ferent types of worker. You get exposed
to part of the workforce you don’t get
exposed to in [a;uent] Silicon Valley.”
Huang’s parents, professionals in
Taiwan, immigrated to the United States
when he was a baby. Like most immi-
grants, they were seeking a better life for
their children. As non-English speakers,
they struggled in minimum-wage jobs
and on unemployment, but always taught
their two kids the value of hard work.
Now, Huang splits his time between
an apartment in Battery Park City and a
home in Middlesex County with his wife
and two young children. Yet he says he
eschews the lavish lifestyle of a budding
mogul. He flies economy—and often hor-rifies employees by insisting they share
hotel rooms with him on business trips.
Huang says he’s committed to investing
in New Jersey, where Boxed employs ;;;
skilled and low-skilled workers. “This site
was a huge dairy factory,” he says. “Now
Union County is home to one of the most
advanced fulfillment centers in the world.”
The Boxed shipping process is highly
automated and extremely intelligent. Its
new system can calculate how to custom
build the smallest box possible to fit the
items in a specific order (with an average
of ; to ;; items) and then configure the
shipment (or “Tetris” the items, as Huang
says) for maximum e;ciency. Further
down the line, a computer checks, for
the third time, the contents against the
order and the shopper’s address. It snaps a
picture of the contents and sends it along
with the package.
“The new system is six seconds faster
than the old one,” Huang boasts.
Boxed entices shoppers by including
free samples with every order and provides videos that encourage customers to
reuse delivery boxes as kids’ castles and
other fun toys. The company reduces energy consumption and saves on shipping
by selling unique products regionally at
each of its four national warehouses. By
decentralizing distribution, Boxed can
deliver ;; percent of all packages within
two days; ;; percent are delivered in a
single day, the company claims. Boxed is
testing an express service for same-day
delivery of fresh food in a few East Coast
cities. It also has a new sommelier-cu-rated wine service.
Though Boxed has additional fulfill-
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