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Amazon to Hire 80,000 Santa’s Helpers

Many gift-givers turn to Amazon.com to help them with their shopping, and it will take an extra 80,000 workers to satisfy the increased holiday demand. Amazon announced this week it would hire that many seasonal workers to staff its U.S. fulfillment and sortation centers during the holiday season. The fourth quarter is traditionally the busiest time for online merchants and marketplaces.

Amazon has over 50 fulfillment centers in the U.S. The company generally uses a shipping carrier or delivery firm for orders originating from those centers. Now it’s also using new “sortation centers” for last-mile delivery. Packages are delivered to nearby USPS post offices early in the morning for delivery in the mail the same day.

Amazon told the Seattle Times in July that it had sortation centers in Atlanta; Dallas; Houston; Phoenix; Avenel, N.J.; Hebron, Ky.; and San Bernardino, Calif.

In this week’s announcement, Amazon said it would have over 15 sortation centers by the end of the year.

The new network of sortation centers “is fueling a range of innovations like Sunday delivery, later cut-off ordering times for customers and the ability to control packages deeper into the delivery process,” it said.

Amazon’s growing logistics network and partnership with the USPS should help the company avoid the disappointments of last year’s holiday season when weather and unanticipated last-minute demand caused packages to arrive too late for Christmas.

Amazon also recently announced it would close two of its older warehouses, one in Fernley, Nevada, the other in Coffeyville, Kansas. And the Wall Street Journal recently reported Amazon was opening a distribution center in NYC that might open its doors to customers.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.