I thought this was an interesting article. Amazon just secured a patent for “anticipatory shipping” – that is, they examine consumer trends (both on a macro level and one day at the micro level) to predict which goods will be sold, where, and when. This allows them to ship those items to closer facilities, or one day even direct to the consumer, to further reduce the time between ordering and delivery.
The engineer in me immediately thought of caches (to speed up delivery of data) and “warming the cache” (to increase data delivery speed by anticipating data needs). What Amazon is working on is the equivalent for physical goods.