On September 21, 2016 Amazon opened a 1.7 million square foot fulfillment center in Fall River, Massachusetts, better known to Amazon’s associates as BOS 7. The abbreviation derives from the closest international airport and employs approximately 1,200 people. There are 23 Amazon sites in the country that allow tours, but the BOS 7 facility is the only one that is considered to be a non-sortable fulfillment center. The Teikametrics team recently had the unique opportunity to visit the facility to better understand what happens when customers confirm their orders on Amazon.com. We’ve taken some of the key Teikaways from our trip and summarized them for you here!
Behind the Scenes of an Amazon Fulfillment Center
Sortable fulfillment centers rely more heavily on robots to pick, pack, and ship customer orders, whereas non-sortable centers are for over-sized items. This means Amazon associates pick, pack, and ship items that are bulky or larger in size. Specifically, BOS 7 sells a wide assortment of rugs, curtain rods and fishing poles which are harder to store and sometimes require special attention to box. We learned that every day about 30,000 packages are shipped from the Fall River center alone.
There are a few primary functions for Amazon associates at BOS 7: receiver, stower, picker, packer or a ship dock worker. Receivers intake goods from manufacturers and enter the orders into the system. Stowers are responsible for picking up goods using forklifts and stowing them into an empty unit of shelving randomly determined by the computer. Interestingly, stowing items randomly helps saves time and increase overall efficiency.
When a customer places an order, a picker is notified and they are given the location of that product. They then locate the product and place it into their baskets. The goods are then packaged and taped shut via robots, and conveyor belts deliver the products onto loading trucks, where workers ensure the right packages are loaded into the right trucks.
Going Beyond Advertising
While advertising on Amazon is what we help sellers with every day, it was extremely exciting to see this late stage of the Amazon buying journey firsthand. Don’t miss our hearing our team members talk about the experience in the video below!
We would highly recommend touring an Amazon Fulfillment center. It is incredible to see the sheer size, volume, and scale of Amazon’s inventory operations in person, and allows you truly better understand how Amazon is able to outpace traditional retailers and service its customers. Overall, it was an extremely pleasant and eye-opening experience to tour the facility and engage directly with Amazon associates. To schedule your own tour at the Fall River Amazon Fulfillment Center, click here.