The rapid growth of Amazon’s proprietary logistics operation reportedly requires an unusual means of storing and sorting inventory.
According to Business Insider
, Amazon is using fabric tents to store and sort packages which drivers then load and take to their delivery destinations. The tents, constructed of fabric over steel beams, measure between 9,000 sq. ft. and 18,000 sq. ft. and have up to 300 people working in them. There is no water or sewer hookup – bathroom facilities are located in nearby trailers.
The tents, which are not meant to serve as permanent delivery stations, can be put up within weeks, enabling Amazon to rapidly introduce its own delivery service (usually executed with third-party logistics partners) in new markets. Amazon is attempting to stay competitive with UPS, FedEx, and USPS in providing last-mile delivery of packages.
According to the Memphis Daily News
, a 16,575-sq.-ft. delivery station tent recently erected in Memphis, Tenn., cost $595,000 to construct.