How Amazon Reshaped the US Warehousing Industry, Workforce

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Happy Friday, readers! Avery Hartmans here, filling in for Jordan Parker Erb. It’s peak fall weather here in New York, so I hope you’ve got your pumpkin spice latte in hand — I know I do.

Today, we’re exploring the new Insider project Warehouse Nation, and specifically, Amazon’s role. The tech giant has made efficiency the cornerstone of its business, and this series examines how that’s reshaped the nation and its workforce. 

Plus, this week has shown us that Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have pretty much opposite views on the state of the economy (no surprise there). Read on to find out if you’re more of a Musk or a Bezos.

Let’s get to it. 


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amazon warehouse


Reuters/Lucas Jackson



1. How Amazon reshaped the warehousing industry. Amazon didn’t invent the modern warehouse, but it did supercharge it. The hallmark of its Prime membership, free two-day shipping, made efficiency top priority, and forced the rest of the retail industry to try to keep up. 

  • Unionization has long been dwindling in the industrial sector, but unions see Amazon and its warehouses as a prime opportunity to organize thanks to constant pressure to hit performance targets that result in deteriorating working conditions.
  • Amazon’s pace leads to increased injury risk, workplace inspection data indicates, and some Amazon workers told Insider that their minor aches and pains have turned into lifelong injuries. “Me and my veteran buddies always say, the military was hard, but it was nothing compared to Amazon,” said Mark Takakura, a former fulfillment center employee.
  • Now, Amazon appears to be polling Americans via text, gauging public sentiment about the e-commerce giant’s warehouse conditions amid its very public tug-of-war with labor groups. 

Here’s how companies like Amazon created a warehouse empire


In other news:

Elon Musk.


Elon Musk.

Adrees Latif/Reuters



2. Elon Musk told investors that he planned to get rid of nearly 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 workers, according to The Washington Post. The Post found that even if Musk does not end up buying Twitter, massive layoffs would still be in the picture for the social media company. Meanwhile, Tesla’s third-quarter results have analysts questioning if the electric car-maker can meet Musk’s ambitious targets. Here’s why things might only get trickier for Tesla

3. Hollywood writers are disappointed that ads are coming to Netflix. Some creators who spoke with Insider are worried that Netflix may now favor broader-based entertainment to meet advertisers’ needs, rather than taking risks with content. This is what they told us.

4. When putting online “sex work” on your LinkedIn causes a viral uproar. Arielle Egozi received an onslaught of insults, threats, and even hacking attempts after including online sex work on her LinkedIn profile. She says it’s the result of outdated views on “professionalism.” Read her story.

5. VCs named the most promising women’s health startups of 2022. We asked top venture capitalists to share the startups they think are poised to take off. The firms they listed address everything from menopause to ovarian cancer. See their 34 choices here.

6. The world’s two richest people are at odds over the economy. Jeff Bezos thinks it’s time to “batten down the hatches,” while Elon Musk says Tesla is “pedal to the metal” on production. Here’s what they’re saying about weathering the next few months — and whether we’re headed toward a recession

7. Leaked org charts reveal who’s running Microsoft’s cloud business. The company’s cloud and artificial intelligence business houses more than 60,000 Microsoft employees — roughly one-third of Microsoft’s huge workforce. Meet the 19 people in charge.

8. See the private jet that the billionaire CEO of LVMH sold to stop people from tracking it. Luxury goods mogul Bernard Arnault said he offloaded the plane after Twitter accounts started tracking the flight data. Take a look inside the $73 million jet. 


Odds and ends:

A Brooks shoe with the company's Guiderails technology


A Brooks shoe with the company’s Guiderails technology

Matthew Kish/Insider



9. Google is giving Apple a taste of its own medicine. Google’s latest messaging updates should be exciting for Android users, but some of the changes aren’t fully compatible with iPhones. Get ready for texting between iPhone and Androids to get a whole lot more annoying.

10. Inside Brooks’ top-secret 3D printing lab. We visited the hot shoe brand’s R&D lab, which is working on 3D-printed sneaker technology. Learn how infinitely customizable sneakers could be the next big thing.


The latest people moves in tech:

Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.


Curated by Avery Hartmans in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email ahartmans@insider.com or tweet @averyhartmans.)

Edited by Lisa Ryan (tweet @lisarya) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

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