Arriving Today: From Factory Floor to Front Door—Why Everything Has Changed About How and What We Buy

Christopher Mims. Harper Business, $29.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-298795-2
Wall Street Journal technology columnist Mims chronicles a product’s journey from manufacturer to doorstep in his timely debut, an enlightening exploration of e-commerce. Combining studies of human ingenuity, technological advances, and labor practices, Mims begins at an electronics factory in Vietnam. Picking a USB charger as his object of study, he details the 14,000 miles it travels to North America, beginning with a barge ride to one of the busiest ports in Southeast Asia, where the gadget, housed in a shipping container, is transferred by a 13-story high crane onto a cargo ship (his awe at global freight is infectious; shipping containers, for instance, are “the one object most responsible for the state of today’s world”). He also explores the history of a labor system that prizes efficiency above all else, studying the design of an Amazon warehouse, the cabin of an 18-wheeler, and the passenger seat of a UPS truck to detail the toll of “stressful working conditions that push people to their limit.” Readers will be hooked by Mims’s ability to turn what could’ve been a dry supply-chain explainer into a legitimate page-turner. For those interested in what goes on before packages arrive at their door, this is a no-brainer. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/11/2021
Release date: 09/14/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-298796-9
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