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Amazon opens new Midwest sortation center

Amazon is building infrastructure to help keep packages moving quickly through its supply chain.

Amazon’s newest supply chain facility is located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

The e-tail giant is officially operating a new sortation center in Maple Grove, Minn. Workers at the facility sort and prepare packages for delivery in an effort to provide faster service for customers. The center received its first shipment on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021.

Associates have spent the past couple of weeks ramping up operations while receiving, storing and sending out packages for delivery. While the facility increases its production, it will also continue hiring hundreds of workers to help meet customer orders, with full-time, part-time and “flex” employment shifts available to meet the unique needs of every prospective employee.

New hires are eligible for $3,000 signing bonuses and can earn more than $18/hour, and full-time employees are immediately provided with full benefits which include medical, dental, and a 50% match on 401k plans. Within 90 days of their start date, new hires also become eligible for Amazon’s Career Choice program, in which the company pays for full college tuition.

In response to continuing global supply chain disruptions, Amazon says it has hired more employees and bolstered its technology and transportation capabilities to create a supply chain environment focused on safety, speed, and efficiency. Amazon is implementing technology to better forecast customer demand, and working more closely with its vendors and selling partners to place products in fulfillment locations close to customers.

In addition to its hiring blitz for 125,000 new supply chain employees, Amazon has opened more than 250 new fulfillment centers, sortation centers, regional air hubs, and delivery stations in the U.S during 2021, including over 100 new buildings in September  2021 alone.

Two of Amazon’s chief competitors are also bulking up their supply chain infrastructure in the face of continued disruption with the holidays fast approaching. Walmart and Target have also both announced programs specifically designed to ensure smooth supply chain function even as ports back up and manufacturing capacity falls short of consumer demand.

“We are thrilled to open this facility in the North Metro, further increasing the speed of our delivery network,” said Amazon site leader Tommy Johns. “Our location was chosen based on data and customer needs, and we’re proud to be a part of Maple Grove, as both a partner and employer. We bring Amazon’s state-of-the-art technology and commitment to worker safety to the region, and we look forward to growing alongside our community.”

Between 2010 and 2020, Amazon says it created more than 6,500 jobs in Minnesota and invested more than $3 billion across the state, including infrastructure and compensation to its employees. According to Amazon, these investments have contributed an additional $3 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) to the Minnesota economy and have helped create over 9,000 indirect jobs on top of Amazon’s direct hires. In addition, more than 21,000 independent authors and small and medium businesses in the state are selling to customers in Amazon’s store, which the company says creates thousands of additional jobs across the state.

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