• Arriving Today

  • From Factory to Front Door - Why Everything Has Changed About How and What We Buy
  • By: Christopher Mims
  • Narrated by: James Fouhey
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (140 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Wall Street Journal technology columnist reveals the fascinating story behind the misleadingly simple phrase shoppers take for granted - Arriving Today - in this eye-opening investigation into the new rules of online commerce, transportation, and supply chain management.

We are at a tipping point in retail history. While consumers are profiting from the convenience of instant gratification, rapidly advancing technologies are transforming the way goods are transported and displacing workers in ways never before seen.

In Arriving Today, Christopher Mims goes deep, far, and wide to uncover how a single product, from creation to delivery, weaves its way from a factory on the other side of the world to our doorstep. He analyzes the evolving technologies and management strategies necessary to keep the product moving to fulfill consumers’ demand for “arriving today” gratification. Mims reveals a world where the only thing moving faster than goods in an Amazon warehouse is the rate at which an entire industry is being gutted and rebuilt by innovation and mass shifts in human labor practices. He goes behind the scenes to uncover the paradoxes in this shift - into the world’s busiest port, the cabin of an 18-wheeler, and Amazon’s automated warehouses - to explore how the promise of “arriving today” is fulfilled through a balletic dance between humans and machines. 

The scope of such large-scale innovation and expended energy is equal-parts inspiring, enlightening, and horrifying. As he offers a glimpse of our future, Mims asks us to consider the system’s vulnerability and its resilience, and who shoulders the burden, as we hurtle toward a fully automated system - and what it will mean when we are there.

©2021 Christopher Mims (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Arriving Today

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Great look at process of product arriving to our home.

Great audio book! I had no idea how long the process would be to deliver product to our door and what historic events shaped the way we move goods.

3 people found this helpful

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Great information

I heard about this book from a friend of the authors who was a guest on a TWIT podcast. I work for a big distribution Company not mentioned in the book and I love to learn about new technology so this book was very informative. The reader was very easy to to understand and the book was well written. Thanks!

2 people found this helpful

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The journey of the stuff you buy online

When you buy something online, and it gets to your door, you rarely think about all the people who touched it, and all the miles it traveled to your hands.

This book talks about container shipping, intermodal transportation, trucking and truckers, sorting, distribution and fulfillment centers, and the workers and they working conditions.

You'll get a much greater appreciation for the packages that show up at your door have a people that make that possible.

2 people found this helpful

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Just like news today opinionated not unbiased

This book is a biased treatise. Mims constant argument against Amazon grew tiresome and made me decide it was not worth listening to his diatribe anymore. I’d rather come to my own conclusions.

1 person found this helpful

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85% Amazon, 15% Rest of Logistics

Very fascinating read to hear of a broad look at the supply chain from factory to the door. The book was as described. I wish it went further into other parts of logistics instead of just Amazon, part FedEx, and part UPS (about 1 chapter dedicated to FedEx and UPS each).
Other areas I hoped it would cover but didn’t is the rise of other third party logistics (3PLs) and their technology differs/is catching up to Amazon. Amazon is just 1 channel/ logistics company but most of our supply chain doesn’t run through Amazon and their network/technology.

1 person found this helpful

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comprehensive and well told

great details and structure. good narrative. interesting background. would definitely recommend for anyone who is curious about supply chain, supply shock, distributed manufacturing, effects on labor, climate, etc

1 person found this helpful

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interesting but technical

Not as good as I thought it was going to be. The facts and research were good, but it was very dry and technical.
Reader good, but all the "do over" passages sounded different. it was very obvious when a do over had been inserted.

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Not exactly what I thought

I was expecting to learn more about the supply chain and the many steps required to manufacture semiconductor chips. Instead, the book was mostly about Amazon and Jeff Bezos and the intricate process of fulfillment. Also, not sure if the author intended this, but the general tone regarding Amazon and Bezos was quite negative.

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Amazing automation and precise timing

Wow, what a journey! The book follows a cell phone charger from the factory in Vietnam to an American's front door, 14,000 miles in two months. Along the way he describes the automated jobs, the human jobs, the computers and robots involved in the logistics. Fascinating!

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An Insiders Perspective

Fascinating story and well told for most audiences. The author uncovered elements of the SC and the psychology of it's participants that I had not previously considered.

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  • Marek J.
  • 06-14-22

easy listening but not much technical

I looked for technical presentation and management approach to SCM.
Found interesting talk about management in logistics market leaders. all wrap in story and description of logistics workers life. overall good but I looked for more.

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  • clifford
  • 01-10-22

90% filler and fluff

takes way too long to get to the point. authors ego trip. Great opportunity missed

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  • textlad
  • 10-24-21

Superb book - so topical given importance of supply chain at present

This book is a fascinating journey to help any “reader” understand the astonishing journey of a package from its very beginning in South East Asia to your front door.

Some excellent research by the author delivers impressive details of the process. The description of a river pilot boarding a giant boat in LA was breathtaking.

Lots of very interesting details on the inner workings of Amazon and UPS as well.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in this area.

Only let down by the appalling audio edits which results in the the narrator’s voice / audio changing in a very abrasive way at numerous times.