-coding process is quite important because Newegg's system actually associates a great deal of information with each barcode.


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For every product that's scanned not only are its specifications entered into the system but so are its physical dimensions and the weight of the product. The importance of this is that when your order is placed, Newegg's system knows exactly what size box(es) to ship your order in as well as how heavy your order will be. After your order is complete and before it is boxed up, the weight of the order (as well as the barcodes on each item) is checked against Newegg's database to make sure that you are indeed getting what you ordered.

In the far left corner of the picture above is a station where Newegg will take pictures of any new products coming into their warehouse, which end up being listed along with the product on their website.

After the products are received by Newegg, they are then sent to one of two places - the staging area or "the racks" where actively shipping product is organized and ready for orders that are being placed immediately.

The picture above is closest to the receiving area, and thus is the emptiest of the staging area. Newegg's facility here is no where near full capacity but also important is the fact that Newegg doesn't keep product for very long at all, which allows them to usually take advantage of the best pricing possible and in turn offer highly competitive prices to their customers.

The farther away you get from the receiving area, the more crowded the warehouse becomes:


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  • Einy0 - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    I will always buy from Newegg, Unless it's a lot more expensive than somewhere else or not available from them. I always get my stuff fast. I get my stuff much faster now that they use UPS. Fedex used to hold my packages extra days until the last possible day to make it on time. I live in Massachusetts. There is a Newegg warehouse in New Jersey. Most of my stuff comes from NJ. With Fedex 3 day, I'd get the stuff exactly 3 days later. Fedex ground, forget about it. It would take seven days or more. I'd track the crap and Fedex would hold the stuff up in their warehouse in CT all the time. Sometimes the package from NJ would go to like Chicago then come back to the East Coast. Stupid crap all the time. With UPS, I get UPS ground and I get the stuff the next day. Everytime I order if it ships from NJ via UPS I get it the next day. Packages are always in great condition as well. Ups delivers to my area of town usually between 11 and Noon. Fedex comes at like 4:30PM. If no one is here to accept my package Fedex will leave me the stupid slip on my door. UPS almost always will just put it inside my porch. I avoid Fedex at all costs. Reply
  • johnsonx - Thursday, February 16, 2006 - link

    When FedEx holds your boxes with status "Package not due for Delivery", that seems to be based on how busy the driver's route is that day. On busy routes, they'll keep your box until the last possible day (and you can ill-afford to complain, you paid for 3-day shipping). They fill the truck with everything that must be delivered that day, and then if there's any room left the stuck in tomorrow's packages, the next days, etc.

    For me, if I want something ASAP but don't want to pay for expeditied shipping, I'll have it shipped to my home address. Usually they deliver it as soon as they get it. If I have something sent to my office (which is probably where I need it), they sometimes hold it 1 or even 2 days.

    Obviously this is going to be different for everyone, but that's how it works for me.

    As to the whole UPS vs. FedEx debate, I agree that when the switch first occurred, UPS sucked. But on my more recent orders, UPS has been quicker and 'cleaner' than I had ever expected of FedEx.
    Reply
  • WileCoyote - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    I had stopped ordering from Newegg because of Fedex. I started ordering again when they added UPS. UPS drops it off if I'm not home but Fedex makes me drive to their building to pick-up the package for missed deliveries. About 90% of the time the Fedex driver didn't leave a notice behind so I wouldn't even know the package was waiting for me. I hate Fedex - for the inconvenience and for hiring losers. Reply
  • bldckstark - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    I have had the same experience with FedEx. Their airport hub is 5 miles from my house, but a box will sit at the warehouse for 3 days until the actual "delivery date" is reached. Then it comes. This might be good for some people who don't expect to see it til then, but dang, seeing my stuff sitting in a warehouse for 3 days tees me off. By the way, my sister is one of the losers. She said they didn't leave notices for you because you are rude and your house smells. Fedex has a card you can fill out one time to tell them to always leave the box regardless of whether it requires signature or not. The delivery confirmation says "signature on file". UPS doesn't do that and I wish they did. USPS too. Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    UPS is MUCH slower than Fedex to my house. If I order something from the CA warehouse, it'll come next day even if I pick the 3 day selection! UPS will take a least a week if I pick the 3 day. Reply
  • dev0lution - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    ...then you should do a tour of some of the larger System Builders in the same neighborhood. Just as automated in many cases, but with assembly lines, burn-in stations and floor to ceiling with product.

    Don't get any ideas though, since the rent-a-cops are packin' heat ;)

    Reply
  • skyyspam - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    This was definitely one of the more enjoyable (perhaps original?) tech-related articles I've read in a long time. I've always been curious as to how newegg operated--and now, thanks to Anandtech, I know! Reply
  • Slash3 - Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - link

    ...is cheaper shipping to Alaska! That's one of the reasons I keep going back to Zip Zoom Fly - they offer "free" 2nd day shipping on many items, and while the offer isn't valid to AK for some reason, they *do* offer a $10 2nd day rate. Newegg's shipping calculations to AK always end up being quite high for few or single item orders, and they don't offer alternatives such as USPS. I know we're a small market, but a thousand here, a thousand there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money. ;)

    Cool article, keep doing these! It's great to get a peek inside the tech industry, definitely something you don't have a chance to explore very often.
    Reply
  • Marthisdil - Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - link

    Almost every place I've looked, it's cheaper for me to have stuff shipped ot me via FedEx ground than via UPS Ground =/ Reply
  • Regs - Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - link

    In one of their warehouses like they did with kbtoys back in the day?

    Wooo weee. Give me a cart and ill tare up that ware house in seconds.
    Reply

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