Saturday, June 20, 2015

Peek inside Amazon's super efficient NJ fulfillment center

What happens after you click “buy” on your Amazon purchase?

NJTV News Correspondent Briana Vannozzi provides the answer — 14 miles of conveyer belts that help sort and package products with the help of a part-robot part-human team, at Amazon's fulfillment center in Robbinsville, NJ which has been operating for almost a year.

“Our systems know exactly which item to pick and how quickly to get it to you. And that’s what we do next. We travel on our over 14 miles of conveyers up to our pack stations and then our packages are all sorted by customer by ship destination out to you,” said Amazon Director of Operations in Robbinsville Tim Hall.

The 1.2 million square foot center in Robbinsville is a maze of brightly colored sorting buckets and shelves. More than 2,500 employees have been hired since it unofficially opened last July.

“The goals are actually above where we believed we would be at this point,” Hall said.

It’s called an eighth generation facility, because of the advanced technology. Bright orange robots — Amazon officials refer to them as “NFL linemen” — lift up to 750 pounds. “They make our associates more efficient. They actually do the walking for our associates. They bring the shelves to them, take the shelves away. Our associates love interacting with them,” Hall said.

Jobs for urban youth

“We wanted to get young men and women from inner city of Trenton and give them an easier opportunity to come out here and get jobs, which they have. They can take one bus from the city of Trenton. We have a dedicated ZLine that comes right out here to the corporate center, which is free, and they can just hop on and hop off,” said Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes.

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