9 March 2018
A group of Harper Adams University Business students travelled to the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Rugeley, Staffordshire, to have a tour and learn about the facility.
One of the students, Emily Moore, said: “It was really interesting to find out what happens between clicking buy on your computer and the package arriving at your house, as there’s actually a lot more work involved than you would think!
“Interestingly, Amazon call their distribution centres ‘fulfilment centres’ as they’re constantly aiming to fulfil their customers’ needs and wants.
“The centre at Rugeley is 750,000 square metres and contains 22 million items.
“We passed various vending machines throughout the warehouse, but instead of chocolate bars, they contained protective equipment.
“We got to look through shelves full of products and it was interesting to find out that the products are stored randomly with barcodes on the shelves to identify where the products are.
“The employees, known as ‘pickers’, go and select products for various orders and place them into black boxes. These boxes are placed onto conveyor belts and taken down to the packing areas.
“Amazingly there’re ten miles of conveyor belts across the warehouse with various sized Amazon parcels flying around everywhere. It’s strangely therapeutic watching the parcels zoom along the conveyor belts and down into various bins. They’re packing customers’ orders 22 hours a day.
“We learnt that there are various distribution centres around the country, and the city centre ones in particular try to compete to get the quickest delivery time. The record is currently held by one of the centres in Birmingham with a time of 13 minutes between the person clicking to buy and their package arriving on their doorstep!
“It was definitely a very insightful, worthwhile trip.”
Read Emily’s blog here.