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Amazon files patent for “anticipatory” shipping has filed for a patent for a shipping system that would anticipate what customers buy to decrease shipping time.

Amazon says the shipping system works by analyzing customer data like, purchasing history, product searches, wish lists and shopping cart contents, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the patent filing, items would be moved from Amazon’s fulfillment center to a shipping hub close to the customer in anticipation of an eventual purchase.

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A graphic of show Amazon's shipping system would work. Amazon

“According to one embodiment, a method may include packaging one or more items as a package for eventual shipment to a delivery address, selecting a destination geographical area to which to ship the package, shipping the package to the destination geographical area without completely specifying the deliver address at time of shipment, and while the package is in transit, completely specifying the delivery address for the package,” the patent filing says.


Amazon's Jeff Bezos looks to the future 14:08
Predicting what customers may buy isn’t the only way the company is trying to improve shipping times. Recently on “60 Minutes,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled a research and development project called Prime Air – a drone that delivers packages directly to a customer in 30 minutes or less.

The company also recently announced that it was partnering with the U.S. Postal Service to launch Sunday delivery in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas, with plans to expand to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix.

Amazon applied for the patent in August 2012 and was approved on Dec. 24, 2013. The company has 225 million customers worldwide and reported over $61 billion in total revenue in 2012. 

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