As you may have already guessed, the "problem" can be blamed on Amazon's robots.
In fact, while Amazon warehouses are primarily staffed by humans, robots play a lot of super important roles within the company. The result is an interesting human-robot symbiosis that it takes to deliver the random stuff you’ve ordered online directly to your door.
And it’s the robot part of the Amazon staff that’s responsible for choosing box size. Amazon uses some super complicated software to determine which box to use, but it’s not based solely on the size of the product. Instead, the software also takes into account the actual truck that will be carrying your package to a distribution center, as well as the other boxes that will be in the truck.
The software is basically playing Tetris to find the most efficient way to stack boxes inside the truck.
Sometimes a truck won’t have as many packages to carry, and Amazon will automatically put your product into a larger box. That way there’s less empty room in the back of the truck.
Which is good. Otherwise, the packages would slide around and could get damaged. Or you could end up with a situation like this:
Yep, that’s one inefficiently loaded truck, all right.
Another bonus to Amazon’s giant box system is that if a situation like the one pictured above does occur, your products are kept safe and sound by all that extra padding.
It makes sense, right?
It might look wacky when you open your box just to see an embarrassing amount of air pockets, but when you consider the process as a whole, it’s actually pretty brilliant.
In fact, Amazon’s system actually minimizes waste, even if it may seem like it does the opposite.
There’s also a place on the Amazon website where you can review the packaging from your specific order. So if you ever feel as if Amazon’s box size has been particularly ridiculous, feel free to leave them feedback!
Big boxes make the best forts, anyway.
And your cats love ’em!
Needless to say, we welcome our robot overlords.