SINCE the start of 2017, Amazon.com, Inc said it has continued to expand its US operations, especially in terms of fulfilment. So far, it has already announced that it will be opening several new fulfilment centres in Jacksonville, Maryland, Colorado, California and Texas, and an air cargo hub in Kentucky.
Some of the highlights of Amazon’s expansion since the beginning of the year include:
- Second Jacksonville fulfilment centre: The one-million-sqf Jacksonville, Florida facility is expected to add more than 1,000 full-time jobs, said the company, and employees will pick, pack and ship large items such as household decor, sporting equipment and gardening tools. In Florida, Amazon previously employed more than 4,000 full-time employees.
Third fulfilment centre in Maryland: Amazon currently employs more than 3,000 associates at its fulfilment and sortation centres in Baltimore and plans to create 700 new positions at its third Maryland facility.
Amazon said the 1.2-million-sqf fulfilment centre in North East, Maryland, will support customer fulfilment.
Ninth fulfilment centre in Texas; new robotics site: The company has employed more than 10,000 full-time associates at its seven already-operating fulfilment centres across Texas and plans to create 1,000 more full-time positions at its ninth Texas fulfilment centre in Coppell.
“This building will be a new addition to the Amazon Robotics fulfilment network, which already has a robust presence in the metroplex,” said Akash.
“Because of our ability to have more inventory on-hand and increased speed of fulfilment, we are able to better meet customer demand and to create thousands of associate roles,” he added.
Amazon said its employees at the one-million-sqf Coppell fulfilment centre will pick, pack and ship smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and toys.
First fulfilment centre in Colorado: The one-million-sqf facility in Aurora is Amazon’s first fulfilment centre in Colorado and is expected to create more than 1,000 new full-time jobs, in addition to the hundreds of associates already employed at the Amazon sortation centre in Aurora.
Employees at the Aurora fulfilment centre will pick, pack and ship larger customer items, such as sports equipment, musical instruments and furniture.
Two new California fulfilment centres: The new fulfilment centres in Eastvale and Redlands, California, are expected to create more than 2,000 new full-time jobs. Prior to that, across the state, Amazon said, more than 15,000 full-time associates picked, packed and shipped customer orders at its nine other California fulfilment centres.
Another fulfilment centre in Sacramento is currently under construction and slated to open this year.
At the facility in Eastvale, developed by the Goodman Group, Amazon associates will handle smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and toys, while associates at the Redlands facility, developed by Prologis, will pick, pack and ship larger customer items, such as sports equipment, patio furniture and pet food.
New air cargo hub in Kentucky: Amazon said it plans to build a centralised air hub in Kentucky to support its growing fleet of Prime Air cargo planes, adding to the 11 fulfilment centres it owns in the state.
“As we considered places for the long-term home for our air hub operations, Hebron (in Kentucky) quickly rose to the top of the list with a large, skilled workforce, centralised location with great connectivity to our nearby fulfilment locations, and an excellent quality of living for employees,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice-president of Worldwide Operations.
Last year, Amazon entered into agreements with two carriers to lease 40 dedicated cargo airplanes to support Amazon Prime members with fast and free shipping. Amazon’s Prime Air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) will support its dedicated fleet of Prime Air cargo planes by loading, unloading and sorting packages.
The company said it has launched several initiatives to ensure great delivery speeds and supply chain capacity for its customers, including Amazon Flex — a mobile application that allows individuals to sign up, be vetted and begin delivering for Amazon — a dedicated network of 4,000 trailers to increase trucking capacity and a network of air cargo planes. These efforts, said Amazon, join its robust worldwide network of 149 fulfilment centres and more than 20 sortation centres where the company uses algorithms, robotics, machine learning and other technological innovations to increase delivery speeds for customers.
According to Amazon, the company is now bringing the same technological expertise to efforts in the transportation space to increase shipping capacity for its customers.
Additional 100,000 jobs in 18 months
Over the past five years, Amazon has created more than 150,000 jobs in the US, growing its workforce from 30,000 employees in 2011 to more than 180,000 by the end of 2016. In January this year, Amazon announced that it plans to create an additional 100,000 full-time, full-benefit jobs in the US over the next 18 months.
These new job opportunities, said the company, are for people across the US with all types of experience, education and skill levels — from engineers and software developers to those seeking entry-level positions and on-the-job training. Many of the roles will be in the new fulfilment centres mentioned.