News for Authors

Penguin Random House Ships 1 Million+ Books A Day

by Penguin Random House U. S.|February, 2024

The nerve center and heart of Penguin Random House’s gold-standard supply chain, its Operations Centers, had an exciting and enormously productive and collaborative 2023. We collectively shipped more than 430 million books, receiving and shipping more than 11,000 truckloads across thousands of unique ISBNs. Getting books onto the shelves of bookstores around the world and into the hands of readers is what we do best—and we could not have done it without the help and skill sets of our more than 2,600 in-house associates.

Our Penguin Random House (PRH) associates are located across four main distribution centers: Westminster, Maryland; Crawfordsville, Indiana; Reno, Nevada; and Hampstead, Maryland. The newest addition is the 1-million-square-foot Hampstead building, acquired to provide additional storage capacity and as a complementary distribution center to the Westminster facility (located just 11 miles way). PRH began shipping comics from the Hampstead facility in 2021, and later moved newly published book titles in other formats to this location.


One of PRH’s proud accomplishments is an increase in staff diversity, achieved through active recruiting in underrepresented communities, which in turn has led to the use of AI to help with translation and communication in multiple languages. These efforts have helped bring even more highly motivated and qualified colleagues to work in our distribution centers, enabling PRH to ship more than 1 million books a day.


Never a day goes by in Operations without an improvement project underway. In 2023, our projects related to sustainability, and to being even more service-oriented and customer-focused. We also invested in our supply chain to provide capacity for more titles, improved efficiency and thus speed to market throughout the distribution centers, and upgraded systems for security and reliability.


One green initiative included converting all packing materials from bubble filler to 100% curbside recyclable paper in all four distribution centers.


In Westminster, we reconstructed the building 1 roof. Westminster also replaced 800 feet of sorter chain and other aging components on the tilt tray sorter, an automated system in which an individual book is quickly inducted, the unique barcode is scanned and placed on its own tray, the book is sorted down a packing lane to be placed into a shipping carton, and the carton is then moved along to case seal for final packing and labeling prior to shipping.

Shelving locations were added in Crawfordsville, allowing increased title capacity. In Hampstead, we added pallet storage and modified the conveyance system. PRH also completed an upgrade and migration of the warehouse management database system .

Additionally, we invested in our self-service site, .BIZ, to improve the customer experience. Tracking enhancements were made to improve the visibility of packages and shipments. Finance functionality was added to .BIZ, allowing customers to view and download invoices/debits/credits, pay invoices online, and view monthly statements.


But it wasn’t all shelving, picking, and packing at the facilities. A highlight for the Westminster staff was the authors who came to visit and sign books. Among them were:

  • Alexandra Bracken, author of Silver in the Bone
  • Nick DiGiovanni, author of Knife Drop
  • Lauren Groff, author of The Vaster Wilds
  • B. Dylan Hollis, author of Baking Yesteryear
  • James McBride, author of The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

PRH is looking forward to more author visits and even more opportunities to support our authors and publishers and to enhance the profitability of its customers with efficient, timely deliveries throughout 2024!