Amazon, along with its competitors Walmart and The Home Depot, is rapidly expanding its warehouse network to provide same-day or next-day delivery to customers across the United States, particularly in major metropolitan areas.
Where is the biggest Amazon Warehouse?
According to a recent analysis by BigRentz, a company that rents equipment to businesses, Amazon currently operates 305 large fulfillment centers in the U.S. These warehouses have an average storage capacity of 800,000 square feet. BigRentz predicts that by 2023, Amazon will have at least 355 warehouses in the U.S., covering a total of 319 million square feet.
Where are Amazon warehouses located?
California has the highest number of Amazon distribution centers, with 35 in operation or planned. Texas follows closely with 28, and New Jersey with 17. Amazon strategically places its warehouses near densely populated areas. In fact, eight out of the top ten states with the most Amazon warehouse space are also among the top ten most populous states.
Interestingly, New Jersey, which is not among the top ten most populous states, has a significant number of Amazon warehouses. This is because these warehouses serve consumers in neighboring New York, a highly populated state that is not listed among the leading states in terms of Amazon warehouses. Similarly, Tennessee, which ranks ninth in terms of the number of Amazon warehouses, enables fast shipping to neighboring Georgia, the eighth most populous state.
Lior Zitzman, the director of digital audience at BigRentz, notes that Amazon seems to concentrate its warehouse distribution near densely populated areas. He highlights that eight out of the top ten states with the most warehouse space are also among the ten most populous states, indicating a strong correlation between population centers and Amazon warehouse locations.
How many distribution centers does Amazon have?
Aside from the large fulfillment centers near major cities, Amazon is also establishing numerous smaller facilities to sort packages for last-mile delivery to customers’ homes. In total, Amazon operates 1,137 fulfillment centers of various types in the U.S., and they have plans to open an additional 331 centers. Furthermore, Amazon has 47 operating warehouses in Canada, with 26 more slated to open soon. These figures put Amazon far ahead of its main competitors, Walmart and Target.
How does Amazon choose where its warehouses are located?
Amazon strategically selects warehouse locations based on the need for same-day or next-day delivery. The company takes into account transportation infrastructure, population density, and geographic considerations when deciding where to establish its warehouses.
How many distribution centers does Walmart have?
Walmart currently operates 198 distribution centers across the U.S., including 29 dedicated to online orders. The company plans to open ten more facilities, with six of them specifically designed for ecommerce. Walmart recently announced its first fulfillment center in Mississippi, which will cover one million square feet and employ 250 permanent workers. The facility is scheduled to open in the spring of this year.
How many warehouses does Target have?
Target operates 49 warehouses in the U.S., including seven dedicated to ecommerce. The company has plans to build an additional six distribution centers; however, none of them will be exclusively for online orders, according to MWPVL, a logistics consulting firm.
It’s important to note that retailers with a significant number of physical stores, like Walmart and Target, increasingly utilize these stores to fulfill online orders. They either ship parcels directly to customers’ homes from their stores or offer options for customers to pick up their orders in-store or at curbside. Target, for example, fulfilled over 75% of its online orders through its stores in the first quarter of 2021.
Amazon fulfillment centers outnumber competitors
To improve delivery times and customer service, several major retailers are opening additional distribution centers. Wayfair, an online furniture retailer, is a prime example. In the past, Wayfair relied heavily on its suppliers to ship products directly to customers. However, in recent years, they have built their own network of 52 distribution centers in the U.S. and four in Europe through their CastleGate Logistics system.
Home Depot, a retailer with physical stores, is also expanding its warehouse network to handle online orders. The company plans to invest $1 billion over five years in improving its supply chain, including the construction of 150 additional facilities. As of now, Home Depot operates 130 distribution centers in the U.S., with ten dedicated to ecommerce. They are set to open additional ecommerce facilities between 2022 and 2023.
Amazon’s decade of distribution center expansion
Over the past decade, Amazon has experienced tremendous growth in its distribution center network. This expansion coincided with Amazon’s decision to collect sales tax in more U.S. states. Prior to 2018, online retailers were only required to collect sales tax in states where they had a physical presence. To avoid this obligation, Amazon limited its physical facilities to a few states. However, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018 allowed states to require sales tax collection from online retailers, regardless of a physical presence. Consequently, Amazon now collects sales tax in all 45 states with a state sales tax, enabling the company to establish distribution centers nationwide.
Here are some interesting facts about Amazon’s warehouses, as revealed by the BigRentz study:
- The largest Amazon warehouse is a five-story facility covering 3.8 million square feet in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s approximately equivalent to 66.6 football fields.
- As of April 2021, nine out of the ten largest warehouses currently under construction in the U.S. belong to Amazon. Three of these warehouses, each spanning 3.8 million square feet or more, are being built in Detroit, Syracuse (New York), and Austin (Texas).
- Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are the five states without Amazon warehouses large enough to be included in the BigRentz list.
- South Dakota has the least amount of Amazon warehouse space, followed by Idaho and Nebraska.
By continually expanding its warehouse network, Amazon remains the top-ranking retailer in terms of online sales in North America. Walmart, Home Depot, Target, and Wayfair also hold prominent positions in this competitive landscape.