Amazon has been forced to shut down its Sydney operations after a coronavirus outbreak at its chief fulfillment centre.
Amazon’s facility in Moorebank, in south-west Sydney, has been temporarily closed after two workers tested positive to Covid-19 on the weekend.
NSW recorded its highest daily caseload since April last year on the weekend as health authorities battled with the rapid spread of the virus across south-western Sydney.
The state’s outbreak has also now spread to the regions, with a case detected in Goulburn, about 200km from Sydney.
Amazon opened the 44,000sq m fulfilment centre in Moorebank in 2018, its second in Australia, shortly after opening its 24,000sq m Melbourne fulfillment centre in Dandenong—a former Bunnings distribution centre it picked up from Melbourne’s Pellicano family, a year earlier.
The much larger Sydney distribution hub comprises two high-clearance warehouses at 7-21 Centenary Avenue.
The premises, stocked with half-a-million products and with a pool of more than 100 casual workers, is leased from industrial heavyweight Goodman Group. It is now in the process of being deep cleaned.
The online giant, founded by Jeff Bezos, stocks thousands of items under a business model that delivers them as quickly as possible to local customers.
The fulfillment centres allow sellers to store their products, at a cost, while Amazon picks, packs and ships the items to customers when something is sold.
Amazon Australia director of operations Craig Fuller said the company was working with NSW Health and following their guidance.
“We are supporting two team members as they isolate themselves at home,” Fuller said.
“The safety of our people remains our highest priority and we have taken prompt, proactive measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site.”
Fuller said that while Amazon had paused operations at Moorebank, the rest of their Sydney sites continued to operate with the majority of orders able to be fulfilled from other sites.
Amazon currently has four fulfillment centres in Australia, in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane, with a second centres planned for Melbourne and Sydney.