BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been a record breaking year for online retailers.
WJZ’s Kimberly Eiten went behind the scenes at an Amazon Fulfillment Center to show shoppers what happens after they click the buy button.
As robots and employees work together to pack up thousands of items at a time, you can hear the sounds of Cyber Monday in motion. With tens of millions of presents passing through the hands of Amazon employees this holiday season, it’s not quite Santa’s workshop, but it’s pretty close.
It’s a constant race to get online orders sorted, packaged, and shipped out by the big day.
“It’s just a regular day to me, just picking more items,” LaPorche Lynch said. [Reporter: “How many orders do you think you fill a day?”] “A lot. [Reporter: “Like, thousands?] “Yes,” Lynch added.
With 14 miles of conveyor belts and tens of millions of products in this building, one Amazon official says the key to filling orders fast is organized chaos.
“We have found the most efficient way to actually store our items, is to do it randomly,” Amanda Ip said.
Meaning, toothpaste might sit next to gingerbread houses, or next to the ultra popular gift this season, the Amazon Echo Dot.
It’s a way to make sure computers can quickly differentiate products, pulling them off the shelves and sending them down the line to their human co-workers.
“The robots are working in symphony with our thousands of associates here, picking, packing and getting orders shipped out for super fast delivery,” Ip added.
Super fast is super important, because 64 million orders came in last Cyber Monday, and a 17% sales increase is expected this year.
“It’s 740 items per second. Astounding numbers,” Ip said. “And, if Black Friday is any indication, we expect customers to buy lots this Cyber Monday, as well as the entire holiday season.”
And, aside from presents, Amazon is bringing thousands of jobs to Baltimore this holiday season. A lot of those seasonal employees will have the chance to go full-time in the new year.
Baltimore is one of 25 Amazon locations to use robots in their warehouse.