The 800,000-square-foot facility is the result of a broad ramp-up in warehouse building by the retail giant, which seeks to reduce shipping times across the U.S. by placing fulfillment centers near major markets.
Amazon.com has begun hiring 1,200 people as it staffs up a newly built warehouse in Kent that’s highly reliant on robots.
The 800,000-square-foot facility is part of a broad ramp-up in warehouse building by the retail giant, which seeks to reduce shipping times across the U.S. by placing fulfillment centers near major markets. These warehouses cost about $100 million each.
By building these expensive facilities, and making other big bets on logistics ranging from leasing jets to possibly buying its own last-mile delivery company in France, Amazon seeks not only to compete with brick-and-mortar stores in the immediate gratification business.
It also seeks to avoid costly and embarrassing delays during times of peak demand, such as the holiday season.
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The Kent staffers will work alongside an army of robots to pack and ship small orders, such as books, electronics and toys.
The company says these workers will get “competitive” hourly wages, as well as healthcare, 401(k) plans and stock awards.
Amazon hasn’t disclosed when it will exactly start operating the Kent warehouse, but a spokeswoman said the company plans “to move quickly.”
Amazon has five fulfillment centers, in Bellevue, Seattle, DuPont, Sumner and now Kent. Three of them — Kent, Sumner and DuPont — are highly automated.
Amazon had announced the building of the Kent warehouse, at 59th Place South and South 212th Street, in 2014.
It’s adjacent to one of the company’s so-called “sortation centers,” where packages are sorted and delivered to individual post offices in the Pacific Northwest, enabling quick deliveries of last-minute orders and Sunday deliveries, too. That site has “hundreds” of workers, according to the Amazon spokeswoman.