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January 31, 2013

Amazon set for an expansion

Jeffersonville facility is Amazon’s largest in North America

JEFFERSONVILLE — Just as quickly as it was constructed and launched operations, the Amazon.com Inc. distribution center is set for an expansion.

The 1-million-square-foot Amazon.com facility off Ind. 62 in the River Ridge Commerce Center is set to fill out the rest of its capacity early this summer. Amazon shipped its first item out of the center in mid-October, about six months after the facility broke ground and has been operating in about two-thirds of the building.

With the expansion, the facility that primarily ships apparel, watches and jewelry, shoes and clothing will install a mirror image of what is already functioning on the east side of the warehouse and open up the same operation on the west side.

“We’re growing the operation in 2013, which is pretty exciting because we’re going to bring even more jobs,” said Greg Walsh, general manager of the Jeffersonville fulfillment center. “We started off with about 900 full-time associates, we’re over 1,100 now, and we’ll continue on that track of growth.”

Walsh could not provide an exact number of how many employees will be added to the center and only said it will be “hundreds more.”

 

WHAT’S INSIDE

While the Jeffersonville Amazon location has a similar footprint to other such centers operated by the company, inside it’s one of the company’s largest in the world.

“This is the largest fulfillment center in North America,” Walsh said. “That’s because the module here — where we stow and pick products — is four levels.”

He said most of the centers only have three levels, including the main floor of the building.

Within the Jeffersonville distribution center, millions of items are stocked on shelves in what Amazon calls its “pick area” at the far end of the building. A series of loading docks line the back wall in the center on the main floor. Near the back of the center, on the east side, there is a designated area to receive and sort packages that are arriving. Adjacent to the receiving area is an outgoing shipping dock.

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Shelbe Dorman, right, and Taylor Wirth hug following their 2013 commencement ceremony at New Albany High School.

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