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  • Hey there!

  • You can call me Boxy.

  • Ever since I was a young, flat sheet of cardboard, I've dreamed of being filled with something

  • importantlike a birthday present! —and then going to the ultimate Package Party in

  • Memphis on my way to deliver it!

  • And today, it's happening!

  • Noah’s grandfather in Scotland just ordered a stuffed Panda from Li (this is her workshop).

  • Grand Pa Melville waited until the last minute, but that’s Ok.

  • In fact, it’s great, because now I get to go express!

  • That means I’ll be at Noah’s house in Indiana tomorrowfor his birthday!

  • While Li sews the last buttons on Panda’s vest, her assistant, Zhang, bends my flaps

  • into place and seals my edges with packing tape!

  • I was hoping to get some of that bubble wrap and a few fragile stickers, but toy pandas

  • aren’t breakable.

  • Zhang stuffs me with tissue paper and prints a shipping label on the store computer.

  • Then, Li finishes Panda and nestles him inside of me.

  • Zhang seals me tight— -affixes my new shipping labels

  • looks at the clock and

  • Oh no!

  • Li’s regular pick-up happened an hour ago!

  • How will I get to Noah’s in time for his birthday?

  • Lots of businesses, like Li’s, have a scheduled pick up every day, when a truck stops by to

  • collect packages.

  • But Grandpa ordered Panda after Li’s pick-up had already happened!

  • I don’t want to miss cake and balloons; can I make it to Noah’s on time?

  • Li is not worried!

  • Li’s workshop is in Beijing, where the buses are pretty reliable.

  • Li tells Zhang to leave work earlyjust be sure to drop me at the nearest Shipping

  • Storefront within the next hour and well make the deadline!

  • (It’s called shipping because, before trucks, trains, and airplanes, packages traveled by

  • boat.

  • Back then, “A Slow Boat to Chinatook forever but well be at Noah’s tomorrow!)

  • At the Shipping Storefront, Li’s assistant hands me over the counter to a clerk who scans

  • my label with a hand-held device.

  • Oooooh!

  • That tickles!

  • Then he prints a receipt for Zhang.

  • It’s OK if Zhang loses it; my label isin the system.”

  • Now, both Li, Grandpa, and even Noah’s mom can track my progress on their home or office

  • computers, because I’ll be scanned every step of the way.

  • (Tracking doesn’t hurt—I don’t even feel it!)

  • The guy behind the counter yells over his shoulder for the truck outside to wait and

  • he

  • Tooosses meeeeee!..

  • Wheeeee!

  • OK, now I’m glad I’m not marked fragile!

  • Okay -- the guy loading on the loading dock out back catches me.

  • There, the driver scans me againooh I like thatand loads me into the van.

  • Before I know it, I’m at the airport and beingyep, scanned again andloaded into

  • a huge metal container called a Unit Load Device.

  • That’s ULD in the Shipping Biz.

  • Each of us boxes is a “unit.”

  • Together we make a “loadand this devicesometimes called a “canor a “pod”–resembles

  • a giant version of me, a box, only full of shelves and usually made of metal.

  • Many ULD’s, like mine, have one side curved to fit the shape of a plane, because cargo

  • planes make it their business to use every available inch (or centimeter if that’s

  • how you roll) and the curved shape means there are no wasted, empty, corners.

  • ULD’s come in all sizes too, but a typical one is about 88 x 125 x 96 inches.

  • Some can fit 10,000 boxes like me!

  • Wow!

  • A crew loads my ULD onto a plane an were off to Alaska!

  • Wait!

  • The Package Party happens in Memphis, and Noah lives in Indiana.

  • Why am I going to Alaska?

  • Panda’s not a polar bear!

  • Am I on the wrong plane?

  • Help!

  • My ULD hugs me and explains that it’s OK.

  • Looking at a map, and seeing all that ice and tundra, a box might think Alaska is in

  • the middle of nowhere.

  • But

  • If you look at a globe, youll see that Alaska is really in the middle of Asia and

  • the United Statestwo places that do a lot of shipping!

  • And, while Alaska has a relatively small populationabout 740,000—the hub there is huge!

