Unless you have far more self-control than the vast majority of Americans, there’s a good chance that you bought something on Amazon at some point in the past week. As you might expect, this is the busiest time of the year for the online retailer, but can you imagine what it must be like inside one of the fulfillment centers while all of this is going on?
“Last year customers ordered 43 million items worldwide on Cyber Monday — that was 500 items per second,” Sarah Gelman, an Amazon spokesperson, told USA Today. “This year could surpass that.”
Stepping inside the 1.1 million square-foot facility, the first thing to draw your attention would be the freight trucks on the side of the building being unloaded by stockers who place the items on shelving units known as “pods.” Rather than arrange the items by category, the order is determined by which items needs to ship next.
You’re probably used to seeing warehouses with stacks of similar items from one end to the other, but all the computer needs to know is the order in which each item needs to be packed and shipped.
USA Today also noted in its report that the employees working at the facility on Cyber Monday appeared to be alert and motivated on the floor, as a supervisor ran a holiday trivia game to break up the work day. It might not sound like much, but with all the negative press surrounding Amazon recently, we’d like to believe that employee satisfaction has taken precedence.
You can read more about the process as well as watch a short video from within one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers on the USA Today website.