The Southern Hemisphere’s first Amazon Robotics fulfilment centre is on schedule to be finished by the end of the year, the company announced yesterday.
The massive warehouse, in Western Sydney, is close to passing a milestone with the building’s shell nearly complete.
Located at Goodman and Brickworks’ Oakdale West Industrial Estate, the fulfilment centre—the largest warehouse built in Australia—spans 200,000sq m across four levels, equivalent to 24 rugby league fields.
So far more than 1400 people have worked on the project, which includes the erection of the 13,500 tonne Australian steel frame (more than the steel used for Sydney Olympic Stadium) erected using 200,000 nuts and bolts.
From Wednesday, around 300 more contractors will begin the fit-out of the giant warehouse, including the installation of the conveyer belt and robotics equipment.
The fulfilment centre will ultimately house up to 11 million items and be equipped with the Amazon Robotics technology to “better assist employees and serve customers, as well as contributing to the company’s efforts to continue improving selection and delivery experience for its customers around Australia”, a spokesperson said.
More than 1500 jobs will be created by the facility, the company said.
“This will be our fifth fulfilment centre and will effectively double our operational footprint in Australia, providing our customers with wider selection and faster delivery when ordering via Amazon.com.au,” Amazon Australia director of operations Craig Fuller said.
Goodman general manager Jason Little said the development of this fulfilment centre “sees Goodman continue to deliver our global strategy of providing essential infrastructure to support the digital economy, and to meet the increasing demand for strategically located logistics space with easy access to large consumer markets”.
“Our $150-million investment in roads and infrastructure will create road capacity and better access to services, building on outer-western Sydney as a key area for logistics and transportation,” he said.
When it opens, the Amazon Robotics centre will offer a range of jobs ranging from IT, HR and robotics professionals, to associates who will work collaboratively with robots, to pick, pack and ship smaller items such as books, beauty products, electronics and toys to customers.
Robots work collaboratively with employees by moving the pods of inventory to them, reducing the time and effort that would otherwise be required for the employee to stow items for sale or pick them for new customer orders.
They also save space, allowing for 50 per cent more items to be stowed per square metre which in turn allows for increased product selection.
The robotics facility will be Amazon’s second fulfilment centre in western Sydney, and fifth in Australia, increasing the company’s capacity to fulfil customer orders around the country.
Amazon worked with Goodman Group and its joint venture partner Brickworks to secure the site and Goodman is managing development of the facility.
Amazon.com.au launched in Australia in December 2017 and now offers customers 125 million products across 31 different categories.
Amazon Robotics adds to Amazon’s existing network of four Australian fulfilment centres launched in Dandenong South, Melbourne in December 2017, followed by Moorebank, Sydney in August 2018, Perth’s Airport Precinct in November 2019 and most recently Lytton, Brisbane in late 2020.