Inside Amazon’s Romulus fulfillment center

Michigan

ROMULUS, Mich. (WOOD) — By this time next year, the Amazon fulfillment center south of Grand Rapids should be spitting out packages.

The new center near the intersection of 68th Street and Patterson Avenue in Gaines Township will be similar to another center in Romulus, southwest of Detroit.

Inside the Romulus facility, people, robots and 10 miles of conveyer belts work to send you your stuff as quickly as possible.

“Our robots actually pick the items up, they bring them to the associates to reduce or eliminate all walking,” Andre Woodson of Amazon showed News 8 Thursday. “We use a very sophisticated system that helps us optimize the outbound process. These robots are able to maneuver through the robotic fields and essentially get it to the associate.”

The robots assist some 1,300 human workers.

“This is our picking station,” Woodson pointed out. “Our associates pick items, they place them in yellow totes and they travel to the outbound process to be packaged and shipped.”

Down the line, more workers.

“Our associate right here is packaging items up and placing them on the beltline,” Woodson tracked the process. “That’s going to circulate over here to what we call our SLAM line. Our SLAM line stands for scan, label and supply manifest. It will determine what’s the best way to get it to the customer’s front door.”

Amazon processes about a million packages a week out of the Romulus facility. At 850,000 square feet, it has the same footprint as the Gaines Township fulfillment center.

The West Michigan center should open sometime in 2020, though a precise date hasn’t been set. It’s expected to employ about 1,000 people.

“There’s a lot of critical thinking that goes on behind the actual process and this is why it’s so important for us to have really strong candidates and associates,” Woodson said.

If you’re interested in working at the Amazon center in Gaines Township, you can visit Amazon’s jobs webpage.

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