  • A real chubby hubby.

  • Hubmeans center of activity, and even though it’s dark outside

  • It’s full of life inside!

  • Alaska’s Cargo Hub is the fifth largest cargo airport in the world and the second

  • largest in the United States.

  • (After Memphiswhere were going to the Package Party!)

  • Countless packages get sorted in Alaska, but our plane is just stopping for gas.

  • Youre right, Bright Sider!

  • Lots of planes can fly straight from Beijing to Memphis, but that takes a lot of gas.

  • And that gas takes a lot of space.

  • Space that could be filled with bears in boxes.

  • So, cargo planes often load up with extra bears, then land in Alaska to refill their

  • smaller, space-saving, tanks.

  • Cool.

  • Speaking of cool

  • Brrr!

  • Alaska is cold!

  • Oh wait, I’m a box.

  • I’m fine!

  • And we are off to the Package Party in Memphis!

  • (I’m so excited!)

  • Referred to asThe Big Sort,” the Package Party is a lot like a birthday party.

  • My label is my invitation.

  • Just like at a party, we all arrive at the same time.

  • My plane, and planes from all over the world, set down in Memphis between 10PM to 1AM.

  • Then, while the world sleeps, we have our party!

  • First, workers help all us boxes and envelopes get our party invitationsthat is packing

  • labelssunny-side up.

  • This way the light scanners can read us and tell the mechanical arms and sorters which

  • group we belong in.

  • The automated sorting system looks something like the baggage carousels you see at airports.

  • I get sorted into a group of packages headed to Indiana and put on a conveyor belt!

  • Our labels have more information than just our address, they also have our weight and

  • dimensions.

  • This is important because, just like at the amusement park for children, where some kids

  • are too little for the roller coaster, some envelopes are too light for the conveyor belt.

  • But don’t worry; the envelopes aren’t left out!

  • They have special rides of their own where they land in trays and end up in bags instead

  • of our old friend the ULD.

  • Meanwhile, we boxes slide around conveyor belts

  • drop through gaps into waiting binsand even go down chutes!

  • Whoo!

  • I’m glad Zhang taped me up so well.

  • Good taping is like keeping your arms inside the car during a ride.

  • Nothing gets caught in the machinery.

  • Time flies when youre having fun; Panda and I are in our new ULD and on the next plane

  • in under 15 minutes!

  • That’s not even a record!

  • I’m not sure if I believe the rumor Elvis Presley worked there, but it’s easy to believe

  • that the Memphis Distribution Center is the largest package sorting facility in the world.

  • It’s over 880 acres.

  • An aircraft lands here every 90 seconds!

  • And it processes about 1.5 million express packages a night!

  • That takes 7,000 – 10,000 employees, with or without Elvis.

  • In factfrom 10 PM to 4AMThe Memphis Hub is the busiest airport in the world!

  • The party wraps up.

  • Planes depart from 2AM to 4AM taking all the guests (that’s us) to our next stop.

  • It’s a quick flight, but I rest as hard as a box can, because in Indianapolis weSort

  • all over again!

  • (After this, a few restful days in the recycling pile sounds good to me!)

  • At Indianapolis I get

  • Oooh that feels so good right there!

  • Scanned again

  • And Noah is still asleep when I’m loaded onto my last really big truck.

  • It can hold 2,000 packages at once!

  • Then I’m off to my final distribution center.

  • Here, I getOooh, Scanned!—sorted by a much smaller crew and put into a smaller truck

  • with other packages.

  • I’m loaded next to another package headed for Noah’s!

  • When I ask him what he’s carrying he claims it’s a mystery, but I’m pretty sure it’s

  • a book.

  • Pulling up to Noah’s house —I smell birthday cake in the oven!

  • The driver whisks me and the mystery book out of the truck and carries us to Noah’s

  • door.

  • He rings the bell and

  • With one final scan——

  • I’m an Overnight Success! (singing: Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Noah!

  • Happy …)

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  • Just click to the left or right, and stay on the Bright Side of life!

Hey there!

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B1 中級

荷物は一晩でドアに届く (That's How Your Package Gets to Your Door Overnight)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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