Amazon Plans Australia’s First Robot Warehouse


Amazon has inked a 20-year lease with ASX-listed groups Goodman and Brickworks to open Australia’s first robotic fulfilment centre at the joint venture’s Oakdale West industrial estate in Western Sydney.

The fully-automated, four-level warehouse is a sizeable 200,000sq m—about the size of Taronga Park Zoo—and will house up to 11 million items distributed by 2000-odd robots.

Goodman and Brickworks received masterplan approval for the 89-hectare industrial estate in September, finalising development plans for the multi-level Amazon warehouse in April.

Amazon is the second tenant the joint venture has signed at Oakdale West, after nabbing Coles for a state-of-the-art warehouse last year. Coles’ tenancy is almost entirely automated with shuttle and conveyor belt technology and represents a near-$1 billion investment in automation by the supermarket chain.

Related: Goodman Deal Sees Amazon Expand Into Queensland

Amazon runs 175 fulfilment centres worldwide, with 50 of them automated by robotic technology. The robots pick up heavier items, carrying pods of inventory and transporting pallets for the efficient, same-day delivery Amazon promises its customers.

Amazon director of operations Craig Fuller said that the facility will more than double the group’s Australian footprint.

Amazon’s investment in the distribution facility, which sits on a 150,000sq m site with 1,111 car parks, will total more than $500 million, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed.

Amazon has also expanded into Queensland, signing on to a 40,000sq m Goodman Group site in Brisbane in June. Goodman now has two Sydney warehouses and one Brisbane facility operated by Amazon in its portfolio.

▲ Amazon will invest $500 million in its new Western Sydney distribution centre (pictured).

The increase in e-commerce post-coronavirus has boosted demand in the industrial sector, Brickworks managing director Lindsay Partridge told investors at a trading update in June.

“Accelerated trends we’ve seen [in] online shopping is playing right into the hands of our property trust, so I think we’ll see increased demand in the area,” Partridge said.

Brickworks sold the estate in Horsley Park into the industrial vehicle established by a 50-50 joint venture with Goodman Group in 2016.

Partridge said that the group has received approval for subdivisions to the east of Oakdale West, which it plans to sell into the trust.

The brick manufacturer has a $125 million brick plant under way at Horsley Park and says the remaining land provides a development pipeline of more than five years.

▲ Amazon’s Kiva robot.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that Amazon’s distribution centre in Kemps Creek will create more than 1,500 jobs.

“This important commitment by one of the world’s leading multinationals highlights Western Sydney’s growing stature as a strong investment destination,” Berejiklian said.

CBRE brokered the deal for Amazon and Goodman. The high-tech facility is slated to open in the second half of 2021.


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