BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Cyber Monday has holiday shoppers clicking away and, at the other end, thousands of workers rushing to fill those orders.
Alex DeMetrick has a look at what it’s like at the other end of the internet.READ MORE: 3 Dead In Domestic-Related Laurel Shooting, Child Hospitalized
Amazon calls it a fulfillment center and the one just over the Maryland line in Middletown (Delaware) is big.
“It is 1.2 million square feet and there’s actually eight miles of conveyor in the building,” said general manager Bimal Patel.
And they’re all moving at maximum speed. Cyber Monday is Amazon’s busiest day of the year. Company-wide last year, it filled nearly 37 million orders.
“Our customers ordered 426 [items] per second so that was record-breaking for us and we anticipate this year is going to be even bigger,” said Amazon spokesperson Kiesha Cochran.
It’s where virtual online shopping meets a physical assembly line of machines and people.
Here’s how it works.
“I’m a picker. When a customer clicks on the mouse at home, an order comes through on my handheld I carry around. I go off into the shelves, find a nice quality item for you, put it in a tote, give it to our packaging department,” said Ben Fitzpatrick, Amazon associate.READ MORE: DC Michelin Star Restaurant Little Pearl Temporarily Closing In Part Due To Cicada Season
You don’t have to be a big retailer to move product here.
“It’s helped our business grow a great deal over the past few years,” said Jennifer McMillan.
McMillan started “Shop Your Pants Off” on her computer. She buys product and ships it here, selling well outside her Delaware home.
“Amazon expanded me to a larger customer base than I can acquire locally and it’s turned our online hobby into a full-time business for both myself and my husband,” she said.
If the point of all this is fulfilling customers’ orders, it’s also fulfilling the need for work. The 2,000 full-time employees are joined by thousands of seasonal workers.
“This building’s done good things for this town and the area for sure,” Fitzpatrick said.
Moving merchandise around the world.
Amazon expects more orders this Cyber Monday because people have more ways of connecting to the internet.MORE NEWS: Inside The Case: How Federal Agents Built Their Investigation Into Catherine Pugh's 'Healthy Holly' Book Scandal
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