JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The clock is ticking on holiday shopping as the countdown to Christmas continues.
On Wednesday, News4JAX got unprecedented access to the Amazon warehouse on Jacksonville’s Northside to see inside the mammoth operation.
Between the sea of yellow bins holding items you bought online to orange robots moving them around to the conveyance belts that crisscross this packaging factory, Amazon is a well-oiled machine.
Amazon senior operations manager Jennifer Martinez says there are 15 miles of conveyance in the building.
“It’s crazy,” said Martinez, who started nine years ago as a temporary worker for the holidays.
Through those 15 miles of conveyance, Amazon can push through up to a million packages a day. That’s the maximum.
Typically, the warehouse just south of Jacksonville International Airport pushes through 350,000 to 400,000 packages a day, but with the busy holiday season, it’s pushing out more than 700,000 packages a day.
“I think Santa is very appreciative to have us,” Martinez said.
She says time is critical at Amazon, which says it literally can have most packages in boxes and at the truck in an hour and a half — if it’s in the local facility.
If it’s not housed in Jacksonville, things can take a little longer from the moment you order a package on your phone or laptop. The website is usually quite specific on the arrival date and time.
To make this happen with the extra traffic, Amazon Jacksonville general manager Chris Tierney says they’ve hired around 800 extra workers.
“Normal, about 3,500 (employees). Right now, we’re a little over 4,300 (employees), so we’ve hired on 800 additional seasonal associates to help us during the holidays,” Tierney said.
So if you can’t always rely on Rudolph and the North Pole to get you your packages by Christmas Eve, just look to North Jacksonville, where Amazon picks up where Santa Claus leaves off.
And this is only one of seven Amazon facilities in Jacksonville. But the one near the airport on the Northside is the only one that has so many robotics.