What is Amazon Fulfillment center? What is this Amazon?

What is Amazon Fulfillment center? What’s in a name? Learn answers to common questions about these unique facilities.
In the mid-1990s, the Amazon warehouse and its office were one and the same. A handful of employees and one lovable dog shared the Seattle space, along with shelves and shelves of books.

Over time, one warehouse became hundreds, and they are now called Amazon fulfilment centres. While they store millions of items and employ hundreds of thousands of people who seek warehouse jobs, Amazon fulfilment centres are a far cry from your typical warehouse. Read on to learn more about these facilities, Amazon warehouse jobs, and where to find Amazon fulfilment centre tours.

What is Amazon Fulfillment center?

The name reflects the function: Amazon fulfilment centres are charged with fulfiling customer orders. In other words, Amazon warehouses not only store products but also serve as distribution centres where associates pick, pack, and ship orders quickly and efficiently.

Amazon robotics, scanning machines, and computer systems in fulfilment centres can track millions of items in a day. While the word “fulfilment” refers to orders, these centres also fulfil career paths for many associates who participate in the Career Choice program. They also fulfil the vision of engineers and developers who innovate every day to make the work in fulfilment centres more efficient and constantly improve the way Amazon gets products to customers.

Amazon Fulfillment center

How many Amazon fulfilment centres are there, and where are they located?

Amazon operates more than 175 fulfilment centres around the world in more than 150 million square feet of space, the majority located across North America and Europe.

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How many Amazon warehouse jobs are there?

It’s easy to find roles at Amazon at just about any time of year, but the holidays are where all the investment, training and recruitment really come together to deliver smiles for customers. To learn more about available positions, visit www.amazon.jobs to see what it’s like working inside fulfilment centres and which career opportunities best fit certain skill sets.

There are many different types of jobs available, and Amazon has a £9.50 minimum wage (£10.50 in the London area). Choose from roles leading teams, IT and human resources support to picking, packing, and shipping customer orders, organising shipments and loading lorries.

What is it like inside an Amazon warehouse?

No matter the season, Amazon fulfilment centres are well ventilated and kept at the same comfortable temperature you’d find at home. Skylights combine with artificial lighting to keep the environment bright, while conveyance systems shuttle items across the building and boxes from packing stations to awaiting lorries.

Amazon Fulfillment center

Are fulfilment centres the only type of Amazon warehouse?

No, Amazon also operates sortation centres, where packages are distributed based on location and delivery speed, specialty centres designed for specific item categories or for seasonal use, and receive centres for popular items distributed throughout the network.

Dividing facilities by function allows Amazon to fulfil orders for products as big as a canoe or hot tub, or as quirky as a five-pound gummy bear or Halloween costume for your pet. Learn more about the types of Amazon buildings here.

How does an Amazon fulfillment center work?

Amazon’s fulfillment network is very intricate and sophisticated, but here is how it works as an Amazon seller using FBA.

  • Receiving and Storing Inventory: Products from various suppliers and sellers are delivered to the fulfillment centers. Upon arrival, the inventory is checked, counted, and sorted. It is then stored in designated areas within the warehouse. The storage locations are optimized for efficient retrieval based on factors like product size, popularity, and other logistical considerations.
  • Inventory Management: Amazon employs advanced technology and software systems to keep track of inventory levels, locations, and other important details. This ensures accurate and real-time information about the availability of products.
  • Picking: When a customer places an order, the picking process begins. Amazon uses a combination of human workers and robotics to fulfill orders.
  • Warehouse workers receive picking instructions on handheld devices or through wearable technology. They locate the items in the warehouse based on the instructions, pick them, and move them to the next stage.
  • Packing: Once the items are picked, they are brought to the packing area. Here, the items are carefully packaged based on their size and fragility.
  • Amazon’s packing process is designed to ensure that items are protected during shipping while minimizing the use of excessive packaging material.
  • Shipping: After packing, the orders are labelled and sorted based on shipping destinations and delivery options. Amazon has partnerships with various shipping carriers to ensure timely and reliable delivery to customers.
  • Returns Processing: Fulfillment centers also handle product returns. Items that customers return are inspected, evaluated for their condition, and either restocked or processed for disposal or liquidation.
  • Technology and Automation: Amazon has invested heavily in automation and robotics to improve the efficiency of its fulfillment centers. Robots assist in tasks like moving shelves of products to workers, optimizing the layout of the warehouse, and even assisting with sorting and packing in some cases.
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Amazon fulfillment centers are a critical part of the company’s operations. They help Amazon to process orders quickly and efficiently, and they help to ensure that customers receive their orders on time.

Benefits of using Amazon fulfillment centers

The biggest benefits are that you, as a seller, will not need to handle your own order fulfillment process. Once you ship your inventory to an Amazon fulfillment center, Amazon handles the rest.

All you need to do is focus on marketing and selling your products and continue shipping more inventory to Amazon.

Here are other benefits of using Amazon FBA:

  1. Prime Eligibility. When you use Amazon FBA, your products become eligible for Amazon Prime’s fast and free shipping, which can significantly boost your product visibility and sales. Prime members tend to prefer products that are eligible for Prime shipping.
  2. Fulfillment Expertise. Amazon is known for its efficient and reliable fulfillment services. By utilizing FBA, sellers can leverage Amazon’s expertise in inventory management, packing, and shipping, leading to better customer satisfaction and fewer logistical challenges.
  3. Customer Trust. When customers see that Amazon fulfills your products, it can enhance their trust in your products and brand, leading to higher conversion rates and repeat business.
  4. Customer Service. Amazon handles customer service inquiries related to shipping and returns for FBA orders. This reduces the burden on sellers’ customer support teams and ensures consistent and professional customer service experiences.
  5. Scalability. FBA allows sellers to scale their business without worrying about the logistics of storing, packing, and shipping products. As your sales volume increases, Amazon can handle the increased workload seamlessly.
  6. Storage Space Management. Amazon FBA helps optimize storage space by dynamically adjusting the amount of space your inventory requires. During peak seasons, you can utilize more space, and during slower periods, you can reduce your storage costs.
  7. Multichannel Fulfillment. Amazon FBA can also be used to fulfill orders from other sales channels, such as your own website or other ecommerce platforms such as Shopify. This gives you the flexibility to centralize your inventory management and fulfillment processes.
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Amazon Fulfillment center

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