Amazon makes major investment in Detroit infrastructure

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon plans on opening five new buildings to support operations in the metro Detroit area closer to customers.

The sites are expected to create more than 2,000 permanent full- and part-time jobs. On one of the five new sites, Amazon plans to open a new 823,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment center in Detroit, creating 1,200 new full-time jobs when it launches in 2021. The site will be the fourth fulfillment center in the state using Amazon robotics to help associates pick, pack and ship smaller items to customers.

The other four sites include a same-day facility, XL fulfillment center and two sortation centers that support fulfillment of large products and “middle mile,” or the process of transporting packages between Amazon sites before last-mile delivery for customers. In 2021, Amazon’s new fulfillment and sortation centers in Detroit include:
•    Detroit – Amazon robotics fulfillment center.
•    Hazel Park – Sub-same-day fulfillment center.
•    Pinnacle Park – Amazon “XLFC” fulfillment center and Amazon sort center.
•    Plymouth – Amazon sort center.
•    Pontiac – Amazon robotics fulfillment center.

Amazon currently operates 10 sites in Detroit that support customer fulfillment and delivery operations, including four facilities that launched in 2020. Packages are shipped to sort centers from Amazon Air hubs, gateways, and fulfillment centers to be sorted by ZIP code before being transported to delivery stations or last-mile delivery partners for customer delivery. 

“We’re excited to be expanding our network to better serve our customers in the great city of Detroit,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s VP of global customer fulfillment. “We are grateful for the strong support we’ve received from local and state leaders as we broaden our footprint throughout Michigan. We look forward to bringing more than 2,000 good jobs to metro Detroit and contributing positively to the community.”

During 2020, Amazon invested over $2.5 million in 2020 to multiple nonprofit organizations in the metro Detroit region. Most recently, Amazon donated $100,000 to the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) to help the district enhance its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs and expand its resources. Beyond the donation, Amazon plans to support the school’s STEM programs with hands-on learning and mentorship opportunities in the coming year.

Since 2010, Amazon says it has created more than 13,500 jobs in Michigan and invested more than $2.5 billion across the state, including infrastructure and compensation to its employees. According to Amazon, its investments have contributed more than $2.1 billion in GDP to the Michigan economy and have helped create over 10,000 indirect jobs on top of Amazon’s direct hires – from jobs in construction and logistics to professional services. More than 42,000 independent authors and small and medium businesses in Michigan are selling to customers in Amazon’s store.