Advertisement
10/25/2021

Amazon reinforces supply chain to meet holiday demand

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Amazon is taking a number of steps to keep its supply chain flowing for the holidays.

Amazon has increased ports of entry across its network by 50% as part of investments  across its supply chain to ensure product availability during the holiday season.

In response to continuing global supply chain disruptions, the e-tail giant 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. The efforts have positioned Amazon to “get customers what they want, when they want it, wherever they are this holiday season," according to the company.

In addition to increasing ports of entry across its network by 50%, Amazon has doubled its container processing capacity and expanded its ocean freight carrier network partnerships to secure committed capacity into critical ports within its network.  Later in the holiday season, Amazon expects to have more than 85 aircraft in its fleet to help ensure ample capacity to transport customer packages across longer distances in shorter timeframes.

[Read more: Port congestion slowing pace of retail imports]

Other supply chain infrastructure assets Amazon is leveraging for the holiday season include:

  • The Amazon Freight network operates a pool of more than 50,000 trailers, operated tens of thousands of small businesses, which haul freight across the world.
  • Amazon has more than 800 delivery stations globally, with a delivery of more than 260,000 drivers worldwide across its Delivery Service Partner program, supported by hundreds of thousands more Amazon Flex contract drivers.
  • Last-minute shoppers will have access to millions of items available with faster than same-day delivery, with orders arriving in as fast as five hours from click to doorstep in 15 metro areas.

In addition, 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 alone.

 

Two of the company’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.

“At Amazon, preparation for the holiday season begins on January 1,” John Felton, senior VP, global delivery services, Amazon, said in a corporate blog post. “From that moment on, our teams work hard to meet our customers’ needs for the holidays ahead. We’ve hired even more people and invested in technology to help us better predict what products our customers will want—and where and when they’ll want to receive them.

“We’ve also continued to invest in our transportation capabilities, creating a supply chain that is built for an environment where safety, speed, and efficiency are of the essence,” Felton said in the post. “Our teams have been hard at work for months, focusing on capacity and demand planning to balance our customers’ needs against any supply chain or transportation challenges that may occur. While we are always investing in our supply chain and transportation network, we have done even more this year to ensure we don’t let recent supply-chain constraints impact the Amazon experience for our customers.”