Go inside Amazon's newest fulfillment center in Jacksonville

News4Jax, NE Florida leaders get behind-the-scenes look at Northside facility

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The world’s largest internet retailer on Friday showed off its newest facility in Jacksonville.

News4Jax got to go behind closed doors of the 855,000-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center near the Jacksonville International Airport on the city's Northside.

The center, which is the third Amazon location in Jacksonville, opened on Pecan Park Road in August. It helps get online orders to homes faster as it offers same-day shipping. 

The new center named JAX2 stores and ships everything from baby products to books to electronics, allowing local online buyers to order thousands of items with the click of a button. Amazon employees and robots on the city's Northside will pack them up, ship them off and have them delivered to the online buyer's doorstep, sometimes, the very same day.

On Friday afternoon, Northeast Florida lawmakers and business leaders also go to go inside the operation and its high-tech highway of 12 miles of conveyor belts.

"That box that you just packed is going on the conveyor," Amazon JAX2 General Manager Bernard Schmidt explained. 

Schmidt gave U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, Mayor Lenny Curry and the Jacksonville City Council an all-access tour.

"It is just a big plus, not just for Jacksonville, but I would say for all of Northeast Florida," Rutherford said.

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IMAGES: Behind-the-scenes look at Amazon fulfillment center on Northside

Amazon was a big get for the River City, and was years in the making.

"These things, always, are a challenge. Cities are, literally, just like the marketplace. You're competing against other cities," Curry said. "It demonstrates the city's commitment to economic opportunity all over the city."

Originally called "Project Rex," city and state leaders offered more than $18 million in economic incentives to get the online giant to Jacksonville.

"We are very proud in terms of how we are able to support the Jacksonville community," Schmidt said.

While state-of-the-art robots do a lot of the heavy lifting, company executives said, the center supports more than 2,000 full-time employees with competitive pay and good benefits.

"Listen, when people have good paying jobs, there's nothing that reduces crime more than good paying job," Rutherford said.

And they're doing it one package at a time.

Amazon currently has 10 facilities in the state of Florida, which have a combined more than 5 million square feet of floor space -- the equivalent of nearly 95 football fields.

According to the company, it's invested $2 billion in the Sunshine State.

About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.