You have to admit, it was a good idea. You use the connectivity of the internet to pair millions of buyers with millions of sellers, and from that brainstorm you get the financial juggernaut that has become But once you get beyond the planning stages and people start actually buying things from each other, you run into some very heavy logistical problems. For example, how do you facilitate the timely shipping of hundreds of thousands of packages every day (especially when you offer next day shipping)? That question is one that cities such as DuPont, Washington are looking forward to answering.

DuPont is in the process of building a new 1 million square foot warehouse (or as calls it, fulfillment center) which is expected to bring in over 22 million dollars in tax revenue and create hundreds of jobs. But when it comes to a project of this size, one can’t simply throw everything together and hope that it works. Amazon warehouses require planning, patience, and a whole lot of conveyor belts before they can get up and running.

Have you ever rented out storage space? Well, if so, then chances are that within a few weeks, your 10×10 storage unit looked like the inside of a giant junk drawer. And if you thought that things would be easier to keep organized if only the area were larger, then think again. The new Amazon fulfillment centers are objectively huge, but there’s certainly more than enough product to fill them to bursting. So, to make sure that everything gets to where it’s going, the brains behind the operation have developed an intricate system of checkweighers and balances to make sure that when you order a something, it arrives at your door when it’s supposed to.

Amazon is pulling out all stops to build this huge and impressive distribution center, using the latest automated warehouse and shipping systems technology to ensure the click of your computer mouse results in an almost instantaneous reaction from the appropriate fulfillment center. The technology behind the whole operation is nothing short of amazing. Big data analytics have become a necessity to function. With orders coming in from all over the world, and thousands of products being offered, one can hardly imagine, or believe that this world-wide online giant started in a garage.

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of these fulfillment centers is the mind boggling smart conveyor belt systems that they use to make sure that your package gets to where it needs to be. And if you suspect that we’re misusing the word smart, then you need to take a closer look at how it all goes down.

There are literally miles and miles of conveyor belts inside of these warehouses. These aren’t just the basic grocery store checkout numbers that slowly move small items in a straight line from A to B; these conveyor belts come in all different shapes, sizes, and speeds. Some whip around corners, zigzag between aisles, climb and descend, and even shift and realign when needs be. The most amazing part of the entire process is when the packages are ready to be sent to the loading dock to be bundled up and shipped out. Various boxes are placed on a special conveyor belt which, judging by the item and its destination, knows exactly where to send it. To make that a little clearer, we’re not saying that the item is placed on a belt which leads to the loading dock; we’re saying that the belt splits into dozens of other belts, automatically rerouting the package through the warehouse’s circulatory system at speeds of upwards of 20 mph until it ends up exactly where it needs to be. After that, it’s just a matter of trusting the shipping company to get it to your door.

And the warehouse in DuPont is only one of several new Amazon fulfillment centers soon to be operational in the United States. So if you have an extra million square feet going unused in your town, you might just find that Amazon would like to set up a new multimillion dollar shop in your neighborhood. Not bad for something that came from a relatively simple idea.