- Amazon has opened a robotics fulfillment center in Detroit, its first operations facility in the city, the company announced Wednesday.
- More than 1,200 employees will help pick, pack and ship small items like books and electronics at the 823,000-square-foot facility. The site supports 10 fulfillment and sortation centers and 13 delivery stations that service Michigan.
- Employees will “work with innovative technology to assist in fulfilling customer orders,” the release said.
Amazon has invested heavily in developing warehouse robots that improve efficiency in the fulfillment process, a move that is paying off as it opens technology-driven facilities. The company recently opened a fulfillment center in Connecticut that uses mobile robots and robotic handling systems.
Amazon had 231 future distribution facilities planned in the U.S. as of Q1, according to MWPVL International, a consulting firm tracking the company’s logistics footprint.
These slated openings come despite Amazon expecting a slowdown in capital investments this year, largely due to reduced fulfillment network spending, executives said in an April earnings call. The company has canceled, closed or delayed dozens of facilities while adjusting to cooling demand, after rapidly scaling its fulfillment network to keep up with pandemic-driven online shopping activity.
To help reduce expenses further while still boosting delivery speeds, Amazon shifted from a national fulfillment model to a regional one, CEO Andy Jassy said in a letter to shareholders in April.
“Shorter travel distances mean lower cost to serve, less impact on the environment, and customers getting their orders faster,” Jassy said.