Amazon has confirmed plans to build Australia’s largest warehouse, one which will put a fleet of robots to work in the Melbourne suburb of Craigieburn.
The automated fulfilment centre, which at 209,000 square metres will be the size of 11 MCGs, will be 830 square metres larger than Amazon’s robotic fulfilment centre in Kemps Creek, Western Sydney, which was its first such Australian centre. The new site is scheduled to open in 2025.
As with the Kemps Creek site, the Craigieburn facility will have robots working alongside humans. The robots will collect stock from around the warehouse and bring it to employees so they can prepare packages for shipment.
“Instead of the associate going to the items, the items are coming to the associate. That helps speed [up] order processing time,” Amazon Australia country manager Janet Menzies said.
The investment in the robotics site is another sign that the e-commerce giant, which has poured $8.4 billion into its Australian operations since its launch here, is taking a long-term view of the local retail market.
Amazon has been upbeat about its growth opportunities in Australia, despite a deluge of data that suggests household spending is contracting in the face of surging living costs.
Analysts from investment and advisory group Jarden predicted this year that the total value of merchandise sold on Amazon in Australia would hit $5 billion in 2024.
Menzies said last month that the company has experienced a jump in subscription orders for everyday grocery items. It was also upbeat about its July Prime Day sales event.
Amazon shares are up by about 12 per cent over the past month. The stock surged after the retailer surprised the market with stronger than expected quarterly earnings. The US-based company posted sales growth of 11 per cent year on year despite a global spending slowdown.
Menzies said the investment in the new Melbourne site would be a win for the retailer’s third-party sellers, who would be able to store products there.
Amazon will recruit for new types of warehouse jobs at the Craigieburn facility, including IT and engineering roles to maintain the robots. The site will employ 2000 staff once fully operational.
Increasing investment in automated warehouses across Australia’s retail sector has driven the need for a range of new logistics jobs over the past few years.
Source: Thanks smh.com