Amazon is planning to build a massive robotic fulfillment center near the Richmond Raceway in Henrico County. The fulfillment center is expected to be functional in 2022. Once completed, the center will create around 1,000 jobs. The center will use robotic technology in order to select or choose customer orders. It will be just adjacent to the raceway complex, said Governor Ralph Northam’s office. The construction work of the multistory center has started. Northam said that the robotics fulfillment center is a new milestone in the growing partnership between Virginia and the tech e-commerce giant. “This will reinforce our position as both a leader in supply chain management and a technology hub,” he added.
The e-commerce giant is currently operating over 50 robotics fulfillment centers worldwide. Apart from creating 1,000 jobs, the Henrico center will function exactly like the under-construction fulfillment center in Suffolk. The fulfillment center was announced in March last year. According to reports, the center will be spread in an area of 3.8 million square feet. The governor’s office said that the warehouse is expected to be functional this year. Amazon first entered the Richmond area in 2012. It opened two distribution centers with 1.2 million square feet area each. Since then, the company has added more operations in the region. It has a last-mile delivery center along with a fulfillment center in the area.
At the robotics fulfillment centers of Amazon, the unmanned vehicles follow a series of computerized stickers on floors to navigate around a warehouse. They help employees with picking orders placed by customers, packing them, and then shipping to their address. Amazon spokesperson Courtney Johnson said that the company extensively invests in research and development so that assistance can be provided to employees. “These research and development also extend the human reach. These robots enhance the capability of humans and tasks easier. This allows our associates to use their abilities in more sophisticated tasks. This makes sure that they will add more value to it.”