/ Modified nov 29, 2016 8:34 p.m.

Amazon Warehouse in Phoenix Prepped for 24/7 Holiday Rush

Seemingly "chaos," random storage facility "extremely well organized."

Amazon Phoenix facility An Amazon facility in Phoenix.
Christina Estes, KJZZ

By Christina Estes, KJZZ

Amazon Phoenix bins VIEW LARGER Yellow bins in Amazon's Phoenix fulfillment facility.
Christina Estes, KJZZ

A survey by the National Retail Federation found that 122 million Americans planned to shop on Cyber Monday this week, 1 million more than last year. Some of those orders placed through Amazon were processed in a warehouse in southwest Phoenix.

“This fulfillment center is 1.2 million square feet, which is the size of 28 football fields,” said Allie Lee, a company spokesperson.

Yellow bins are everywhere in the factory. Starting in the receiving area, employees stuff them with everything from artwork to zip ties.

“It looks like chaos,” she said. “But, it’s extremely well organized.”

Like roller coasters, the yellow bins chug up conveyor belts. And, at the top, they stop in what Amazon calls “stow areas.” At first glance, the aisles seem kind of messy. There’s a Spider Man toy next to a pair of boots, a jar of peanuts next to water picks.

But, random storage is the most effective thanks to technology, Lee said.

“It’s directing associates directly to where the product is, so it’s saving time to not have to look for say, A for apple or B for books, it just tells you this is what you need, here’s where it is.”

The yellow bins move on to shipping, then like roller coasters, the rides end and it’s time to leave. It’s a 24/7 operation, and Cyber Monday is the busiest. Last Cyber Monday, Amazon reported 629 items sold per second.

Lee says 2,500 full-time workers fulfill orders in Phoenix with a few thousand more temporary workers hired to meet holiday demand this season.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona