What is larger than 14 football fields, has twice as many robots as human workers, and handles 50% more inventory than traditional warehouses? – Amazon’s first New York City distribution center.
Located in Staten Island, this urban fulfillment center can package more than one million items a day during its busiest period even though the site is 20% smaller than a typical Amazon fulfillment center.
In urban settings, space must be used with military precision combined with automation that allows for building up rather than spreading out. Computerized pickers that are approximately the size of a robotic vacuum, pick up inventory that is stored on shelves and then deliver the items to a human associate at a workstation. This limits the number of steps an individual has to take and allows storage of more goods in a robot-only section of the fulfillment center.
Smaller warehouse and fulfillment sites is a good example of how online sales are reshaping logistics in the US.