Amazon is boosting its fully automated warehousing capabilities in Australia after starting construction of its second robotics fulfilment centre at Melbourne to complement its existing facility in Sydney.
The new centre, located at Craigieburn in Melbourne’s north, will span 209,000sqm across four levels and top the size of its existing Sydney facility by about 9,000sqm with the company describing it as the largest warehouse ever built in Australia.
The size of the warehouse compares with the Myer Holdings’ (ASX: MYR) 40,000sqm automated warehouse facility completed last year at Dexus Property Group’s (ASX: DXS) Horizon 3023 industrial estate in Ravenhall.
The Melbourne warehouse will be the sixth facility established by Amazon in Melbourne since it entered the domestic market in 2017.
The robotics fulfilment centre is being developed at the AustralianSuper-owned Craigieburn Logistics Estate and is expected to be completed in 2025.
The facility will store up to 25 million smaller items sold on Amazon.com.au and it will be serviced by advanced Amazon Robotics technology to move inventory for delivery to customers.
While the high-tech facility is expected to create 2,000 local jobs during the construction phase, Amazon has not indicated how many staff the new facility will employ on an operational basis.
It says jobs at the facility will range from highly skilled roles in IT, HR and engineering, as well as entry-level roles with on-the-job training.
The company says the robots ‘will work collaboratively with employees by moving pods of inventory to them, reducing the time and effort that would otherwise be required for the employee to stow items for sale or pick them for new customer orders’.
“These are the jobs of the future and offer the opportunity to work alongside advanced technology and earn competitive pay in a safe and positive work environment,” says Amazon Australia’s country manager Janet Menzies.
“The site will also help connect Victorian customers to local small and medium-sized businesses, enhancing delivery outcomes and selection for customers in the state.
“We chose Melbourne as the home of our first fulfilment centre when we launched in Australia in 2017, and the introduction of this state-of-the-art robotics fulfilment centre in the city’s north continues our commitment here.”
AustralianSuper’s Jason Peasley says the new robotic warehouse will ‘boost Australia’s logistics infrastructure and play a key role in opening up economic opportunities in this fast-growing area of Melbourne’.
Construction of the facility was supported by Invest Victoria, the state government’s investment attraction arm.
LOGOS, which manages the 90-hectare Craigieburn Logistics Estate for AustralianSuper, says the new Amazon warehouse will anchor the sprawling industrial precinct.
Amazon, which says it has helped 14,000 Australian businesses sell their products globally, sells 200 million products in 31 categories.
The company has invested more than $8.4 billion across its businesses in Australia since 2011 and is supported by a local team of more than 7,000 employees.
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