From clicking ‘Place Order’ to it arriving at your doorstep: The process at Amazon’s new fulfillment center

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s the largest building in Eastern Washington and it’s hard to miss driving on I-90. 

The Amazon fulfillment center in Spokane went online several weeks ago. 2,600 workers and thousands of robots are packing and shipping items to homes around the country. 

When you see all the systems on conveyor belts, it’s hard to believe the building went up in just two years. 

The center is 640,000 square feet. To put that into perspective, you could fit 11 football fields on the first floor alone. 

Computers tell workers what boxes to use, and the machine even cuts the exact amount of tape to get the job done. 

“Just being part of that process where we finally close the box and tell the customer this package is on the way, it is my favorite part of the building,” said Andy Parra, director of operations. 

Door to door, he’s in charge of the facility and the 40 million items that can be stored there. From headphones, to hand soap. 

Filing orders efficiently is key. Barcodes on the ground tell robots where to go. Employees then pick out items and drop them into yellow bins. 

Thirteen miles worth of conveyor systems take each bin where it needs to go. Items are boxed and sorted for shipping within minutes. 

More people are shopping online during the pandemic, and Amazon is taking extra steps to protect employees. 

“My biggest promise to our associates as the director is to keep them safe,” said Parra. “We’ll provide the resources and the training then will help you stay safe when you do your job here.

Employees go through temperature check stations at the start of each shift. They also wear masks, and wipe down work stations several times a day. 

The fulfillment center is still hiring around 400 more associates. Pay starts at $15 an hour.

READ: The Amazon fulfillment center on West Plains is officially open