The Peanut Gun

If you're going to have an automated box maker, you absolutely need to also have a packaging peanut delivery system to go along with it. When you enter the warehouse on the far right you'll see two large vats:

The peanut vats are to the left

In these two massive vats are about a tractor trailer's worth of packaging peanuts. They are piped to the packing area using metal ducting that you see in the picture above. The peanuts are sent to mini-vats in the actual packing area and from there they are sent to the peanut guns:

As the order is completed, the tote is sent to the label station where each item is scanned individually and a label is generated to make sure what you ordered is what goes in the box.

The label station

Label printed

The peanut guns dispense packaging peanuts into boxes as they are readied for shipping:

If the Newegg staffer filling the box gets a little too excited and shoots peanuts everywhere, never fear: the system is self-recycling.

Any peanuts that miss their target get sucked back into the system, minimizing waste and maximizing peanut-fun. Newegg insists that packaging peanuts are still the most economical form of packaging, although within the next few years we may see some more eco-friendly solutions arise.

Delicate items are individually wrapped in bubblewrap

Newegg has a bit of bubblewrap on hand

Some things must be done by hand

Once full of peanuts, the box is pushed through the automatic taping machine and sent off to shipping:

The Box Maker Off to See the Wizard


View All Comments

  • CarVac - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    I live in the Metuchen, which is adjacent to this warehouse. Some stuff still takes 3 full days to arrive, though. Reply
  • Beenthere - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link

    Our company bought a lot of PC hardware from Newegg in their first 5 or so years of business. Then there was an obvious change in attitude, service, delivery and integrity at Newegg as confirmed by many of the original Newegg customers.

    Product reviews that were less than glowing were deleted - even those of products that the FTC later filed class action lawsuits against the company for due to product malfunction, defects in design and consumer fraud.

    Newegg would regularly get channel CPU's a week or two before the mainstream consumer channel received their product and Newegg would inflate the prices $50 per CPU over the proper pricing. Then there was the "in-stock" confirmation of products and the "shipped" notices sent to customers when in fact the item WAS NOT IN STOCK and the item had NOT been shipped.

    That was enough for our company to look elsewhere when many long time Newegg customers confirmed the same unscrupulous behavior. I'm sure that websites who generate ad revenue from Newegg are quite pleased to see Newegg's growth, even though it hasn't been a good experience for many Newegg customers. Big does NOT always equal Better, as Newegg has demonstrated time and time again. This won't change any fanboyz opinion, but at least people will know the facts and actual experiences of long time Newegg customers who left - and why they took their business to reputable e-tailers.
  • adrift02 - Sunday, May 25, 2008 - link

    This type of article (supply/manufacturing side) doesn't seem to come very around often, but it's some interesting stuff! Reply
  • ryback - Monday, May 26, 2008 - link

    Interesting - really? Maybe if you work in a warehouse/logistics. I for one don't and found it incredibly boring. I skipped to the contest, found out I couldn't enter and wrote this. Reply
  • Trikat - Saturday, May 24, 2008 - link

    Great to see their new facility in action.
    Two things I do not like.
    1) UPS shipments constantly get banged to hell. I cringe everytime I have a delicate order like a hard drive. Just received a bigger than normal shipment yesterday and the side of the box was a bit mangled with a hole at the top of the box. I have been saying UPS sucks for quite some time (years) due to the roughly handling of shipments.
    2) Recently I have been getting a few orders that have the "crumbs" part of the packing peanuts. It is extremely annoying to have to pick up all the small peanut crumbs since they love to float around and stick to things.

    I haven't read all the comments yet, but in response to the hard drive bubblewrap+peanut combo, that is good enough. Bubblewrap is a bit bouncy and the peanuts allow a good enough buffer (since they shift around). The main reason for DOA/damaged hard drives is due to UPS and their rough handling of shipments.
    Changing the type of packing peanuts can mean a huge swing in shipping supply cost. Do you know how much more starch/biodegradeable peanuts cost compared to regular peanuts? I would probably be more economical to go with another type of shipping material.
    Zipzoomfly is an ok company, but they made several dramatic changes kind of recently.
    1) No more free shipping. I thought the free shipping would have been droppped earlier, but it was good while it lasted.
    2) Customer service really really sucks compared to Newegg. Almost all of the ZZF customer service reps are pissed off at customers, extremely bored, do not care, or something else, but anyways they really sound "bland". I also wanted to return a shipment of memory (refused delivery) and they slapped me with a 15% restocking fee. At that time I ordered a lot from both ZZF and Newegg, and this was going to be my first return. Soon after that it was less orders from ZZF since I could not get my point across to the lacky working at ZZF.
  • teknomedic - Sunday, May 25, 2008 - link

    I'm unable to enter the contest... it always says "The text you entered for the image verIfication did Not match"...

    I've tried several times over the last two days with different computers... who can we contact or how do we enter the contest???????????
  • moiaujapon - Monday, May 26, 2008 - link

    Exactly the same problem here, and it has continued for the last couple of days.
    I'm unable to enter the contest... it always says "The text you entered for the image verIfication did Not match"...

    I've tried several times over the last two days with different computers... who can we contact or how do we enter the contest???????????
  • MOFD - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link

    Same deal with me - the image captcha routine is not working. I've tried under Firefox/Linux and IE/Windows, with no luck. Reply
  • Cbob - Friday, May 23, 2008 - link

    I bought from ZipZoom. I have no pressing need to pay 7% more for an item when I can get it elsewhere cheaper. (they even had free shipping at ZZ when I bought my MB, CPU & memory)

    Why couldn't the have been smart enough to goto Delaware and skip the sales tax completely.

    And anyway, who wants to support a company that is in a pit like NJ?
  • Kendokan - Sunday, May 25, 2008 - link

    Technically, if you don't pay the sales tax to your retailer, you are supposed to pay it instead to your state directly as a "use tax". In reality of course no one bothers, with certain exceptions.

    I know from experience that, in CA, the DMV is smart enough to make sure you pay the use tax when you purchase a car out of state and go to register it in CA for the first time.

    So basically ZZ lets you cheat on your taxes and Newegg doesn't. :P

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