Amazon plans new UK fulfilment centre

Amazon is to open its 13th UK fulfilment centre in Tilbury next year.

In a statement, Amazon said that it will be equipped with the “latest and most advanced Amazon Robotics technology which launched earlier this year in the UK at Amazon’s fulfilment centres in Dunstable and Doncaster”.

Amazon added: “The robots slide under a tower of shelves where products are stowed, lift it and move it through the fulfilment centre. Robots help speed order processing time and reduce walking time by moving the shelves to employees, reducing the time taken to stow items for sale or pick them for new customer orders. They also save space, allowing for 50 per cent more items to be stowed per square foot.”

John Tagawa, Amazon’s Vice President of UK Operations, commented: “We are excited to announce that we will be opening our 13th fulfilment centre in the UK in Tilbury in spring 2017 to enable us to continue to expand our product selection, support more third party sellers including small businesses with our fulfilment expertise and meet growing customer demand in the UK.”

Tagawa added “The Amazon teams are dedicated to innovating in our fulfilment centres to increase speed of delivery while enabling greater selection at lower costs for our customers.”

For Amazon one of its greatest costs is in human pickers, and using robotics will both increase reliability and reduce costs associated with its fulfilment centres. Where other online giants (notably Google) have been rather squeamish at the idea of robots ‘stealing jobs’ Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has been actively courting robotics experts at technology events.