Why Amazon warehouses are called fulfillment centers
Updated: Jul 24
In the mid-1990s, the Amazon warehouse and its office were one and the same. A handful of employees and one lovable dog shared the Seattle space, along with shelves and shelves of books.
Over time, one warehouse became hundreds, and they are now called Amazon fulfillment centers. While they store millions of items and employ hundreds of thousands of people who seek warehouse jobs, Amazon fulfillment centers are a far cry from your typical warehouse. Read on to learn more about these facilities, Amazon warehouse jobs, and where to find Amazon fulfillment center tours.
What is an Amazon fulfillment center?
The name reflects the function: Amazon fulfillment centers are charged with fulfilling customer orders. In other words, Amazon warehouses not only store products but also serve as distribution centers where associates pick, pack, and ship orders quickly and efficiently. Amazon robotics, scanning machines, and computer systems in fulfillment centers can track millions of items in a day. While the word "fulfillment" refers to orders, these centers also fulfill career paths for many associates who participate in the Career Choice program. They also fulfill the vision of engineers and developers who innovate every day to make the work in fulfillment centers more efficient and constantly improve the way Amazon gets products to customers.
How many Amazon fulfillment centers are there, and where are they located?
Amazon operates more than 175 fulfillment centers around the world in more than 150 million square feet of space, the majority located across North America and Europe.
How many Amazon warehouse jobs are there?
It’s easy to find roles at Amazon at just about any time of year, but the holidays are where all the investment, training and recruitment really come together to deliver smiles for customers. To learn more about available positions, visit www.amazondelivers.jobs to see what it’s like working inside fulfillment centers and which career opportunities best fit certain skill sets. There are many different types of jobs available, and Amazon has a $15 minimum wage. Choose from roles leading teams, IT and human resources support to picking, packing, and shipping customer orders, organizing shipments and loading trucks.
What is it like inside an Amazon warehouse?
No matter the season, Amazon fulfillment centers are well ventilated and kept at the same comfortable temperature you'd find at home. Skylights combine with artificial lighting to keep the environment bright, while conveyance systems shuttle items across the building and boxes from packing stations to awaiting trucks.
Are fulfillment centers the only type of Amazon warehouse?
No, Amazon also operates sortation centers, where packages are distributed based on location and delivery speed, specialty centers designed for specific item categories or for seasonal use, and receive centers for popular items distributed throughout the network. Dividing facilities by function allows Amazon to fulfill orders for products as big as a canoe or hot tub, or as quirky as a five-pound gummy bear or Halloween costume for your pet. Learn more about the types of Amazon buildings here.
How can I tour an Amazon fulfillment center, and what will I see?
Public tours are available at select locations across the U.S. See which locations offer tours, how to schedule a fulfillment center tour, and get a full rundown of the tour here.