With few clicks of a button, Amazon Prime members with a premium subscription almost expeditiously receive parcels in front of their doorstep. With the usage of advanced technology, Amazon makes high-speed delivery possible, which fascinates online shoppers.
Established in 2012 as the first in California, Amazon Fulfilment Center (ONT2) in San Bernardino is one of 175 fulfillment centers worldwide. These centers are the heart of Amazon’s dynamic movement, where customers’ orders are processed, packed, and shipped. With 1.2 million square feet of space, there are three stories with approximately 2,000 dedicated associates, 10 miles of swift conveyor belts, and 40,000 yellow totes that carry customers’ items. As Amazon started advancing, they were able to settle 15 other equally substantial centers, just in San Bernardino, that deal with different sized objects. Without any use of robots, Ontario 2 (ONT2) building only handles small to medium-sized items.
Employee Clinton Y. said, “Amazon [does] not store items in an organized fashion but rather randomly on shelves.”
Even though there is enough space to fit 20 football fields, Amazon must stay efficient by storing all different items randomly on barcoded shelves, reducing congestion and saving an abundance of space. Each picker associate has a designated area to pull things off the shelves by reading a list of orders with a picture and specific details on their chunky scanners. After locating the item, the totes hold a group of customer’s requests, which is sent down a conveyor belt and into a packing line.
“When Prime Day comes, all of the packing stations will be running,” said Clinton.
As the packers scan the items, the computer recognizes it, displays the type of box, and dispenses the length of tape and label to utilize when packing. Swiftly, the packer packs a customer’s order and slides it onto another conveyer belt, which goes to the SLAM Machine. The machine scans a product, slaps a shipping label onto the box, and monitors any suspicious packages before it leaves to the shipping trucks while moving at a top speed of 20 miles per hour.
Clinton said, “[Amazon] takes care of its employees.”
For the employees, the busy, stressful work comes with many benefits. With a minimum 15-dollar hourly wage, associates can receive free education by college professors to further explore other professional careers, free self-care tools, free medical care at a newly created medical facility just for Amazon employees, and reduce priced retirement saving 401(k) plan.
Visitor Sam B. said, “It is amazing how much Amazon is giving back to the community.”
With an abundance of profit earned, Amazon shows benevolence towards their community through their “Amazon Goes Gold” program. Their main goal is to inspire the youth community, especially those with disabilities, by making their wishes come true and giving exclusive tours just for him or her.
While San Bernadino’s Ontario 2 facility runs on a non-robotic layout, many other newly created warehouses throughout the globe effectively use robots to aid Amazon associates through hard work. For individuals that have more interest in Amazon’s technology, selected facilities offer free one hour tours by reserving at https://www.aboutamazon.com/amazon-fulfillment-center-tours/. On the ground of Ontario 2, the mission statement “Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History.” truly inspires all employees to come to work with joy and ambition.
Shaun Baek, Grade 10
Portola High School