Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-09-27 05:00:00 –
At Amazon’s delivery warehouse behind Jerry’s Nugget in North Las Vegas, drivers pull vans into a canopy loading area and the hazard lights on each van flash.
When you drive around the corner to fit in the designated parking space, the driver will honk your vehicle to let you know that you are ready to pick up your luggage.
This September morning was near 9:30 am. This is one of the scheduled daily times when the van will be loaded. Soon, they will deliver thousands of packages to homes, businesses, and Amazon Lockers located throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
The process of how a company manages quick deliveries from click to door step is a complex web of knowledgeable quotes, meticulous planning, and ubiquitous ability to adapt.
In a 145,000-square-foot warehouse, one of the three Amazon “last mile” fulfillment facilities in the valley, dozens of employees sort items into different totes depending on where they’re heading.
It’s important to note that delivering packages to Las Vegas destinations is certainly unique compared to other US cities, officials say.
“One of the difficulties of being in Las Vegas is delivering to the Strip,” said Darryl Dessimone, operations manager for this North Las Vegas warehouse. “If you’ve been in Las Vegas for a few days and you forget something or need something, you can have it delivered to your hotel on the Strip. It will be delivered to your hotel email room. If so, the first place to go is the mail room. “
Amazon, a large Seattle-based logistics and cloud computing company that generated nearly $ 8 billion in net revenue in the second quarter of this year, sold hundreds of millions of items to people in more than 180 countries. I am.
Nevada has 13 operating facilities, including a huge 855,000-square-foot warehouse near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with approximately 4,500 employees. Officials said the facility (LAS7) is loading 4 million different items a week. During the holiday season, that number will increase by 50%.
Building general manager Tom Smotrich said knowing what to stock was a constant battle with knowledgeable estimates. About half of the inventory that arrives at this fulfillment center comes from many Amazon retail partners. The other half comes from other fulfillment centers across the country.
“We can use forecast trends to bring our products to closer markets,” says Smotrich. “If the inventory level for a particular product goes down, it may be in stock in another warehouse that we have access to. We are very aggressive.”
Inside the LAS7 is a dazzling array of stacked containers close to 10 feet high, with separate slots inside for various items. Thousands of containers are lined up by a robotic system, making it look like a handleless push lawn mower. It sits still until you need to add it to a container or start the process of moving to the road.
The robot system has sensors so they do not collide with each other. No one else can enter the area where the robot moves, except for a robot technician who is trained to wear a backpack with sensors and not be hit. Employees who classify products by adding them to or removing them from the container are called stowers and pickers.
Every item or container has a scannable barcode, so the robot knows which container is best based on the size and weight of the product, the available space, and the orientation of the item. increase.
“In traditional non-Amazon warehouses, products are usually categorized by a variety of products, such as electronics and household items,” says Smotrich. “We really aim to maximize the space in the cube. We will maximize the space in each bin.”
Once you have sorted and selected the items, you need to package them. LAS7 will be attended by Marisol LaRue and her packer colleague.
This afternoon, Larou received the product on the conveyor line. Based on what type of product it was, and based on what Amazon’s algorithm told her, she put the item in one of about 12 different types of boxes. Boxes that weigh more than 5 pounds will have a “heavy” sticker on them. Another facility handles boxes over £ 25.
There seems to be a reason behind every step in the process. Take the tape from the box. The facility has a large roll and comes with a water tank that provides moisture to rejuvenate the stickiness.
“If you get the package from Amazon, you may find it a bit difficult to disassemble,” Smotrich said. “The tape really seals the package well.”
You also have the option of packaging the item in an envelope. This is achieved by the machine spitting out the exact length of tape needed for a particular box to indicate if bubble wrap is needed.
When the package is labeled and ready to move again, it goes through a scanning, labeling, applying, and manifest process that Amazon calls SLAM. At this stop on the conveyor belt, the package is scanned to ensure that the correct product with the correct weight is inside. The system then determines the best shipping route for the package before applying the final label.
The manifest is basically the final check from the automatic scanner, making sure there are no issues. If something goes wrong, the package is set aside for employees called “problem solvers.” Employees move a computer-equipped cart around the warehouse.
From there, all luggage is headed to the loading dock, where it is trucked to another fulfillment center or last mile facility, such as next to the Jerry’s Nugget.
Returning to the North Las Vegas facility, DeSimone stood near where the van continued to be pulled into place for a 9:30 am pickup. In the distance, he pointed out a signal at an important entrance to the van grounds.
Wright had a green 5-second timer when turning right. It wasn’t going to cut it because of Amazon’s schedule, so the company lobbied into the city of North Las Vegas to extend Wright’s time.
It may seem trivial, but 5 seconds is very important on Amazon’s Super Highway.
“There’s a lot of information to sift to make timely decisions,” says De Simone. “You need to decide what the most important information is and act on it.”
This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.